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Newton County School System honors 57 retirees
Group have a combined total of 1,415 years experience
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 The Newton County School System paid tribute to 57 retirees Thursday night at the annual retirement dinner, honoring those who have dedicated a combined total of 1,415 years of service to the children of Newton County.

Principals had a chance to thank their teachers and staff members following a catered dinner at the Turner Lake Complex.

"Thank you for all you've done for our boys and girls," said Live Oak Elementary School Principal Erika Anderson to her retirees. "We are better for having had you in our lives."

"I don't know what it says about me that in my first year as principal my entire pre-K department is retiring," Middle Ridge Elementary's Principal Alan Satterfield jokingly told the audience.

And Porterdale Elementary School Principal Lizzella Dodson informed everyone that "things are better in the ‘Dale."

Although Newton High School had only one retiree present while other schools were faced with the loss of several, Principal Dr. Roderick Sams said he was still in denial.

"I refuse to believe it," he said, adding that his retiree had been "a confidant, a supporter, an encourager and an honest advocate for kids and those who serve at Newton High School."

Deputy Superintendent for Operations Dr. Dennis Carpenter, spoke about Director of Maintenance Bill Rosser, calling him "the man" to which someone in the crowd shouting “amen!”

Newton County School Board Chairman Cathy Dobbs spoke about Superintendent Dr. Steve Whatley, saying that she had decided to speak about him as a person, rather then pontificate on his years of experience.

“I know that he works tirelessly and truly cares for every employee and every child in our system,” she said. “He is our history. He carries with him the history of our system... We're going to miss you,” she said. “Because above all, I know that you are my friend.”
“We wouldn't be here if we didn't care for the kids and their futures,” said Whatley to the audience. “It doesn't matter the job you're paid for. We all care that we perform the very best for our kids and that's important.”

The following is a list of the retirees, the school they are retiring from and their years of service:

Jane Barber, Mansfield Elementary, 40 years

Shelly Barber, Veterans Memorial Middle, 31 years

Dr. Paulette Bragg, Director of Special Education, 32 years

Gail A. Brown, Live Oak Elementary, 32 years

Serita Capes, Transportation Department, 20 years

Anita Cochran, Ficquett Elementary, 35 years

Johnny L. Cooper, Eastside High, 11 years

Nadine Cooper, Ficquett Elementary, 28 years

Lucinda Corless, Heard-Mixon Elementary, 24 years

Dorothy Cronan, Transportation Department, 18 years

Catherine Cunningham, Eastside High, 30 years

Janie Davis, Transportation Department, 12 years

Donald Dean, Transportation Department, 10 years

Virginia Debrosse, Veterans Memorial Middle, 27 years

Joyce Dickey, Oak Hill Elementary, 27 years

Virginia Dodgen, Mansfield Elementary, 15 years

David Easterday, Alcovy High, 33 years

Anita Fordham, Cousins Middle, 23 years

Lillie Fuse, Sharp Learning Center, 27 years

Gene Gaillard, Newton High, 33 years

Suzette German, Palmer-Stone Elementary, 29 years

Beverly Griffin, Palmer-Stone Elementary, 30 years

Leopoldo Guerrero, Transportation Department, 11 years

Phyllis Hackett, School Nutrition Department, 38 years

Claudia Hall, Porterdale Elementary, 25 years

Judith Hardy, Live Oak Elementary, 21 years

Nellie Hardy, Transportation Department, 13 years

Stephanie Hart, Director of Pre-Kindergarten, 31 years

Betty Hawkins, East Newton Elementary, 26 years

Edward Hinely, Eastside High, 31 years

Regina Kendall, Palmer-Stone Elementary, 38 years

Teresa Kennon, Veterans Memorial Middle, 35 years

Anne Kilcline, Live Oak Elementary, 15 years

Tomi Kiser, South Salem Elementary, 31 years

Donna Lee, Special Education Department, 23 years

Cynthia Loveland, Livingston Elementary, 31 years

Barbara Mallard, Live Oak Elementary, 20 years

Veda McManus, Rocky Plains Elementary, 22 years

Jose G. Mendoza, West Newton Elementary, 11 years

Louise Miller, Mansfield Elementary, 18 years

June Moore, Ficquett Elementary, 30 years

Nina Printup, Veterans Memorial Middle, 10 years

Marcia Queen, Middle Ridge Elementary, 27 years

Lee Richardson, Ficquett Elementary, 26 years

Bill Rosser, Director of Maintenance, 34 years

Helene Scott, Heard-Mixon Elementary, 27 years

Johnny L. Smith, Live Oak Elementary, 11 years

Mary Anne Smith, East Newton Elementary, 30 years

Marcia Snow, Middle Ridge Elementary, 12 years

Rita Stephens, Eastside High, 10 years

Dr. Steven Whatley, Newton County School Superintendent, 37 years

Anita Wildman, Cousins Middle, 32 years

Miriam Wilkins, Ficquett Elementary, 36 years

Dean Willard, Alcovy High, 23 years

Carol Williams, Ficquett Elementary, 25 years

Marian Wingfield, Middle Ridge Elementary, 16 years

Deborah Woodruff, Rocky Plains Elementary, 22 years