Seven retiring school employees were honored by the Levy County Education Association last week, and two scholarships were presented, at a gathering held at First United Methodist Church in Williston.
In addition, Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association from Tallahassee, spoke to the audience.
Those honored were Hilda Butler, bus driver with 30-plus years; Charlene M. Corbett of Chiefland Elementary with 38 years; Brenda Baylor Coulter of Cedar Key School with 21-plus years; Sally M. daSilva of Bronson Elementary School with 18 years; Susan C. Matthews of Chiefland Elementary with 21 years; Michael Shea of Bronson Middle High School with 10 years, and Doris Standridge of Chiefland Elementary with 27-plus years.
Scholarship winners were Regina Appling of Joyce Bullock Elementary School in Williston, a pre-k teacher for 13 years who will continue her education; and Marissa Lovvorn, daughter of Donna Lovvorn of Williston Elementary. Marissa, who lives in Archer and attends P.K. Yonge, plans to attend the University of North Florida and study physical therapy.
Ford reminded the crowd how teachers had walked off the job in 1968 to get the attention of what he called "bullheaded politicians."
"The conditions got better and the pay got better. The public became aware of what was going on in the schools."
He said teachers "Have to come back and keep the pressure on."
He said that funding was supposed to improve with the advent of the lottery, but "it was the political leaders who broke that promise."
Ford added, "Tonight we celebrate you and tomorrow we get back to fighting for what's right. Someday we will win this battle."
Officers of the LCEA are Cindy Roach, president; Pati Fortune, VP for ESP members; Linda Yon, VP for instructional members;, Sheila McKeon, secretary and Marcia Baughn, treasurer.