Charlie Folsom, Ph.D.
The Association of Memphis Area Retired Adventist Educators (AMARAE), is a group of more than 20 who met recently in Memphis, Tenn. They were feted and encouraged to give increased support for the ministry of Alcy Seventh-day Adventist Junior Academy (Alcy). A joyous luncheon was held October 2, 2016, which linked educators from six South Central Conference churches in Memphis.
While several of the educators taught in the Adventist school system, and some at Alcy, there were also many in attendance who share experience in other private schools, as well as the public school system. J. Philip Williams, Ed.D., current Alcy principal, conceived of the event, and asked Brenda Cowan, former principal, to help organize it. Cowan said, “It was very encouraging to see all but one of the invitees in attendance. The room was filled with more than 400 years (20 people multiplied by 20-plus years) of educational experience — awesome!”
Williams seized the opportunity to honor and celebrate the work of the teachers with a community service medallion. A meal, games, and musical entertainment rendered the gathering memorable. However, the occasion delivered more than just fellowship. Plans for an ongoing organization of retired teachers was laid. Several retirees made generous commitments to give volunteer service to the school.
One result implemented of the meeting is that Alcy has a retired teacher in every classroom at least once a week. Other volunteers are on standby to assist with field trips, science fairs, and physical education. Glenna Gilbreath, a participant and weekly volunteer, said, “The luncheon gave me a sense of a united front and motivation to be part of the solution. And, if we use our collective experience, we will be able to see results that resemble God’s plan for our children.”
South Central | February 2017