Retired School Personnel Association

Retired School Personnel Association

The Grayson County Retired School Personnel Association will meet on Dec. 10 at Grandy’s Restaurant in Sherman. Lunch will be at 11:30 a.m., followed by a meeting and program beginning at noon.

Presenting a musical program will be the Children’s Chorus of Greater North Texas. The chorus is directed by Susan Matthews.

For December, the group will be honoring high school teachers. The December "recipe of the month" will be Easy Fudge, provided by Janet Francis and Annette Snider.

Members were reminded of the following: community volunteer hours must be turned in to Juanita Jennings by Dec. 31; bring a children’s book for the book project; bring bags of school supplies and/or toys for the Child Protective Service project; bring powdered flavoring for water and peppermints for the Texas Retired Teachers ASsociation convention snack bags; and giving Phyllis Long, health chairwoman, their step count for the Walks-a-Million Steps program.

President Linda Vandergriff-Thoms conducted the November meeting and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Hubert Long gave the prayer. Members celebrating November birthdays were Gail Grigg, Dr. Fred Freeman, Jo Etta Penn and Janet Francis. The "Special Apple" award went to Margaret McCord and Pat Stewart for their service at the October meeting. Francis and Snider provided the "recipe of the Month" and door prizes were won by Pat Stewart and Francis.

School administrators and secretaries were the November honorees. Administrators at the meeting were Larry Threadgill, Dr. Jack Noble, L.T. White and Gary Utsler. One secretary, Fay Nell Anderson, attended.

Guest speaker was Dr. Jack Noble who presented a program on Thanksgiving and then gave special recognition to school administrators. Noble had prepared a 50-item list of "actions" he believed to be vital for effective school administrators. Attendees were then asked to identify 15 of those items which they considered to be the most important. The top 10 "actions" were as follows: assuming a firm, no tolerance position against all bullying; being a good listener; encouraging strong teacher commitment and recognizing teachers who do so; being proactive in problem situations - try to avoid being on the defense; following board and district policy using sound, reasonable judgement in its implementation; lead in humility and confidence, never in arrogance; open all faculty meetings with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance; visibility - making oneself known to the students and attending their activities; having a sense of humor; and a willingness to admit a strategy or plan is not working and stopping its use.

Following his presentation, Noble handed out thank you notes and stamped envelopes. He asked each member to mail the card to someone who is special to them.

The program concluded with Penn leading attendees in group singing.

New members since September include Elizabeth Bennet, Donna Par, Glenda Coulson, Martha Donowho, Jo Ann Avara, Helen Richie, Cora ellen Walker, Michael V. Walker, Jerry Stinson, Jo Carol Stinson, L.A. Hudson, Willa Mitchell, Kay Blankenship, Pamela Grannell and Chellie Harmon.

All retired school personnel are encouraged to attend the meetings. For more information, call Vandergriff-Thoms at 903-893-5795.

Texoma Poetry Society

Christmas carols are the theme of this Saturday’s meeting of the Texoma Poetry Society. The session will be at 2:15 p.m. in the Hope Waller Community Room of the Sherman Public Library. It is free and open to the public.

Guest speaker will be the Rev. Chris Dowd, senior pastor of Sherman’s First United Methodist Church. He will discuss a minister’s understanding of carols, phrased as poems. Carols, both Christian and pagan, are songs passed through the ages by people singing them together during the Christmas season. Rhyming folk poetry set to music, carols are structured to be memorable.

Dowd earned his master of divinity degree in 2007 from Perkins School of Theology and is the 43rd senior pastor of the 154-year-old church. He comes to Sherman after seven years as pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Henrietta. His background includes tenures as a youth pastor and associate pastor with Methodist churches, as well as positions of leadership in the business world. He spent four years as a U.S. Navy Supply Corps officer with complete logistics responsibility for an $850 million war ship. He and his wife, Whitney, have two sons.

Peggy Silha Ritzer, president of the Texoma Poetry Society, encourages all attendees to bring one of their favorite carols to read or sing aloud. Anyone who would like to bring an instrument to accompany the carols is also welcome. After Dowd’s talk, the carol readings and a break, writers with original poems may stay for a round-robin reading.