NEWBERRY — The School District of Newberry County said goodbye to 26 district employees during the 2017-2018 Retirement Ceremony Thursday.
Collectively, the retirees had 558 years in the School District of Newberry County and an overall 711 years of total experience.
“I want you to think of those numbers. The total number of years just in this school district, 558 years, and the number of lives that you have impacted along the way, whether you are a teacher, administrator or bus driver, you have had a very positive impact and I thank you so much for that,” said Superintendent Jim Suber. “You have dedicated your entire career to a life of service, you have served the young people of Newberry County with an abundance of love, care and a driving passion to make a positive impact and a lasting impact on each student you have come in contact with.”
Suber added that the retirees will be missed and the District will now have to work to replace those who have spent their lives in the classroom teaching, or providing for children.
“You’re talking over 558 years of total experience in the School District, anytime somebody has basically spent their entire lifetime educating children or providing for children and they decide to retire, they are going to be sorely missed and it will be very difficult to replace them,” he said.
As the retirees close one chapter in their lives and begin another, Suber said that in the education business it is always a joy to see where former students are years later.
“One of the greatest satisfactions in the education business, whether you are an administrator or teacher, when you’ve been in the business for a long time the greatest satisfaction is seeing those kids that you taught or mentored and what they are doing 20 or 30 years down the road,” he said. “I think that is a true indication of how successful we have been and certainly a lot of memories and people that these teachers and staff members have influenced over the years, we are extremely proud of them and very thankful for their service to the School District.”
Board Chairman Jody Hamm said for him, the retirement ceremonies are always bittersweet.
“This is a time that is always bittersweet for me because in the past I have seen teachers that actually taught me, I don’t see any of those in the crowd which means I’m getting a lot older. I do see some folks I went to school with retiring and I’m so happy for them,” he said. “Over 500 years of experience walking out the door, that’s bittersweet. While we are so happy for you that you’re retiring it’s bittersweet because now we’ve got to try to replace you and I am sure that’s impossible, the number of kids you have affected over your tenure here is probably not even justified by words.”
Hamm recalled the teachers that have helped him along the way and have changed his outlook on life, and hopes each retiree with stay involved with the School District.
“I remember teachers that I had and the things that they did for me that have changed my whole outlook on life and you have done that for so many people,” he said. “While we say goodbye we hope that you will come visit and continue to be involved not just in our district, but in praying for our children, we have to do everything we can for our young people.”
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.