School board chair and a Bartow Education Foundation Director Dr. Davis Nelson said, “This is always such a special time for the school system because we get to recognize those folks who’ve spent so many years in the system helping not only our boys and girls but also our parents and community to be a better place to live. As we saw tonight, some of them have been in the field for 35-40 years. Many of them have spent their entire careers in Bartow County. We’re so proud of them and hope they continue to be involved in the community.”
The foundation applauded the 56 retirees for their endeavors with a dinner, a gift and an acknowledgement of their years of service.
Nancy Summey began her career 40 years ago at Pine Log Elementary as a teacher. She fought back tears as her name was called and she was presented with her gift.
“When I was a little girl, I used to set my dolls up and play school. I never wanted to do anything other than teach,” Summey said.
After 13 years in the classroom, Summey became an administrator at Emerson Elementary. Currently, she is the principal at Pine Log Elementary, where she began her career. “I think it is so wonderful that I get to finish where I started. I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to be an educator.”
School board member Anna Sullivan spoke highly of Summey, who spent her entire career in Bartow County.
“Pine Log is one of the schools I help to service. It is particularly hard for me to see Mrs. Summey retire. I hear from so many parents and people in the community what she means to us,” Sullivan said.
Another 40-year veteran, Rosiland Yount, is retiring from Allatoona Elementary. “I don’t feel like I am retiring. I will be back to substitute and to volunteer. I just can’t let the kids go.”
During her long career, Yount has seen many changes in education. “The curriculum is definitely the biggest difference from when I first began my career. The mindset used to be that the teacher chose what she wanted to focus on but now we are told. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. This way everyone is on the same page.”
She named more parental involvement as the one thing she would like to see improve in education.
Bartow Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to provide support and funding to the Bartow County School System.
“The B.E.F. exists solely to support our teachers and our children. It’s one of the only foundations of its kind in the state and it’s probably the strongest,” Sullivan said.
During the night it was announced that a similar organization in Savannah raised $4,000 for one of its special projects for its school system, and in Cherokee County $6,700 was raised. In comparison, the B.E.F. raised $97,000 for one project to assist the school system.
Summey said while it is an exciting time in education with many technological advances she hopes education continues to focus on the children.