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Weakley County Retired Teachers Meet

Weakley County Retired Teachers held its March 11 meeting at the Masonic Lodge, Martin. The program was presented by Karen Campbell, Communications Director for Weakley County Schools.
Karen accepted this new position Fall 2019 after returning to her native Greenfield and her family. She had served the prior two years in the Peace Corps where she had focused on helping transform the English curriculum in Costa Rica. Karen has spent 40 years in a career in communications. She serves on the new advocacy organization called Weakley Arts Can, and as WCS Communication Director composed a major project between WAC and the FCCLA that involved more than a hundred students. Her current work can be seen on the WCS website, local newspapers, and social media.
The devotional was given by Jerry Simmons. Scripture from Matthew and other quotes such as “If you want a rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain” by Dolly Parton was inspiration to our day.
After a blessing by Mr. Simmons, the meal served by Renee Kimsey was enjoyed by teachers and guests.
Bev Eaton, Membership Chair, Betty Nan Carroll, treasurer, and President Wanda Powell had attended the Tennessee Retired Teachers Association workshop in Jackson the Monday prior to this local meeting. Information and news from the TRTA meeting was shared including the devastation of the tornado that had hit Nashville and its effect on the TEA/TRTA facilities.
Communications were shut down for a while since the tornado had taken out the electricity. Executive Director Donna Cotner reported 600 utility poles were down on Second Avenue alone! TRTA President Ron Pendergrass announced that Mike Barker has been reappointed to the Board of Directors of Tennessee Consolidated Retirement. As educators who have been around a while know, that is a very good appointment for retired teachers and teachers.
Retired educators are highly encouraged and needed to join us in our efforts to support our teachers and students in the public schools…AND to support public schools period. Charter schools are looming on the horizon. The legislature has established an oversee committee for charter schools; TRTA states that every member on the committee is clearly PRO-charter. “This effectively removes control of the schools system from the local schools system and boards of education. Additionally, public funding (tax dollars) will be removed from the local school system to support the charter schools,” states our Executive Director Donna Cotner.
“When big business realizes the dollars going to public schools, they will take it over,” is a quote made by Bryan Crutcher, Professor at Austin Peay State University, in the early 1970’s. This quote was provided by President Pendergrass. Are we seeing this come to pass aided by the Tennessee Legislature?
TRTA is the only organization in Tennessee totally dedicated to promoting and supporting the rights and needs of retired public school employees and serving as their advocate in legislative and other policy-making bodies.
WCRTA is scheduled to meet June 10, 2020, at the Southside Church of Christ fellowship hall at 10:45 am.
Retired teachers are welcome to visit and enjoy an interesting program with Dr. Keith Carver, Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Martin. Dr Carver will inform about the STEM program coming to the UTM campus. We will also treat you to lunch.

Karen Campbell

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