Greene County Retired Teachers Meet
The winter quarter meeting of GCRTA, held at Memorial United Presbyterian Church in Xenia, featured a Member Recognition for John and Kathleen O’Brien; a Necrology Service for members who had passed away during the last year; and guest speakers Alan Milkis and Kim Sheehan, who spoke about the new Xenia YMCA facility located within the REACH building on Progress Drive.
John O’Brien was born in Greenville, Ohio, attending Greenville High School before graduating from Miami University in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies. John taught at Colerain Junior High School one year before enlisting in the US Army Security Agency where he served 3 years. After his Army service, John received a graduate degree from Miami University, taught at Fort Recovery High School, Centerville High School, and Warner Junior High School (which was then called West). He taught Ohio History, Geography, and Civics to lower performing students, who at the end of that year were all admitted to the regular classrooms and did well. Then, with the April 3, 1974 Xenia tornado, John taught in the makeshift class rooms while the schools were being rebuilt. John was also a track coach and after his retirement from Xenia Schools, he has taught at Sinclair Community College, substitute taught at Beavercreek, delivered flowers for Knollwood Flower Shop, and currently drives a shuttle for Germain Honda. Meanwhile, Kathleen Hale was born in Dayton, Ohio, attending Immaculate Conception elementary School, Julienne High School, and then Miami University for one year. After that freshman year, Kathleen came back to Dayton, working at Merchants’ National Bank (now called PNC Bank) while taking night school classes at Miami University. In 1963 Kathleen returned to Miami University full time, and in 1964 she obtained a two-year cadet teaching certificate and began teaching at Valley Elementary in Beavercreek. Kathleen and John were married in 1967 and she continued teaching at Valley Elementary until her first child was on the way. Two more children followed. As she was raising their family, Kathleen was a Home Instruction teacher from 1968 to 1988, assisting children with broken bones, major learning difficulties, curable and incurable illnesses. Each child required major individual attention. Kathleen did not disappoint. Following 1988, Kathleen was a substitute teacher in Xenia and Beavercreek until both she and John retired from teaching in 2002. John and Kathleen O’Brien are enjoying travelling as retirees.
Xenia’s new REACH Center houses a larger YMCA which brings much to this area. The Xenia Y has over 12,000 members (up 5,000 members from the previous building). The current site serves 1,500 members per day. The Y’s enthusiastic and competent Executive Director Alan Milkis has worked for the Y for 16 years, and the equally enthusiastic and talented Health and Wellness Director Kim Sheehan, for 13 years. At the Y the Silver Sneakers program, which bills insurance for membership fees for older participants, has nine offerings per week from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM: Zumba, Walk-Run, Trivia, Line Dancing, Paper Airplanes, Rock-Paper-Scissors, Cards, Water Aerobics, Cycling, and Pickleball. Also for older members is the Senior Showcase Team (11 Y’s compete), which needs competitors. Y members can establish an individual Active Track Account at the Fitness Desk, which will allow the member to track his or her own fitness goals as they participate in all chosen activities. So many opportunities, big pool, active resources. Membership costs are: $57 for a family membership, $32 per individual membership, and $20 for youth membership; and no one is turned away with financial assistance available if needed. Clark State Community College and Central State University offer a child watch room with classes taken at the REACH Center. The speakers also mentioned that the old Y building had been donated to the city of Xenia.
The spring quarter meeting of GCRTA will be held at 11:30 AM May 22 at Memorial United Presbyterian Church in Xenia. All Greene County retired educators are welcome.
Please contact Membership Chair Linda Sesslar at Linnieann52@gmail.com or 937-371-3116 for any questions.