By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Lawndale Elementary challenge teacher Teresa Gregory will miss seeing students every morning.
Gregory is among 17 employees retiring from the Tupelo Public School District this year. The group has combined to tally 479 years in education.
“I met the kids each morning in the rotunda,” said Gregory, who has been teaching for 31 years. “That always made my morning; all of their smiles would make my day go quickly. I will really miss the kids.”
The teachers were recognized on Monday during the school district’s end-of-the-year celebration at the Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center. The event ended with each of the retirees in attendance ringing a bell on the center’s stage to commemorate the end of the school year.
“It was a time in my life I needed to do this,” said Gregory, who noted she will spend time with her 102-year-old grandmother.
In addition to those 17, TPSD Interim Superintendent David Meadows also indicated he too will soon be retiring with 41 years. Meadows, who came out of retirement in January, said he would work as long as incoming superintendent Gearl Loden needs him to ensure a smooth transition.
He had remained retired and worked on a part-time basis when he was named interim superintendent in April 2011, but agreed to withdraw from the retirement system because it capped the number of hours he was allowed to work.
On Monday, he was honored by the school board with a special pronouncement and received a standing ovation from the teachers in attendance.