Large audience attends board retirement tea

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 17, 2005

Over 60 people attended the Butler County Board of Education Retirement Tea on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to honor the retired employees of the school system.

Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney welcomed everyone to the reception and told them how much the school system appreciated the work they had done for the students of Butler County and the school system as a whole.

&uot;This reception is to honor you,&uot; Looney said.

He presented each retiree with a lapel pin as a token of appreciation for his or her work with the children of Butler County.

Looney thanked Tina Powell, secretary to the superintendent, for making all of the arrangements for the reception.

&uot;I’d also like to thank Board member Joanne Peak for being a former teacher and for all that she continues to do for the school system,&uot; he said.

A magnificent fall floral arrangement graced the center of the banquet table, while petit fours, brightly colored vegetable and fruit trays, and an ambrosia trifle were served for everyone. Finger sandwiches, a cheese ball with crackers, a chocolate trifle and Harvest Punch rounded out the menu.

Sarah Jane Powell retired from the Butler County School System in 2002, after having worked for 12 years.

She was a support personnel and worked with special needs children at Georgiana High School for ten years.

&uot;I helped the teachers with anything they needed me to do,&uot; Powell said. &uot;For example, I called home when the students were absent.&uot;

Powell also worked at Greenville Middle School for one year, and then she spent one year at Baptist Hill Kindergarten.

&uot;Working with the children was the most enjoyable thing for me,&uot; she said. &uot;I just tried to make a difference in the children’s lives.&uot;

Since her retirement, Powell has kept herself very busy. In 2003, she took care of children part-time at the Bright Beginnings extended day kindergarten classes. For the last two years, Powell has been a part-time receptionist at Greenville Middle School.

When she’s not working, she’s either traveling or visiting with her eight children, 18 grandchildren, and especially her three-week-old great-grandchild.

&uot;I love meeting people, and I love working with the children,&uot; Powell said.

After retiring in 1997 with 27 years of service, Betty A. Foster hasn’t put the brakes on her activities yet.

&uot;I drove a school bus for ten years,&uot; Foster said. &uot;Then, I was a teacher’s assistant for over 15 years, and I worked in the special needs classes for three years.&uot;

Foster has not spent the last eight years of retirement idly at all.

She serves as president of the Greenville Chapter of the AARP as well as secretary/treasurer of the Butler County Retired Educators. Foster is the senior director of the Butler Baptist Seniors Association and a mission friends’ consultant for the Butler Baptist Association. She’s an active Eastern Star member, who also teaches Sunday school and sings in the choir at her church, Spring Creek Baptist Church.

With such an active lifestyle, Foster appreciates what the Butler County Board of Education has done for her personally.

&uot;I’m proud that this board believed in me and let me work here for 27 years,&uot; she said.

Like Powell, Foster, who substitutes for W.O. Parmer Elementary School even now, stays very active within the school system.

&uot;I bake for the kindergarten classes, especially at Christmas time,&uot; Foster said. &uot;I’ll bake things for any of the school functions at W.O. Parmer. In fact, I’ve got to go home and bake something tonight.&uot;