BARTLETT — Three educators totaling a combined 67 years of service at Josiah Bartlett Elementary School recently were honored at a remote retirement ceremony held via Zoom.
Before the start of the Bartlett School Board's June 4 meeting, the board and Principal Joe Yahna paid tribute to family liaison Vicki Garland, administrative assistant Mary Miller and Bev Trembley, kindergarten teacher who has also taught first and second grade.
Board Chairman Nancy Kelemen noted that Trembley has been with the school for 32 years; Garland, for 20 years; and Mary Miller for 15 years.
“I as a parent and also as a board member would like to thank them for their service, as would all the board. I completely appreciate everything you've done for the students, the staff, the community at large. And we wish you all the best in the future endeavors, and we're so sorry that we can't do it in person tonight,” Kelemen said.
Yahna then spoke about his three colleagues, who officially retired on June 30.
“I just wanted to say something quickly about each of these folks who have contributed so much to this school. Bev has been here for 32 years, creating a really respectful classroom community — that's really been her trademark," Yahna said
“Bev, I just wanted to thank you for working hard all the way to the end," Yahna said as he congratulated her on her retirement.
Of Garland, he said he thought back to her retirement letter. "Vicki wrote, ‘To help people move forward, I must first join them where they are.’ I just thought that really summed up her approach to her work here," Yahna said.
“Vicki possesses so much empathy, and she offers support and not judgment, and I really appreciate her help over the last couple of years, not only getting me up to speed but really helping all the families in our community so well. We’ll miss Vicki a lot," he added.
As for Miller, he noted that "everyone knows Mary is the person you go to, she’s the helper. And Mary has on the signature of her emails a quote from the Dalai Lama. And it says, ‘Be kind whenever possible, and it's always possible.’"
Yahna added: "Whenever I read her emails, I think that that's Mary. She's always trying to help, she's helping whoever needs help, whenever they need the help and with whatever task they are looking for help with.
“So thank you to all the retirees. I'm going to do a standing ovation. I don't know if anybody else can join me. but thank you all. You’ll be greatly missed.”
Superintendent Kevin Richard said each retiree will receive a framed plaque that reads: "The Bartlett School Board presents this certificate and wishes to express its sincere thanks and gratitude for your years of dedicated service. Your wisdom and commitment to excellence have long inspired all of us and will be remembered for many years to come. We wish you very good health, happiness and continued success in your retirement.”
“Three very dedicated people who will be missed,” Richard said. “I wish them all the very best.”