School system retirees honored at tea

Job well done: Glenda Taylor (right) receives a certificate from Allison King with the Alabama Education Association during a retirement tea for school system employees on Thursday. (Photos by Stephen Dawkins)

Job well done: Glenda Taylor (right) receives a certificate from Allison King with the Alabama Education Association during a retirement tea for school system employees on Thursday. (Photos by Stephen Dawkins)

Benita Cahalane knows public education is all about relationships.

With 33 years spent in the education system, Cahalane has built plenty of relationships.

Cahalane was among 21 Chilton County school system retirees were honored at a tea Thursday at the Board of Education office—and the longest-tenured of those in attendance.

The retirees were treated to cake and other snacks, and congratulations from Superintendent Tommy Glasscock.

“We are very honored for you to be here today,” Glasscock said.

Allison King, district director for Alabama Education Association, presented the retirees with certificates.

“I wish you all the best of luck in retirement,” King said.

Retirement time: Retirees included Benita Cahalane, Robin Cagle, Dolores Roper, Sandra Willis, Juawana Hayes, Cathy Moxley, Debra Sosa, Chris Johnson, Karen Watley and Glenda Taylor.

Retirement time: Retirees included Benita Cahalane, Robin Cagle, Dolores Roper, Sandra Willis, Juawana Hayes, Cathy Moxley, Debra Sosa, Chris Johnson, Karen Watley and Glenda Taylor.

Cahalane retires as special education director, a position she has held for 11 years.

A Marbury native, Cahalane started her career in education at Verbena.

“[Principal Jim] Popwell said, ‘Will you do cheerleaders?’” Cahalane said. “I said yes, and he said, ‘You’ve got a job.’”

She also spent time at Clanton Elementary School and the state department of education before returning to Chilton County.

Cahalane said her vision for special education has always been to reach out to children and their parents when the child is 3 years old and begin sharing resources and information with them.

“They don’t have much hope at that age because they haven’t seen what the school system can do,” Cahalane said. “We can do some amazing things. We put children first.”

Smile for the camera: Retirees, including Benita Cahalane (center) posed for photos and enjoyed receiving words of congratulation from friends and family.

Smile for the camera: Retirees, including Benita Cahalane (center) posed for photos and enjoyed receiving words of congratulation from friends and family.

Cahalane said she thinks much important relationship-building time is lost with frequent testing and assessments.

Her time is about to become much more open-ended, she said.

“There’s a lot of stuff I want to do—whatever comes up first,” Cahalane said.

Retirees included: Dodd Granger, Nancy Smith, Chris Johnson, Cathy Moxley, Dewayne Kervin, Jeanette Williams, Robin Cagle, Cahalane, Juawana Hayes, Kathy Holley, Sarah McPherson, Pamela Ousley, Linda Payne, Marilyn Scoggins, Glenda Taylor, Karen Watley, Sandra Willis, Mark Knight, Debra Sosa, Dolores Roper and Terry Underwood.

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