Ten district members of the Bryan County school system were recognized for their retirement after this school year during the Board of Education regular meeting on Thursday; many of them served the district for as many as 30 years or more.
"These people are being honored for their time in Bryan County," Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer said. "They have given us many, many years of service and we want to thank them for all they have done."
Lanier Primary School said goodbye to Susan Rechtzigel and Ruby Bing.
"Susan started at Lanier 26 years ago. She’s been a counselor for the students, parents and faculty alike," Principal Patti Newman said. "Miss Bing has been responsible for keeping our building clean. She does a great job at what she does and she always makes us look good…She so richly deserves this retirement."
Bryan County High School said goodbye to business teacher Sandra Stokes and technology teacher William Hutcheson.
"She’s been here almost 30 years and done a fabulous job. We are happy for her; she is happy to be going into retirement," Principal Harold Roach said. "William does a tremendous job with the students’ news broadcast. We have an excellent program today and we will miss both of them."
Richmond Hill Primary School counselor Donna Pacenka and teacher Alice Bennett will be retiring after this year.
"Donna is as much a part of our school as the cement blocks that hold it together…We’re going to miss her something terrible and we hope you’ll have a wonderful retirement," Principal Mary Ann Tiedemann said. "I’ve been trying to talk Alice out of it and I was still hoping she’d reconsider before coming up here tonight. She started when I did and she’s had a wonderful career. We’re going to sincerely miss her."
Richmond Hill Elementary School said goodbye to two teachers who have been there for 30-plus years.
"Yvonne Grant has taught 2nd grade for 30 years. She always tries to make learning fun and she’s done a great job. She’s given her life to Bryan County and we’re going to miss you," Principal Walt Barnes said. "Sarah Jackson has been teaching 3rd grade for 32 years and I was in 3rd grade when she started, but was not privileged to be in her class. Her peers describe her as ‘dependable, fair and someone we could always count on;’ she’s an excellent teacher. We appreciate everything you’ve done and we thank you."
Carver Elementary School Assistant Principal Crystal Morales said teacher Carrie Manigo has been there since 1978 and served on numerous school organizations and committees.
"She was elected as teacher of the year in 1995 and 1996. As a teacher who recognizes the dignity and worth of every student, she had been dedicated and loyal and we will miss her expertise," Morales said.
Richmond Hill High School teacher Robert Kincaid started teaching 30 years ago.
"He heard about technology education and for the last 12 years he’s been doing that for RHHS and we appreciate everything he’s done," Principal Charles Spann said.
In other business:
- BCES was recognized as an Educational Training Technology Center spotlight school, chosen as one of seven schools from the 18-county region.
- Jeff Hodges, BCES technology specialist, gave a presentation about improving achievement with technology. "I think it’s been a success," he said. "We use technology for assessment, remediation, and acceleration; to accommodate learning styles, energize the curriculum and increase parent communication." He said it’s been especially helpful in preparing for the CRCT tests. "These students have grown up using technology their whole lives, they’re used to it and they get excited about it, it motivates and prepares them for life in a world driven by technology."
- BCMS and BCHS Young Georgia Author contest winners were recognized: 6th grader Brittney Keith wrote the diary of a slave who ran away from her home; 7th grader Victoria Pruitt wrote about staying strong, never giving up and always trying your best; and 10th grader Katie Smith wrote about the No Child Left Behind Act.
- The BCHS Literary Team was recognized for winning the Region 3A championship. "We are very proud of you," Brewer said. "You all have helped put us on the map." Roach said he’s never gotten "such a chill or a glow." "This is an important award because they worked really hard and it is an academic award. It shows we have excellent students and we’re very proud of them," he said.
- BCHS Special Education teacher Lisa Smith was named the WTOC Top Teacher, nominated by one of her students. "There isn’t a more deserving teacher, I think she’s one of the best special ed teachers around and it shows," Roach said. "They respect her and they love her by the end of the year."
- Coach Ron Lewis received his award as the athletic director for Georgia. "When your peers pick you, it’s quite an honor and he’s been picked by peers from all over the state," Roach said.