Pierce honored at TCS retirement breakfast

Published 10:00 pm Saturday, May 30, 2009

This week marked the ending of the 2009 school year for students and teachers across the county.

While the majority will return after a summer break, there are others who have ended their time in schools indefinitely.

And in the Troy City School system, at least, it won’t go unnoticed.

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Ron Pierce, former Troy Board of Education President and 10-year-board member, said his final goodbyes at the TCS retirement breakfast Friday morning.

City school board spots are for five-year terms, and Pierce said the close of his second term seemed like the right time to go.

“I have no kids left in the system. They graduated three years ago,” Pierce said. “We had three board members with no kids in the system, and I felt it should be at least three to two. So it seemed like a good time to let someone else with kids step in.”

And while Pierce will leave his place on the board, it doesn’t mean he will be completely out of the picture.

“One of the things I haven’t been short on is opinions,” Pierce said. “If any one calls for advice on something, I will share it with them.”

In his time on the board, the city school system has been no where short of making strides for bettering education.

“It’s been overwhelming to see the success we’ve had,” Pierce said.

While there is still more work to be done, Pierce said he has enjoyed seeing improvements in test scores, graduation exams and new facilities.

Pierce’s work has not been overlooked by either of the superintendents he’s served with or city officials.

Troy City Schools Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith, who has served all of Pierce’s final term, said board members like Pierce aren’t easy to find, especially when the role is unpaid.

“They do it because they have concern, interest and passion for what goes on in our school system,” Felton-Smith said. “It’s never too late or early for us to communicate. We hate to see you go, but we know you’ve given 10 years.”

Former Superintendent Hank Jones, who first encouraged Pierce to seek the position, said he has been a positive player in the school systems.

“He did a great job during my time there and has been a real valuable asset to our school system,” Jones said.

Troy City Councilman Jason Reeves, who serves as head of the education committee, appointed Pierce to the board 10 years ago.

“I nominated Ron for the board. Hardworking and honest are sort of cliché things to say about somebody,” Reeves said. “But honest and hardworking are two things that Ron is. I appreciate what he’s done.”

Pierce will be replaced on the board by Wally Lowery and John Parker will serve as the next school board president.

Pierce was not the only city school employee honored at the retirement breakfast.

Central Office Chief Financial Officer Joyce Deveridge, Child Nutrition Director Eda Jorday, Instructional Aide Mildred Johnson and Special Education teacher Sally Matthews will also retire before the next school year begins.