Marie Hiykel, Education Grants Manager & Brad McPeak, Senior VP
With a new school year in full swing, what better time to share an inspirational story about the power of education. You may never know the impact that your words as an educator will have on a student, but one young child talks about his kindergarten teacher and sums it up in these thoughtful words, “She says she’s proud of me, that I did a good job and that makes me happy.” Fifty-five years in the classroom and 1400 students later, Ms. Romanetha Terry of Perritt Elementary School in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, says she is not ready to retire.
Ms. Romanetha Terry is the grandmother of Renita D. Terry, AIM’s College & Career Coordinator for the AIM TRiO Talent Search grant serving students at Monroe Middle School and Benson High School. Renita wrote about her “Granny,” and said these words, “My granny is in her late seventies. Monday was the start of her 55th year as an elementary school teacher. She’s been teaching kindergarten for about as long as I’ve been in the world. Yesterday she recalled how many times people asked her when she planned to retire, even in the early 90s… Relative to her life, purpose, and career— she said, ‘I just didn’t want to give up.’ I understood exactly what she was saying. I’m very thankful for her example. As we went on in conversation, she put it even more plainly. She said, ‘I don’t care what’s going on in your life. Don’t you ever give up on dirt.’ I laughed after she said it. I knew she meant it with all of her heart.”
CBS recently aired a special how four public school teachers in different cities around the country navigate the highs and lows of the 2012-2013 school year. In this news feature, celebrities took the opportunity to honor teachers.