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BOE honors retiring employees at RJ's
051208 SCHOOL RETIREMENT 1
Retiring Brooklet Elementary School principal Priscilla Clifton, center, chuckles with fellow retiring Brooklet E.S. staffer Juanita Morton, left, as Bulloch County Schools assistant superintendent Jody Woodrum pays tribute to Clifton's career during Monday's system retirement dinner at R.J.'s Steakery. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Imagine 37 years spent working in education. That's how many years Brooklet Elementary School Principal Priscilla Clifton has dedicated to helping young people, and now she's retiring.
    Clifton and 27 others with service in the Bulloch County school system ranging from 15 to 37 years were honored Monday with a retirement dinner at RJ's Steaks and Seafood. Each retiree was introduced by a supervisor, and the atmosphere was jovial as guests shared special memories and humorous tales.
    Teachers, bus drivers, food service workers, counselors and others planning to retire enjoyed the meal as each retiree received words of praise from coworkers.
    Assistant Bulloch County School Superintendent Dr. Jody Woodrum said Clifton was fondly known as "Miss Priss" and said she had "high expectations" of students and was well loved by everyone who met her.
    In turn, Clifton introduced Brooklet Elementary secretary Juanita Morton, retiring after 23 years, and said " She has the patience of a judge and always has a smile on her face."
    Jane Shirreffs spent 30 years in education and is retiring as a third grade Langston Chapel Elementary teacher. LCMS Principal Dr. Karen Doty said Shirreffs taught at Marvin Pittman until it closed, and moved on to her current school to continue dedication to students.
    Portal Middle/High School Principal Jimmy Parrish told the group " We've seen more of Rebie (Newsome, Family and Consumer Science teacher retiring after 22 years) than James," her husband.  He said Newsome spends hours beyond her required duty working for her students and " She's one of  those... you never have to worry about."
    After the retirees were honored and presented with gifts - monogrammed silver letter openers - Bulloch County School Superintendent Dr. Lewis Holloway thanked them for their service.
    "I appreciate the time you have spent and the dedication," he said. "Because of you, there are literally thousands of students who want to be just like you."
    Bulloch County Board of Education Chairman David Ball presented each retiree with their gift and words of thanks as well.
    "I appreciate what you have done with these kids," he said. "It's a pleasure to stand up in front of all of you."
    Many retirees said they plan to return to education on a "49 percent" basis, which is a part time position that enables them to still receive retirement benefits.
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