MARTIN (September 18) – The fall meeting of the Weakley County Retired Teachers was held September 8 at the Masonic Lodge, Martin. Inviting fall mums decorated the tables and caught the eye of members entering the hall.
Vice President Larry Myrick opened the meeting with a warm greeting of welcome to members and guests. He asked Betty Nan Carroll to introduce the speaker for the program, Dr. Clinton Smith.
Dr. Smith has a long and highly-impressive resume – he currently serves as the representative on the Tennessee Educational Association of Higher Education, chairs the National Education Association caucus for Educators of Exceptional Children, and is Director of Special Olympics of upper West Tennessee. He represented Tennessee as an athletic coach at the USA Special Olympics National Games in 2006 and will lead Team Tennessee Special Olympics in Orlando, Florida, in 2022.
Dr. Clinton Smith, Interim Chair of the Department of Educational Studies at UT Martin, gave an inspiring discourse on the Special Olympics. The West Tennessee counties under the directorship of Dr. Smith are Lake, Weakley, Carroll, Henry and Obion. More than 400 athletes may participate in one or more of 35 different sports. UTM athletes volunteer to train the Special Olympic athletes.
The Special Olympics oath, “Let me win; or if I do not win, let me be brave in the attempt,” is said by every athlete before each game. No funding is received from the national level; all funds must be raised locally. One fund raiser each year is “The Polar Plunge,” which raised $125,000.00. Dr. Smith encouraged the members of WCRTA to make a difference by becoming involved and stated that volunteers are needed to help in many ways. If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer for this esteemed organization, Dr. Smith may be contacted through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Jerry Simmons gave a beautiful devotional on “How Does God Speak to Us?” After thanks was offered by Simmons, a delicious meal catered by Rene Kimsey was enjoyed by all.
Business was conducted by Vice President Myrick. It was confirmed that a donation for deceased member Carol Brann had been made to St. Jude and that a note of thanks had been received from James Pritchett for a memorial made to St. Jude to honor his wife, Joan Pritchett.
Officers serving for the year 2021-2022 were made official: President, Wanda Powell; Vice President, Larry Myrick; Secretary, Carol Bowlin; and Treasurer, Betty Nan Carroll.
Dr. Clinton Smith was given a beautiful yellow mum to express appreciation from WCRTA for the informative program he gave on Special Olympics. WCRTA is happy to say that Dr. Smith is a member of the Association.
Teachers may join TEA’s Instructional Advocacy Team for the fall professional development webinar series: Instructional Connection. This professional development series will provide the opportunity to learn and apply new knowledge, and deepen skills to improve practice and instruction in the classroom.
WCRTA will meet again at 10:45 a.m., December 8, at the Senior Citizen Building in Dresden. All retired teachers are encouraged to meet and become a member of WCRTA.