Lee County schools honor retirees

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Lee County Schools special education teacher Patty Herring was among the first group of people to go through Mississippi’s alternate certification program.
Twenty-three years later, she is retiring after spending her entire education career as an inclusion teacher at Mooreville Middle School.
Prior to switching to education in 1989, Herring worked in the state welfare department and the employment security commission.
“My son was 2 at the time, and I wanted something where I could be home with him in the summer,” she said. “I was a social worker, so special education fit perfectly.”
Herring was among 21 retirees the Lee County School District honored on Tuesday during a ceremony before its board meeting. Together, the group has more than 603 years in the system.
Mooreville Elementary School’s Jan Stembridge will remain in education and teach a college algebra class at Itawamba Community College. Guntown’s Miriam Blanchard will have a host of new responsibilities from taking care of a 17-month-old granddaughter to helping her son start his own law firm to caring for an elderly aunt.
Saltillo High’s Debbie Kimbrough will also spend time with family. She might even continue to substitute or go back to school and study something in the medical field.
“I have three 3-year-old grandchildren, and they will never be 3 again,” she said of her decision to retire now.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com