Mercer County Schools honored retiring personnel at an after-hours reception Monday, June 11th, at The Bluefield Arts and Science Center. Twenty-one retiring professional and service employees attended, along with their families, colleagues, and school administrators.
County Superintendent Deborah Akers and Board of Education member Ted Gillespie presented each honoree with a framed certificate bearing the number of years employed by Mercer County Schools.
Of those present, Calvin Whitteker, a teacher at Bluefield High School, had the longest service to Mercer County Schools –37 years. Sierra Sue Cahill and Rita Lovern, Princeton Primary, and Wilma East, Memorial, each had 36 years of service in the county.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Deborah Akers told the 115 guests that vacancies left by retirees will be filled, but the individuals can never be replaced. “Your many, many contributions enabled this school system to serve children and serve them well,” Akers told retirees.
Rick Ball, Coordinator of Pupil Services, served as Master of Ceremonies. As a slide of each honoree was shown, Ball read the individual’s response to two questions: “What will you miss most?” And “What do you plan to do in your retirement?”
Common responses were “travel, read, spend more time with family, and develop leisure and creative pursuits.” Princeton Primary teacher Becky Pentasuglia said that on the first day of school, she planned to be sitting on her deck enjoying a second cup of coffee!
Personnel Director Roger Daniels urged retirees to consider substituting in the county.
Throughout the reception, guests enjoyed the piano/saxophone duo of Jon Corbett and Dan Turner. Corbett, a former band director, is principal at Princeton Primary School. Pianist Dan Turner is an itinerant guidance counselor for Mercer County Schools.
Reception costs were underwritten by Bailey-Kirk Funeral Home, Brewer & Company of WV, Cole Honda Nissan/Subaru, The Ethel N. Bowen Foundation, First Century Bank, First Community Bank, Mangus Electric, Memorial Funeral Directory, Mercer County Association of Retired School Employees, Murphy Insurance, New People’s Bank, Sanders, Austin, Flanigan, and Aboulhosn, Attorneys, and Princeton Walmart. Eleven area restaurants donated free meal coupons as prizes for retirees.
In all, 65 service and professional employees have retired since June 2006:
Richard Godfrey, David Perdue, Tommy Tabor, Stanley Walkup, Maintenance; Vera Bowling, Virgel Caldwell, William Hopkins, Nina Maynard, Patricia McKinney, Wilma O’Dell, Transportation; Sheila Mann, Margaret McKinney, Linda K. Morgan, Nancy Payne, Athens; Tracy Lusk, Carmelita Peters, Mel Saunders, Calvin Whitteker, Sherman Wiley, BHS; Charles Farley, Vera Neal, Blanche Sagady, BMS; Barbara Lilly, Brushfork; Rebecca Casey, Glenda Easterling, Laura Rush, Sandra Wade, Mary Whitteker, Glenwood; Delia Kersey, Marsha Platnick, Robert Sisk, Itinerant; Keith Reed, Judy Rose, Lashmeet/Matoaka; Wilma East, Memorial; Herley Bailey, Connie Brady, Trudy Ellison, MCTEC; Donna Reynolds, Dawn Sigmon, Sarah Trabucco-Higgs, Mercer School; Brenda Barlow, Joyce Belcher, Montcalm Elem.; Connie Monk, MHS; Dean Morgan, Frances Stauffer, Oakvale; Linda Beggs, Joyce Clark, Judith Fleming, Wanda Mitchem, Linda Morgan, PVHS; Darrel Collins, Drema McPeak, PMS; Steve Bailey, Sierra Sue Cahill, Betty Foster, Shirley Harman, Rita Lovern, Lois Mingin, Barbara Modad, Willie Mae Moore, Rebecca Pentasuglia, Princeton Primary; Betty Graham, Daniel Thomas, PHS; Deanna Harmon, Straley School; Martha Cundiff, Whitethorn.

Jpeg attached (L-R)

Front row: Brenda Barlow, Nancy Payne, Rebecca Pentasuglia, Sierra Sue Cahill, Linda K. Morgan

Second row: Connie Monk, Sandra Wade, Lois Mingin, Laura Rush, Rita Lovern, Martha Cundiff, Mary Whitteker

Back row: Delia Kersey, Wilma East, Keith Reed, Hurley Bailey, Robert Sisk, Danny Thomas, Charles Farley, Virgel Caldwell, Calvin Whitteker


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