A total of 83 retired teachers, retired school personnel and their guests met for their Annual Region 6 meeting/luncheon on April 22, at the Vista Baptist Church, Osceola, Missouri. As members of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association, the membership of this organization promotes education and provides resources to teachers and school personnel. In addition, they are devoted to promoting the advancement of the teaching profession and safeguarding the teacher and retired school personnel pension program.
It was a full agenda for the day and began with committee reports. Membership report was given by Mary Newcomb; Legislative by Faye Peters; Retirement Education by Loree Walrath; Information and Protective Services by Evelyn Boyle; and Community Service by Evelyn Boyle for Glenda Ware.
The MRTA Distinguished Retiree from Region 6, Roma Welch, was recognized. Roma Welch hails from Adrian, Missouri in Bates County and is a member of the West Central Unit of Retired School Personnel. Roma held a wide variety of positions all in the secretarial, stenographer and bookkeeping fields.
Three Units of Region 6 was recognized for receiving the 2021 Unit of Excellence. The units recognized were Henry County Retired Teachers and Retired School Personnel, Sac Osage Retired School Employees Association (who earned this award for ten consecutive years), and West Central Unit of Retired School Personnel
Six speakers for the event included Nancy Craig , MRTA State President; Nicole Hamler, PSRS/PEERS Director of Member Services; Karen Miller, MRTF President; Representative Patricia Pike; Kell Smalley, AMBA Representative; and Maria Walden, MRTA Executive Director. Retired teachers are a non-partisan group but Representative Patricia Pike attended the Region 6 meeting because she serves on the House Pension Committee, is Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Employees Retirement, and serves on the House Standing Committee on Higher Education and Tourism.
The blessing for the lunch was given by Kay Zimmer, Pastor of Vista United Methodist Church. A special thank you was extended to Kathy Colby for preparing the meal and for the 2023 class of Osceola High School who helped serve the meal.
Region 6 includes Bates, Benton, Cedar, Dallas, Henry, Hickory, Polk, St. Clair, and Vernon counties and boasts ten separate groups of retired teachers and retired school personnel. Those ten unit presidents for the counties were introduced and recognized.
Reports were given by selected unit presidents about the efforts of Region 6 teachers who applied for and received MRTF Region 6 Classroom Grants for the 2021-2022 school year. The reports provided a summary of how they were using the grant money.
An “In Memory” was read of the MRTA retired teachers and MRTA retired school personnel passing since the last meeting.
The 2022 Attendance Award for the group with the largest attendance at this meeting was won by the Henry County Retired Teachers and Retired School Personnel unit. Then, a drawing for door prizes was held.
Closing remarks were made by the Region 6 Vice President, Virgilene Cook, who served as MC for the day.