DCERA outlines accomplishments

Past officers of the Dale County Education Retirees Association attending the meeting April 3 include, from left, Dinah Woodham, Martha Overstreet, Patsy Powell, Sally Covington, Jo-Ellen Willis, Cornelia Turner, James Willis, Priscilla McKnight, Florine Colvin, Mary Sanders, Brenda Harper and Imogene Mixson.

“To be the voice of public education retirees,” is just part of what the Dale County Education Retirees Association members do.

A review of the accomplishments of the past year were presented at the recent meeting during which past officers of the association were also honored.

Comprised of 211 members from the Daleville City, Dale County and Ozark City Schools, DCERA is a unit organized in 1965 to serve as the framework for the Alabama Education Retirees Association, according to the association’s publicity chairman Becky Robinett. “The DCERA monitors legislation that may affect benefits of the public school retiree members,” she explained.

The DCERA held nine meetings during the 2018-2019 school year and planned programs and projects that allowed education retirees to continue their lives of service to fellow retirees, to active colleagues and to local communities, Robinett said.

The DCERA year began with Dale County Chief Deputy Mason Bynum and Terrell Boys’ Home Manager Wanda Jackson as keynote speakers at the Sept. 5, 2018 meeting.

Nurses from the Dale County Health Department administered flu vaccinations to members who wanted them during the Oct. 3, 2018 meeting.

Also at the October meeting, the DCERA Community Services Chairperson Brenda Curry announced the projects and donations planned, to include the Brown Bag Program, the Department of Human Resources, the Terrell Boys' Home, the Ozark-Dale County Library and the Wish-Upon-A-Star Program.

Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Plan Representative Erica Thomas and United Healthcare Representative Flavia Kammers presented the Nov. 7, 2018 program during which a donation was made to the Department of Human Resources.

Auctioneer Leon Ball conducted the Christmas auction to raise money for the DCERA Scholarship Project Dec. 5, 2018. The scholarship was awarded to Madison Tidwell, a math major intern teacher. A donation was also made to the Terrell Boys' Home.

The guest speaker at the Jan. 2 meeting was the Alabama Education Retirees Association Executive Director Jill Jackson. AERA District Coordinator Peggy Mobley was also in attendance. A donation was made to the Ozark-Dale County Library.

Black History Month was the theme of the Feb. 6 meeting during which Wesley Locke was keynote speaker. A donation was made to the Wish-Upon-A-Star Program.

Sheila McLeod from the Ozark City Schools and Chuck Walker from the Dale County Schools talked about how area schools deal with displaced students at the March 6 meeting.

At the April 3 meeting, a tribute to past officers, coordinated by DCERA Secretary Jo-Ellen Willis and DCERA member Priscilla McKnight, included a display of yearbooks, a variety of certificates, historical poster and a poem.

DCERA Memorial Chairperson Brenda Harper presented a program May 1 honoring five DCERA members who died during the year. Family members were asked to light a memorial candle and were presented with a rose.

“The DCERA completed a successful year,” Robinett said. “The DCERA will continue to be the voice of public education retirees as it anticipates another successful year during 2019-2020.”

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