PENDLETON — The South Madison Community Schools Board of Trustees on Thursday recognized six veteran educators and staff who are retiring at the end of this school year.
“This is always a very special evening, but it’s also a bittersweet evening,” said Joe Buck superintendent. “I’m happy for all the retirees as they move into the next phase of their life, but it’s also a disappointment to lose such quality people.”
Among the retirees are: Mark Matlock, director of support services; Gayle Gernand, principal at East Elementary; teachers Barbara Rock, Connie Broughton and Linda Oliver; and Chris Hopkins, cafeteria manager Pendleton Elementary-Intermediate.
Gernand, who joined the school district in 2001 and has been principal at East Elementary since 2005, has been a particularly fierce advocate for her students and education, said Laura Miller, director of instruction and staff development.
“In some ways, this is a sad occasion for us because we are losing a respected colleague who is passionate about her students, staff, and this community,” Miller said.
But she added that Gernand isn’t abandoning education or Madison County.
Gernand has excepted the position of executive director of Madison County CAPE, or Community Alliances to Promote Education.
The motto at East Elementary is “expecting excellence every day,” Miller said. “Gayle exemplifies this motto in her commitment, enthusiasm and service to her staff and students.”
Miller said she believes that Gernand will bring that same commitment and enthusiasm to students throughout Madison County in her new role.