2019: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS!!
Greene County Retired Teachers’ Newsletter
Volume XIX, Issue 2
Meeting and Luncheon
Memorial United Presbyterian Church
343 W. Ankeney Mill Road, Xenia, OH
Program: Update on Healthcare and COLA information: STRS Representatives and Hope Short, ORTA
President’s Message Linda Chaney Beaver
Change is inevitable. No matter what you do, it happens. Remember the job that you took as a new teacher and compare that to the job you left at retirement. When we look from one year to the next, we do not always see the change; but look from year one to year five and you realize that you were just swaying with the tide and changes were happening. Many of you had student teachers under your guidance. You did the best you could to prepare them for the job that was ahead, but one of the most important things was to prepare them for change.
When I was teaching at the University of Dayton, I would say to my students that I will give them as much information as possible and they need to be ready to take all this information and shape it to their particular situation. That is the way it has always been and the way it will continue to be. Harold Thornburg was the Principal at the school in Fairborn where my brother Mike was a student. Mike was the youngest of six and very attached to my mom. He really thought it was his job to stay home and make sure mom was OK and not all by herself. So we would get him to school and after a few minutes of thinking about mom he would bolt. He would run up the Maple Avenue hill, looking back occasionally to see if Harold was catching up. Once Harold gave up the chase, he would return to his office and call my mom and tell her to be on the lookout for Mike. He always made it home safely. He always got a consequence at home. He continued for a couple of weeks before he realized school was where he would be required to stay. Well, for sure, Mike did not like change. But the real question is who prepared Harold for the starting of his day chasing a kid up Maple Avenue hill! He had a whole list of things he needed to do and that did not include a morning run just as school was starting. You learn to do whatever there is to do to get the job done. Thank you, Harold!
We asked you what changes needed to be accomplished in order for GCRTA to be more responsive to the needs of the membership. So, some changes are coming. First let me say that we appreciate all the positive comments. Being on the Board is a volunteer job and lots of people give time, talents, resources, etc., to get things ready; and it is nice to hear that you have noticed. We keep in mind that we need to meet somewhere central to the county and at a place that can accommodate our numbers. At this point we have no other option than where we are currently meeting, but we continue to look at venues. Many of you asked that we consider more social outings. We would love that, and we are exploring a day trip to a Cincinnati Reds game for the summer. We have someone who is looking into that for us. We are going to look into the possibility of some overnight trips.
Currently we collect Box Tops for schools, pop tops for Ronald McDonald House, used stamps for kids’ stamp collecting clubs, books for the Little Free Libraries in Greene County, eyeglasses for the Lions Club. We would like to add note cards or cards for special occasions to that list. These will be supplied to the incarcerated for communication with their families. A letter is sometimes too hard to write, but a few words in a card can be very meaningful.
We would love to do some game nights, card clubs, etc., and use any funds raised for scholarships or teacher grants. If you have ideas about how we might be able to do that, please speak up! We need to be more visible in the community and we need to increase membership. We are asking about mentorship programs. We are looking for ways to be better known to those in the teaching ranks before they reach retirement. Change is happening. Please be a part of that change with us. It you can’t attend the meetings, please support us through dues; and by spreading our message that everyone counts, we want to represent you in the way you want to be represented.
ORTA Information Dr. Robin Rayfield
After watching the STRS Board of Trustees work for several months and hearing many retirees ask for the restoration of COLA, I began to voice my thoughts on this matter. Nearly one year ago, I suggested that the STRS Board of Trustees develop a “Pathway to COLA” or a “Roadmap to COLA.” Now, after three consecutive years without a COLA, something that was a promised benefit when people retired, STRS retirees are not any closer to knowing the conditions that must be present for a return to COLA. In fact, after observing the Board of Trustees work for over 16 months, the only mention of a Pathway to COLA has come from people
addressing the Board during the public participation portion of the meetings. I recognize that multiple objections from ORTA officers and from individual STRS retirees made the STRS decision to suspend COLA a difficult one for the Board of Trustees. What is surprising to me is that there has been little discussion at STRS Board of Trustee meetings about how to restore COLA.
Perhaps it is time for the development of a subcommittee of STRS Trustees to begin the work that is necessary for such a pathway to be developed. The many factors that must be considered will, no doubt, take time to be discussed. I do not expect that this Pathway to COLA will be developed in a matter of days, probably more like a matter of months. ORTA remains ready to assist with the hard work of developing this Pathway. Certainly, it is appropriate for the retirees to ask, what is the plan to restore my guaranteed income?
GCRTA Open Jobs
Please let someone on the Board know if you can help with any of these open jobs:
Progress on our 50th Anniversary Celebration of GCRTA on August 28, 2019, is underway! Each member attending will receive a gift bag of donated items. Our Greene County residents will be invited to “Thank a Teacher” by sending a note to be displayed at our party. We will have entertainment. We will have a special luncheon with no business meeting. We will have Door Prizes and Raffle items. We hope to have many members who attend regularly as well as many members who attend infrequently. We hope to have many retirees who have never attended a Luncheon/Meeting attend! Our food is good; our programs are educational; our friendship is warm. Please join us!!
Planned Programs for 2019 Jim Beaver, Vice President Greene County Retired Teachers
Our May 22nd Spring Meeting/Luncheon will feature a few State Teachers Retirement Representatives and also Hope Short, our ORTA Member Education Specialist. Hope will give us an update on healthcare, COLA and other pertinent information about our retirement. Past Presidents will also be recognized.
Our August 28 Summer Meeting/Luncheon will be our 50th Anniversary Celebration!! Virginia Pinkerton, Roy Carr, Steve Warthman, and Jim Beaver are working on showcasing the past 50 years with bulletin board displays, a 50 facts for 50 Years presentation, and possibly a power point presentation. Barbara Wantz and Jim Beaver are canvasing the Greene County businesses asking for donations, gift cards for door prizes, and items to fill the 125 tote bags to be given away to our retired teachers at the celebration.
Our November 20th Fall Meeting/Luncheon will feature ORTA Past President Randy Overbeck. Randy is an author and will share his latest novel Blood on the Chesapeake. Randy is a former administrator in the Xenia Schools and a longtime member of our organization.
Anyone who would prefer not cutting out the reservation sheet from our Newsletter may simply write the same pertinent reservation information asked for on the registration sheet on a half sheet of blank paper the same size as our reservation, and enclose the sheet with the luncheon check sent in to Fay.
GCRTA Luncheon Reservation (for luncheon Wednesday, May 22, 2019)
______ Prospective Member
Please reserve ________ lunch(es) @ $12 each ______ Would like lunch served at seat
Luncheon cost: ___________
Scholarship Donation: ___________
Please make checks payable to GCRTA. Whatever you pay over the cost of the luncheon will be placed toward the Scholarship Fund.
In order to get an accurate count of the number of lunches needed, all luncheon reservations are due by Thursday, May 16 to: Fay Sesslar, 80 N. Limestone St., Jamestown, OH 45335
Those arriving without a reservation will need to be charged $14 for the luncheon.