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School board, staff gathers to bid Oliver farewell
Bryan County School Superintendent John Oliver, left, holds his granddaughter Margo and celebrates Monday the dedication of a garden in his honor at the Board of Educations central office in Black Creek with his daughter-in-law Maria Oliver, granddaughter Mia, son Mark Oliver and sister-in-law Susan. - photo by Crissie Elric

Twenty-eight years in Bryan County Schools.
That’s what dozens of Bryan County Schools’ faculty, staff, school board members and others gathered Monday to celebrate in honor of Superintendent John Oliver, who is retiring at the end of June.
The special reception began in a newly landscaped garden area at the central board office in Black Creek. Board of Education Chairman Eddie Warren and Assistant Superintendent Brad Anderson spoke of Oliver and his time in Bryan County.
“He has done a tremendous job,” Warren said of Oliver. “He has worked for the children and he has worked very good with the board.”
He said one of Oliver’s greatest assets was his ability to work with people and referred to Oliver as a team player.
 “The Board of Education is very fortunate and the children of Bryan County have been very fortunate to have Mr. Oliver sit in, and we do not want to see you go,” Warren said.
Anderson compared Oliver’s time in Bryan County Schools to caring for a garden. He then presented a new garden area, the product of nearly $4,000 in contributions from staff throughout the district, which was dubbed “Oliver’s Garden.”
“If you’re around him very much, you’ll hear him very frequently (speak) of his garden at home and his yard,” Anderson said. “We thought one of the most appropriate things we could give him is that here so that we have a memory of him here.”
Anderson also read “We have a Little Garden,” a poem by Beatrix Potter, and noted the most important part of taking care of a garden was the seeds that are planted.
“Mr. Oliver has planted some seeds in this district that will forever be here,” Anderson said.
He also wished Oliver well in his post-retirement life, noting he hopes Oliver is able to spend a lot of time with his granddaughters Mia and Margo.
“We all knew this day would come at some point in time and I must say that it’s difficult for me personally, but I wish him well in this next era of his life,” Anderson said.

Read more in the May 23 edition of the News.

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