A local group of retired educators and school staff were busily making scholarship plans, installing a new slate of officers, and giving awards as they rounded out the school year at their last meeting.
Outgoing President of the Canyon Lake Association of Retired Teachers and School Personnel, Marilyn Arehart, entertained members and guests during the group’s last meeting for the 2006-2007 school year, while she handed out recognition certificates to her board of directors, and quipped about how various members contributed invaluable volunteer hours to local schools.
This local chapter is part of the Texas Retired Teachers Association, founded in 1953, the largest association for retired public school and higher education employees which now ranks first in the nation in membership with more than 58,000 members.
TRTA members continue to be involved in local public school education and in the well-being of their communities as is evident with this local group.
They are currently replacing all the labels in library books at Mountain Valley School in preparation to them being utilized in the library at the new Startzville Elementary School which will open for the 2007-2008 school year.
“All the books must be relabeled and ready to be moved from Mt. Valley by June 1,” Arehart told the group, “because they are beginning renovations on that date.”
In a special ceremony presided over by TRTA District 13 President Dr. Anna Huckabee, new officers for the 2007-2008 school year were installed.
New President Billie Chapman received the “pearls of wisdom,” and her badge of office; 1st Vice President Gayle Adams received “amethyst – the jewel of inspiration” to help her maintain the RTRA membership; 2nd Vice President Karen Ray received a string of emeralds that represent love, kindness and constant public relationship to members and members-to-be; Secretary Judy Nichols received the silver beads representing the “sterling quality of faithfulness” in keeping the financial records of the Canyon Lake RTA; and Treasurer Loretta Schultz received gold beads that represent the wish that the “unit coffers be filled to overflowing” so the group can continue with their activities.
Cara Stotzenberger, a local university student and active gymnastics instructor at American Allstars Gymnastics in Sattler, received a scholarship for $1,000 to help her finish an education degree at Texas State University at San Marcos. She expects to graduate in May 2008.
Cara is a 2003 graduate of Smithson Valley High School and is married to Travis Stotzenberger of Canyon Lake. Cara was accompanied by her proud mother, Patty Coggeshall.
The group also presented the “School Bell Award” to Times Guardian Staff Writer Crystal Gottfried for “outstanding media coverage of educational news.”
President Arehart told the group, “Any time the retired teachers had something going on over at the schools, I called Crystal and asked her to write a story about it; and she did.”