Honoring teachers past and present

Cullman Education Retirees Association celebrates Retired Teachers Day as part of American Education Week

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Members of the Cullman Education Retirees Association gather for Retired Teachers Day  Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Mary Pinion)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Education Retirees Association (CERA) gathered on Tuesday to celebrate Retired Teachers Day, as part of American Education Week. The week before Thanksgiving week is officially American Education Week, and the Alabama Legislature declared the Tuesday of that week to be Retired Teachers Day.
 
CERA President and former Vinemont Principal Dr. Jane Teeter told The Tribune, “Even in our retirement years, retired educators continue to touch the lives of those around us by volunteering in the community. Many in our unit are mentoring in the schools, working to provide weekend food for children identified as eligible for Knapsacks for Kids, clean campus volunteers, and various other committees which impact schools daily.”
 
Anyone interested in joining CERA, whether a teacher, administrator, bus driver, office worker in the local school, or any position recognized by the Teacher’s Retirement System may call Dr. Jane Teeter at 256-734-9885 for more information.
 
On its website, the National Education Association (NEA) explained the annual observance of American Education Week:

 

The NEA was one of the creators and original sponsors of American Education Week.

Distressed that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education.

The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called  for designation of one week each year to spotlight education. In its resolution, the NEA called for “An educational week … observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.”

The first observance of American Education Week occurred Dec. 4-10, 1921, with the NEA and American Legion as the cosponsors. A year later, the then U.S. Office of Education joined the effort as a cosponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938.

Other co-sponsors are the U.S. Department of Education and national organizations including the National PTA, the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, the American Association of School Administrators, the National School Boards Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American School Counselor Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National School Public Relations Association, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

American Education Week is always celebrated the week prior to the week of Thanksgiving.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com