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Butler County Schools retirees honored with brunch

Dozens of retirees from the Butler County School System both recent and former were honored Tuesday during an annual brunch.

Dozens of retirees from the Butler County School System were honored Tuesday during an annual brunch.

The Butler County Board of Education held its annual brunch in honor of retired school system employees Tuesday.

The brunch, held at the central office boardroom, saw dozens of former and recent retirees enjoying a brunch set to the dulcet tones of the Greenville High School Brass Ensemble.

Butler County Schools superintendent Amy Bryan said that, though the gesture was an important one to make, it was impossible to repay retirees of the Butler County School System for their service.

“These individuals have given their careers—their lives—for our school system, and this is just a tiny way of saying ‘thank you for your contribution,’” Bryan said.

“We believe we have a fantastic school system, and that falls to the ones before us who did what they’ve done—for every child who stayed here, lives here now and are leaders here now.”

Numerous other representatives from around the county and beyond also offered thanks to this year’s retirees, including Wayne Boswell, president of the Butler County Education Retirees Association, and Alabama Education Retirees Association District 7 President Warren George.

District 4 Butler County Board of Education member Linda Hamilton offered her thanks on behalf of the board.

“How awesome it is to see all of you who have given so much to our children and the community,” Hamilton said. “I always say that we can never pay you what you’re worth, because we don’t have the money.

“But I was looking at something earlier when I woke up this morning that Douglas Adams said. He said that ‘to give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money.  And that is sincerity and integrity.’

And so today, I’d really like to thank you as retirees of the school system for the sincerity and integrity with which you served this community, our children and our schools.  Certainly, we could never repay you, but please note that we are ever so grateful.  And as the children and parents come up to you in various stores and places to thank you, please know that the board of education certainly thanks you for what you did.

“And maybe one day when I hit the lottery, we’ll be able to put something in an envelope and hand it to you on a day like today.  But thank you so much for your service, and being willing to serve.”

In an effort to bridge past experience with today’s hurdles within the school system, Bryan opened the floor for retirees to offer guidance to current principals in attendance, including Ken McNaughton, Joseph Dean, Jackie Thornton, Catherine Tanner and Bryant Marlow.

“We needed you then; we need you now,” Bryan said. “If you would like to connect with any of these principals, we’re in a tough time right now.

“If you haven’t heard, we have a new president who’s going to change the role of the education department in our schools.  We have a new federal No Child Left Behind reauthorized.  It’s going to change what we’re doing. We have a governor who says education sucks.

“I tell you, we need you now.   Even though I’m putting in a plug for you to come back and help us some more, we are here to celebrate all of the accomplishments you’ve already made.  And again, making our system what it is today.”