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Troy City Schools honors retirees

Faculty and staff of Troy City Schools gathered for breakfast Friday to recognize the departure of 13 individuals from the system.

The retirees who were present accounted for a total of 278 years of service in public schools.

“278 years represented here for making a difference in the lives of children,” said Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith to a full Cafetorium at Troy Elementary School.

After a patriotic opening number by the Charles Henderson High School Vocal Ensemble, State Rep. Alan Boothe D-Troy, congratulated the retirees and assured the audience that he was behind Troy schools.

“We continue to do the best we can for the Troy City School System,” he said.

Boothe acknowledged that he also stood between the audience and their breakfast and he kept his greeting brief.

After most of the audience had helped themselves to breakfast, Felton-Smith began to recognize each individual retiree.

Betty McGilvray served Troy schools for more than eight of her 44 total years in public education and her last probably weren’t her worst.

“The last year has been fabulous, it really made my retirement special,” she said to her grateful colleagues.

Coach Mike Hogan spent 35 years at CHHS and if he had to do it over again, he probably wouldn’t change much.

“I’ve had the opportunity to fulfill my dream. All I ever wanted to do was coach at Charles Henderson High School,” Hogan said fighting tears as he received a standing ovation.

After some inspired words from retiring TES Principal Geoffrey Spann, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Jimmy Mathews gave his farewell speech, although it was far from farewell to him.

“I don’t say goodbye, I say hello,” Mathews said.

“40 years is a long time, and I feel like I paid my dues.”

But those were dues gladly paid.

“I never looked at it like going to work,” he said,

“I would always say I’m going to school.”

In all those years of going to school, Mathews learned a lot about the students.

And he learned enough to poke a little fun too.

“The only difference between a kindergartner and a high school student is a kindergartener has a small mind in a small body. A high school student has a small mind in a big body.”

Mathews had many jokes for the audience but he was serious about his advocacy for special needs children and his admiration for fellow administrators, including the Superintendent.

“You are the true educational leader of this school system,” he said to Felton-Smith.

“You have done, and are doing a wonderful job.”

Mathews closed by commending all the faculty and staff of the city schools before offering his final words of encouragement and advice.

“I wish you all the very best,” he said, “a wonderful 2010-2011, and just remember, love all children.”

The following is a full list of personnel who are retiring along with the number of years they served within the Troy City School System:

Annie Jo Blair, 30

Mary Parker Brundidge, 10

Allen Carlton, 16

Billie Gibson, 23

Cindy Haisten, 26

Camille Hedden, 10 ½

Debbie Hogan, 12

Mike Hogan, 35

Sara (Ephy) Howard, 25

Jimmy Mathews, 40

Betty McGilvray, 8 ½

Mary H. Noble, 22

Geoffrey Spann, 27