Retirees, Second Chance grads honored at meeting

Published 5:00 pm Friday, June 19, 2009

It was a time of celebration in the new Board of Education Central Boardroom Thursday night as both system retirees and Second Chance Program graduates were honored.

Nine retired educators with a total of 253 years of service to the Butler County School System were recognized during a reception held prior to the regular work session.

Janice Box, Geraldine Feagin, Frankie Gaston, Karen Moran, Annie Nell Morrison, Doris Peagler, Florence Simpson and Rebecca Smith, along with the family of Shirley Marsh, were presented gifts of silver trays from Superintendent Mike Looney and board president Joe Lisenby.

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Later in the evening, three recipients of their GEDs – Nicole Thomley, Stevie Hamilton and Jerry Jones, and Adrienne Smith, who earned her high school diploma – won the applause of family members, board members and guests for their accomplishments.

Smith earned the right to march in her graduation gown to “Pomp and Circumstance” to the podium to receive her Greenville High School diploma from Lisenby and Looney.

“It is wonderful to have young men and woman recognize the importance of getting an education. These are young people who dropped out, left us, and then came back to get their certificate or diploma,” said Looney.

The Second Chance Program has seen 20 students earn their GEDs and 4 get their diplomas.

The celebrations took place in a newly rehabbed room in the old ROTC/Art/Drama Building on the lower campus of the Butler County Community Education and Learning Center (the former high school campus). The former art room, which had fallen into serious disrepair, has been transformed into a multi-functional room to use for board meetings and other events.

“I truly appreciate all the support staff for the beautiful flowers, food and all the preparations made in getting this place ready for night,” Looney said.

Monies left over from a $250,000 grant obtained by board member Linda Hamilton to renovate the Alternative School was used to rehab the space.