At the May meeting of Dawson County's Retired Educators Association, President Nicky Gilleland displayed 11 certificates that the unit had been awarded at the annual state convention of retired educators. They included recognition for increase in membership, having a scrapbook of excellence, and maintaining good public relations.
The unit was also commended for providing an annual scholarship to a teacher who desires to further his/her education. The 2011 scholarship was awarded to Torina Walls, who has been working as a substitute teacher and attending Gainesville State College to obtain a degree in Early Childhood Education.
As she accepted the $500 check, Walls said that her three sons encouraged her to take an early retirement from the Postal Service and pursue her dream of teaching.
"Now that all three boys are college graduates, I feel that I can do it, too," she said. "This award will help me meet that goal."
Gilleland also announced the names of the fifth grade students who received recognition as winners in the annual "Grandparents Essay" contest, sponsored by the local REA. Those awards were presented in each of the four elementary schools at their respective awards assembly.
The nominating committee reported that the present officers had agreed to serve another term, if elected. Officers for 2011-12 are Nicky Gilleland, president; Charles Findley, vice president; Barbara Wallace, secretary; Rebekah Oliver, treasurer.
Also, at the group's May 24 luncheon meeting, Dawson County School Superintendent Keith Porter gave the invocation and Rachelle Thurmond, activities director of the Dawson County Senior Center, presented a program that highlighted the various activities offered by the center.