Opp board member, former teacher retires

Published 12:02 am Friday, October 12, 2012

Longtime Opp educator and board of education member Cheryl Graves has retired.

Graves, who spent her entire teaching career at Opp High School, was elected to the board in 2000.

“I appreciate the trust district 3 has shown by electing me two times,” she said. “I had opposition both times. I’m very happy of the difference we have made. I look at the elementary school and think I had a fingernail in that.”

Graves praised Opp teachers.

“Our teachers are great,” she said. “We have students doing everything. One time, I made a list of the things our students have accomplished and it got too long. We have doctors, lawyers, teachers, assistant superintendents, pharmacists, child nutrition program managers.”

Graves said she graduated from Kinston High School, though she was born in Opp.

She attended Troy State University for her undergraduate and then Troy Dothan for her master’s degree. She also has post graduate work from the University of Alabama and the University of Central Florida.

She worked retired from Opp in 2000, but continued working until 2002.

“I taught AP English and remedial English for the graduation exam,” she said. “I enjoyed both.”

Graves wrote the first online high school curriculum for English and creative writing for what used to be the Alabama Online High School, which is now ACCESS.

“My curriculum received state department approval and SACS approval,” she said.

Now, Graves said she plans to play with her grandson, enjoy her family and church.

“I always said I was going to write, so I might do that,” she said. “I may paint again. It’s bittersweet and sweet-bitter.”

Graves’ seat on the board is being filled by Becky Bracke, who owns Becky’s Kinder Kollege in Opp.

Bracke and board member Rothel Moody were sworn in Thursday by David Baker.