Friday, April 22, 2016

Congrats to the 2016 HCPS Retirees! Thank you for your service!

HCPS 2016 Retirees

I had the great honor of recognizing our 2016 retirees at the annual Retirement Banquet last night. We are so fortunate to have high-quality, dedicated professionals who have spent their career serving the students of Henry County.  Thank you so much for your service and dedication!

A copy of my opening comments and closing remarks are included below:

Opening Comments
"This evening, I’d like to take you back to 1986 for just a few moments: a gallon of gas was 89 cents, Halley’s Comet had its closest approach to Earth, Top Gun was one of the year’s most popular films, and many of you became educators that year.

Just like Top Gun’s Goose and Maverick, you were eager to impress your colleagues and willing to take risks as you worked to share your expertise and support student growth. From the launch of the Human Genome Project to tragedies like the Chernobyl and Challenger disasters, the year was rich with groundbreaking events to discuss with students and so many new things to try.

While some ideas and tools from 1986 have been replaced in your repertoire, many are still present in the work you do with students today. Most of us appreciate the advances made since IBM’s PC Convertible (the first laptop computer) was introduced in 1986, we are once again marveling at the uses for 3D printing, and we are ever-mindful of evolving acceptable Internet use standards. Though you probably didn’t use it for a few more years, the Internet Mail Access Protocol, which opened the way for e-mail, was defined in 1986. Today, we can hardly imagine working without it!

You have worked hard to change the lives of students and their families by greeting them with a smile, developing relationships with them, and showing them the value of working hard for the good of others.

You entered a profession dedicated to assisting young people in doing and becoming more than they ever believed possible. As you leave the profession, you are taking the struggles and successes of those students with you.

The memories you have will serve as lasting reminders that you have made a difference in the lives of so many in our community. We are honored tonight to recognize your dedicated service to the children of Henry County and to celebrate the memories that you have created."

Closing Remarks
"Bernard Baruch once said "Age is only a number, a cipher for the records. A man can't retire his experience. He must use it." Tonight we have had the honor of celebrating a combined 1,218.5 years of experience. The lessons you’ve taught and the time you’ve spent listening over the course of those years has shaped generations.

As you leave tonight, remember that retirement for an educator means giving up a job, not giving up the right to teach. Even after you retire, I hope you never stop imparting wisdom and teaching others the important lessons of life. As you say goodbye to students and colleagues and make plans for the time ahead, be mindful of the valuable lessons you’ve shared with our students: challenge yourself by learning something new and use your talents to do good for those around you. Continue to be a positive force in the lives of those who need your influence.

You are not just retiring from education. You are retiring from one of the most important jobs in the world, which is helping young minds to dream big. You will be quoted for a long time to come. You will be remembered.

On behalf of the staff and students of Henry County Public Schools, thank you for laying the foundation for the future of our community. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of children.

Congratulations on your retirement!"

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