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Local Author Is Guest Speaker at WCRTA Meeting

Pam Harris

Submitted by WCRTA

The Weakley County Retired Teachers’ Association held its March meeting at the Masonic Lodge in Martin with 17 members and two visitors in attendance. A lovely meal, prepared by Rene Kimsey, was enjoyed. The tables were decorated with pretty buckets filled with gardening essentials, including a canola stick to keep the mosquitoes at bay. These displays were later distributed as door prizes.

Pam Harris, a retired educator from Weakley County Schools, gave an informative and captivating program. Pam is a VIP (Visually Impaired Person), dealing with progressive, genetic macular degeneration since 1989. She has no central vision and relies heavily on peripheral vision. Another type of macular degeneration is age-related macular degeneration. As Pam’s sight has become more challenging, she has met the challenge by adjusting her lifestyle as necessary. At this point in her life, Pam utilizes the aids of a RubyXL magnifier made by Freedom Scientific and a headset known as IrisVision. She and her husband Barry are considering a desktop aid called the DaVinci Pro. Hopefully, the Davinci Pro will allow Pam even more independence. When Pam’s vision was affected, she lost many of the hobbies she enjoyed: quilting, cross stitching, reading, and sketching. Pam is also a published author of juvenile, young adult, and women’s Christian fiction. She has not forsaken her talent as she manages through her computer with a large TV monitor that can reflect a 28-point font. Pam is an advocate for the VIP. No doubt, she will be a bright light of support for many who live with visual impairment. Pam was an excellent classroom teacher and principal, an educator among the best. No doubt, she will continue to educate in her endeavor to support the VIP community. Pam’s enthusiasm and gratitude are spontaneous and infectious.

Jerry Simmons gave an inspiring devotional; he included these three S’s:  Get Serious, Become Sweet, and Keep Stepping. We appreciate Jerry and his support of WCRTA.

WCRTA would like to send a shout out to Mr. Gene Foster, a singer and songwriter, who gave our music program at the December meeting. The traditional and loved Christmas songs, as well as Gene’s original music, was much enjoyed by our group.

When educators recognized the need to come together as a group to advocate for retirees and the profession, Tennessee Retired Teachers’ Association was formed. So, in addition to the fun we have at our meetings, it is important that we advocate for our profession – retired, along with active. We can best plead our case for public education and retiree benefits through our membership and support of our professional organizations. We need members! We ask retired educators to join us in advocating for our profession.

WCRTA will meet next on June 8. All retired educators are encouraged to meet with us. We always have a nice lunch and an interesting program, plus a short business meeting.

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