By Curt Yeomans
A day after trick-or-treaters walk local streets, dressed as goblins, princesses, or real-life personalities, Georgia residents will be asked to take a day to remember the contributions made by retired teachers and administrators to education in this state.
Sunday is Retired Educators Day in Georgia.
Gov. Sonny Perdue recently issued a proclamation, in which he praised Georgia's more than 82,000 retired educators for their years of service in the state's schools. He also said they use their knowledge and life experiences to "enrich the educational process" in various learning settings.
"All citizens of Georgia owe a debt of gratitude, and appreciation, to retired educators for their dedicated service to our state, and nation," Perdue said in his proclamation.
Clayton County Retired Educators Association President Cathy White said the special day has been recognized in Georgia since 1958. She added that, for the retired educators, it is a chance to feel some sense of recognition for their work on the front lines of education. "It's nice for people to recognize our work for the community, for all of these years," she said.
Clayton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Eldrin Bell also issued a Retired Educators Day proclamation. On behalf of the county's commissioners, he said it was "only appropriate" to set aside a day to show appreciation to retired teachers and administrators for their years of work in public schools.
"We salute the many retired educators of Clayton County, who donate hours of volunteer service and make immeasurable contributions to the county, and also serve as a major source of insight and direction for Clayton County," Bell said in the written proclamation.
White said the Clayton County educators group has asked businesses and churches in the county to post messages of thanks to retired educators on their marquees this weekend.
Henry County Retired Educators Association President Joan Jordan said members of the Henry County group have been asked to wear ribbons in public on Sunday, and to ask people to thank retired educators for the work they did. She said Henry County businesses have also been asked to post messages of thanks this weekend.
"The day is set aside to remind us of the dedication of retired educators, and how they made a difference in the lives of children across the state," Jordan said.
Locally, retired educator groups meet monthly to hear presentations from a wide range of speakers, ranging from their local school system superintendents, to other local retirees with interesting stories to tell, to people who deal with retired educators' benefits.
The Clayton County Retired Educators Association, and the Henry County Retired Educators Association, are both part of the Georgia Retired Educators Association.
The Clayton group meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 11:30 a.m., at the First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro, which is located at 142 South Main St., in Jonesboro.
The Henry County group meets on the third Tuesday of each month, but its meetings begin at 10:30 a.m., and are held at the McDonough Public Library, which is located at 1001 Florence McGarity Blvd., in McDonough.