AMARAE, the Association of Memphis Area Retired Adventist Educators, a group of over twenty who met recently in Memphis, Tennessee. Back row (l-r): Brenda Renfro, Celeste Bell, Marylene Johnson, Elizabeth Perkins, Glenna Gilbreath, Marjorie Lowe, Goldie Harrell, Luch Gholston, Minnie Folsom, Charlie Folsom, Ph.D., Ocie Yates, Beverly Becton, Larry Dandridge, Annette Dandridge, Brenda Cowan, J. Philip Williams, Ed.D Front row (l-r): Valeria Montague, Arnette Montague, Lois Pointer, Elizabeth Martin, Myrtharyne Powell, Sonya Jackson / Photographer: Charlie Folsom, Ph.D.

AMARAE, the Association of Memphis Area Retired Adventist Educators, a group of over twenty who met recently in Memphis, Tennessee. Back row (l-r): Brenda Renfro, Celeste Bell, Marylene Johnson, Elizabeth Perkins, Glenna Gilbreath, Marjorie Lowe, Goldie Harrell, Luch Gholston, Minnie Folsom, Charlie Folsom, Ph.D., Ocie Yates, Beverly Becton, Larry Dandridge, Annette Dandridge, Brenda Cowan, J. Philip Williams, Ed.D Front row (l-r): Valeria Montague, Arnette Montague, Lois Pointer, Elizabeth Martin, Myrtharyne Powell, Sonya Jackson / Photographer: Charlie Folsom, Ph.D.

The Association of Memphis Area Retired Adventist Educators (AMARAE), a group of over twenty, met recently in Memphis, Tennessee. They were feted and encouraged to give increased support for the ministry of Alcy Seventh-day Adventist Junior Academy. A joyous luncheon held October 2, 2016 which linked educators from six South Central Conference churches in Memphis. While several of the educators taught in the Adventist school system, and some at Alcy SDA Junior Academy, there were also many in attendance who share experience in other private schools as well as the public-school system. J. Philip Williams, Ed.D. current Alcy SDA Junior Academy principal, conceived of the event and asked Brenda Cowan, former principal to help organize it. Cowan said, “It was very encouraging to see all but one of the invitees in attendance. The room was filled with over 400 years (20 people x 20+ years) of educational experience—Awesome!”

Williams seized the opportunity to honor and celebrate the work of the teachers with a community service medallion. A meal, games, and musical entertainment rendered the gathering memorable. However, the occasion delivered up more than just fellowship. Plans for an ongoing organization of retired teachers was laid. Several retirees made generous commitments to give volunteer service to the school. One result implemented of the meeting is that the junior academy has a retired teacher in every classroom at least once a week. Other volunteers are on standby to assist with field trips, science fairs, and physical education. Glenna Gilbreath, a participant and weekly volunteer said, “The luncheon gave me a sense of a united front and motivation to be part of the solution. And if we use our collective experience we will be able to see results that resemble God’s plan for our children.”

-Melissa Swauncy