BIC honors retirees

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Buffalo Island Central retirees pictured are, from left: Val Smithee, Karalee Gibson, Corrine Johnson, Terry Rose, Peggy Holland, Coty Cornish and Lynn Smith were honored at the district's annual end of year staff luncheon.

Buffalo Island Central held its end of year staff luncheon Wednesday, June 4, at the West Elementary cafeteria in Monette.

During the luncheon retirees Terry Rose, Karalee Gibson, Coty Cornish, Lynn Smith, Peggy Holland, Val Smithee and Corrine Johnson were honored as they fellowshipped and enjoyed a meal with teachers, administrators and staff from both BIC campuses.

"It has been a blessing and honor to teach and love children for 33 years," Terry Rose, elementary teacher and physical education and health instructor, said about retiring. I am going to focus on getting through the next seven months of radiation and chemotherapy. I will also be spending time with my grandchildren and enjoying the life God gave to me."

Rep. Homer Lenderman was present at the BIC staff luncheon to hand out legislative citations to retiring teachers and staff. Pictured is teacher Terry Rose receiving her award. Also receiving the citations were Karalee Gibson, Lynn Smith, Coty Cornish, Val Smithee and Peggy Holland.

Fellow retiree Karalee Gibson, BIC elementary teacher and math couch, said after 37 years she is going to miss BIC but says it is time to move on.

"It has been my life," Gibson said. "I have enjoyed working with this district and the children here. I wish the best for everyone. My family will keep me plenty busy I'm sure."

"First, I want to thank God for giving me good health so I could do what I have loved doing for so many years," said Coty Cornish, high school English teacher, who is retiring after 39 years of service to the district. "I feel fortunate to have been with the BIC school district. I believe we are one of the top schools in this area. This is because of our excellent administration, faculty and well mannered and disciplined students. I am looking forward to my retirement though I will miss some very good friends."

Faculty, staff and administrators from both the Leachville and Monette BIC campuses enjoyed fellowshipping with each other as they closed out a successful school year.

Homer Lynn Smith has been with the BIC district for 40 years and says he has loved every minute of his time with the school. Smith has held several positions in the district but his last was testing coordinator.

"It has been wonderful," Smith said. "I am not sorry for a day I spent here. I will always love this district and the kids."

Peggy Holland, high school secretary, is also retiring after 44 years of service.

"I've loved it," said Holland. "I love the kids and all those I've worked with through the years. I have a lot of found memories of this school."

"I've really enjoyed my years of service," Val Smithee, who is retiree after 30 years as study hall keeper. "I know I'm just a study hall keeper but I have enjoyed my contact with the kids and I hope that I have helped them in some way. It has truly been a joy."

Corrine Johnson, who has been a custodian for the district for seven years, is retiring as well. She said she has enjoyed her time at BIC.

Representative Homer Lenderman was on hand to present legislative citations to Cornish, Rose, Smith, Smithee, Holland and Gibson for there years of service in education.

"I know the dedication it takes to have a career in education," Lenderman said. "It is my privilege to recognize these outstanding teachers."

"It is a very emotional time for us," Superintendent Gaylon Taylor said. "We are losing some very wonderful people in our district. "We can't replace their knowledge, expertise, commitment and pride. We can not replace these people. We can ask them to help us pass that commitment and expertise on to the ones coming in."

Taylor then recognized each retiree saying a few words about them before presenting them with a gift. Taylor also talked to the faculty and staff saying that he had issued several challenges at the beginning of the school year that they not only met but exceeded. He said the test scores from this year are up. Taylor said one grade level had 100 percent proficient, the BIC junior high scores are higher than they have been in seven years and the 11th grade literacy scores are outstanding with every student scoring proficient or advanced. Each principal was called up to speak about their building's test scores and each thanked their staff for the work and dedication that made those scores possible. Taylor also took time to thank the cafeteria staff and all those that helped with the meal.

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