DERRY — In this current climate where town and school district meetings are held remotely, the Derry Cooperative School Board took time at its June 2 meeting to honor and congratulate a list of those educators and staff retiring from the district this year.
In past years, the board honored retirees with a special in-person time prior to a regular board meeting, but with the pandemic challenges, the retiree recognition took a virtual turn, but many ending their time in the district signed in remotely to chat and hear many accolades from the board.
Prior to the remote recognition, retirees were treated to a celebration parade.
Those retirees this year include: Audrey Allen, Janice Burke, Susan Carrier, Nanci Duggan, Barbara Dupont, Sandi Galle, Paula Hamelin, Cheryl Jacobs, Rhonda List, Marlene O'Connor, Deb Oldford, Kyle Sachs, Martin Sheil and Pam Trainor.
For Allen, Derry was her home or 33 years, ending her teaching career at West Running Brook Middle School.
She told the board she was moving to Maine, but Derry would always be her home.
Others, like Allen, signed in to the remote board meeting to give thoughts about their years in Derry, with many saying the time was bittersweet but they looked forward to what's ahead.
"It's been a great ride in the Derry district," Dupont said. She is also ending decades teaching, most recently at West Running Brook Middle School as a social studies teacher.
The collective group of retirees also included special education specialists, art educators, office staff, ESOL educators, and library staff.
Superintendent MaryAnn Connors-Krikorian wished all the retirees well and congratulated them all for the many decades of service to Derry and its students and families.