Washington Times Herald
Barr-Reeve superintendent Travis Madison has announced the upcoming retirement of several long-time teachers and staff members.
Those who will be accepting the retirement incentive program are Tim Hawkins, Melodie Daily, Sheila Condra, Joyce Hawkins and Gloria Wirtz.
The retirement incentive was included in this school year’s negotiated teachers contract. It includes a one-time $25,000 bonus.
“With our school corporation’s fiscal challenges along with all of the changes going on in and around schools with the new RISE evaluation system and the new National Core Curriculum Standards, the subject of an early retirement incentive came up during informal negotiations,” said Madison.
“Some schools around the state had already done this, as well, as primarily a cost savings measure. Our buyout or incentive is kind of a mixture of both. Our corporation sees it as an opportunity to reward those teachers who have provided us so much over the years and make the tough decision on when to retire a bit easier. Most of the retiree’s had either reached out to administration or alerted others that they would like to retire prior to a lot of the changes coming on this year and next.
“It is our hope that this has made things a little easier on those teachers, and that they will be happy with their decision. It is also the corporation’s hope that this will provide us some cost savings in the future, as well. We do realize, however, that we have a lot of big shoes to fill. This deadline will hopefully give us plenty of time to make the best decisions moving forward on how we will go about filling the vacancies left by these staff members.”
Madison said each will be missed for the many skills and abilities they possess.
Tim Hawkins also previously taught and coached at Shoals.
“Tim has been with us for 11 years. He has been a hard-working and caring science and PE teacher and administrator for B-R. He has been a true team player and a pleasure to work with for the last eleven years. Thanks to Mr. Hawkins for all his dedication and hard work,” said Madison.
Hawkins’ wife Joyce will also be retiring.
“Joyce has been with us for 28 years. Joyce has been a wonderful elementary music teacher and high school chorus teacher who has gone the extra mile to provide all of her students with a ‘second to none’ music program,” added Madison. “The love and care she has shown for the students and her programs over the years has been tremendous. Joyce is an irreplaceable teacher who has had a positive influence on so many students over the last four decades.”
Daily has been an English teacher at B-R for 35 years.
“She has been caring and professional and has been instrumental in developing and driving our accelerated reading program. She was also heavily involved with bringing in many dual credit English opportunities for our students to earn prior to moving on to college,” added Madison.
Condra is one of the corporation’s longest tenured teachers and will be retiring from the home economics and family consumer Science program after 36 years of service.
“She has worked extremely hard to bring many opportunities and programming for her students as her department has really evolved throughout her time here,” said Madison.
“Over the past decade, Sheila has done a wonderful job in working with our students on career exploration and our student internship program.”
Wirtz will also be leaving after 24 years.
“Gloria has been both a successful coach, and tremendous physical education teacher. She pushed her students to be the very best at whatever they chose to do and remains a very positive staff member who is always willing to help out wherever she is needed.
“Gloria ran a very successful and well liked summer PE program for high school students for over a decade prior to the state cutting summer school funding a couple of years back,” Madison added.
He added that Barr-Reeve elementary principal Linda Parsons and elementary teachers Donna Keller and Jean Hand (whose letter was received Dec. 21) would also be retiring and wished all who will be leaving the best of luck and many years of happy retirement.