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Longtime service honored

Director of Schools Denise Brown and the Unicoi County Board of Education honored eight retiring employees at last week’s board meeting.
The seven teachers and one secretary retiring from the system represented a total of more than 246 years of combined experience.
“Just think of how many students’ lives have been touched by these ladies,” Brown said. “They have had a huge part in that in their years of service to this school system. I don’t have the right words to say to thank them.”
Among the retirees present at the meeting were Connie Brewer, Elizabeth Clarke, Kris White and Janice Hughes.
Brewer is leaving the school system after 35 years of service. She taught for 12 of those years at the elementary level, another 15 at Unicoi County High School and served for four years as the high school’s assistant principal. She has served the past four years as a teacher at Unicoi County Middle School.
“I’m very proud and honored to have stayed here in Unicoi County,” Brewer said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the kids.”
Clarke, who Brown called “one of the most organized people I’ve ever been around,” has been with the system for 30 years. She taught special education classes for 14 years, and has spent the past 16 as a math and computer teacher at the middle school.
White also served the school system for 30 years, most of it as a science teacher for the middle school.
Brown said White brought “excellent structure and management” to her classroom and that her students were blessed to have had her.
Hughes, who served as secretary at Temple Hill Elementary School, has touched a number of lives in the school system throughout her 40 years of service. Most notably, Brown said she has helped shape the careers of many young principals trying to “find their way” in the system, including Brown herself.
Brown wished each of the retirees the best as they embark upon the next chapters in their lives.
Other retirees not present at the meeting include: Janet McMilion, with 36 years of service; Kay Norris, with 25 years of service; Sherry Penley, with 20 years of service; and Patty Roller, with 30 years of service.