XENIA — The Greene County Retired Teachers met for Spring Quarter with the 2019 Scholarship Awards announced, a Recognition of Past Presidents, Member Recognition presentation, and a speaker from the State Teachers’ Retirement System.
Joyce Redder announced the 2019 GRTA Scholarship winners as: Sarah Staley, daughter of Phil and Tracy Staley, from Greeneview High School who will attend Wright State University and major in Early Childhood Education; and also Madison Errett, daughter of Tony and Leanna Errett, from Fairborn High School who will attend Wright State University and major in high school English.
Judy Hudson recognized all Past Presidents of GCRTA who were present.
Virginia Pinkerton presented the Member Recognition portion of the meeting, honoring Barbara Defenbough Meade. Barb grew up near Circleville, and graduated from Saltcreek High School with 16 in her graduating class. She was a cheerleader and a 4-H member and began her teaching career at the age of twelve, teaching the beginner Sunday School class at her church. Barb attended Ohio University and then taught first grade in Granville, Ohio. She proceeded to teach in Circleville, where she met and married Lew Meade, also a teacher. The Meades moved to Beavercreek where Barb taught first grade for four years and Lew taught at Ferguson Jr. High for 7 years. Barb then taught first grade at Tecumseh, then moved into kindergarten, where she stayed for 27 years. Lew eventually taught in Cedarville, and they both retired in 1955. All the while Barb was also active in community service, teaching Sunday School and Bible School, tutoring middle school students, and belonging to service organizations. Barb served as President of GCRTA in 1999. Barb and Lew Meade taught and mentored many individuals, both youth and adult, making many a positive impact. Barb continues on now teaching a weekly Bible lesson for the patients in the Alzheimer’s Unit at Legacy Center. The Meades’ daughter Sarah currently lives and works in Florida.
Hope Short, Members Benefits, State Teachers Retirement System, spoke about a few positive items: Medicare reimbursement for qualifying members will extend into 2020, Express Scripts will continue, and if you have a problem with a prescription, you can leave a detailed message at STRS and a representative will return your call within 48 hours. We are still facing a situation with the removal of our COLA. Ms. Short gave an example of the mathematical reality we are currently facing: when the COLA was established, we had 170,000 teachers paying into the retirement system for 92,000 retirees; currently we have 170,000 teachers paying into the retirement system for 157,000 retirees. Both teacher contributions and employer contributions are steady at 14 percent. The STRS goal is to “safeguard member benefits in the long term.” If you call STRS, you can ask to be on the STRS Board Mailing List and keep up to date with all information as it is discussed at the state level.
Planning for the Greene County Retired Teachers 50th Anniversary Celebration to be held at United Memorial Presbyterian Church on August 28, 2019 is in full swing. Fabric tote bags have been donated by Fairborn Cement Company and will be filled with donated items for the attendees. Interspersed throughout the event will be door prizes given out, musical entertainment, 50 historical facts, a Mystery History Game, and the public is being asked to send in notes of appreciation for teachers who made a difference in their lives. Donations to offset the cost of the event have been given by Greg McAfee HVAC of Beavercreek, Altrusa of Xenia, ALI Industries of Fairborn, and Collett Propane of Xenia. If you would like to contribute a monetary donation, or gift cards or gift items for the tote bags, please contact James Beaver at (937) 305-1935 or Jbeav36@aol.com