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Retiring Meridian School District
employees honored with reception

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
May 2, 2002
Seventeen retiring Meridian Public School District employees were honored with a reception at Union Station on Wednesday.
Margaret Ann Young, a teacher at West End Elementary School, and Patsy Flowers, a business education teacher at Meridian High School, are the two retirees this year with the most teaching experience.
Young has taught for 41 years and Flowers has taught for 391/2 years. Young and Flowers are both graduates of the class of 1957 at Center Hill High School in Lauderdale County.
Flowers said she will be spending time remodeling a family home, built in 1910, that she inherited in Bailey. She and her husband, Arnold, plan to relocate there. They have two children.
Flowers has taught at Meridian High School for 27 years. Formerly, she taught in the Lauderdale County School District, Pearl River Junior College and in the Natchez Public School District.
Asked what she has learned from her years as an educator, Flowers said: "You find that young people are basically the same in each generation. You hear that each generation is going to the dogs, but they do grow up and they are successful. Each generation has problems it is faced with."
She said students seemed to have more respect for their teachers nearly 40 years ago, but with every class there are students who are eager to learn.
For Flowers, the business curriculum has changed drastically during her years in the classroom.
The class still covers accounting and general business principles, but shorthand is no longer taught and computer applications have been added. "During my years of teaching I have encouraged my students to say, I think I can.' It doesn't take much to say, I quit.' It takes a lot more to say, I'll try,'" Flowers said. "If you adopt that philosophy, I think I can,' you will usually accomplish your goals."
In retirement Young plans to spend more time with her family. She and her husband, Jack, have one son. Her hobbies include cooking and gardening, especially growing African violets.
Other retirees honored Wednesday and the number of years they have worked in education were:
Jane Chambers, Northwest Junior High School counselor, 37 years; Cathy Culpepper, Meridian High School registrar, 25 years; Bonita Deweese, Meridian High School English teacher, 31 years; Mary Ann Marshall, central office administrative assistant to the superintendent, 331/2 years; and Alberta Mosley, Ross Collins Career and Technical Center counselor, 35 years.
Carol Jane Patton, Carver Middle School librarian, 29 years; Edwina Pierce, West End Elementary School teacher, 34 years; Norma Rose, West Hills Elementary School secretary, 25 years; Martha Singletary, Parkview Elementary School teacher assistant, 18 years; and Richard Smith, Ross Collins Career and Technical Center related studies teacher, 351/2 years.
Jimmie Smithey, Magnolia Middle School social studies teacher, 34 years; Lamar Stapleton, transportation department mechanic, 21 years; Allie Thompson, Northwest Junior High School English teacher, 32 years; Carol Sue Wiggins, Parkview Elementary School teacher, 30 years; and Darphine Wright, district social worker, 30 years.

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