Return to Headlines

32 retirees honored for combined 806 years of service

16 people standing in two rows of 8 pose holding plaques

Lenoir County Public School employees who together have amassed 806 years of service to schools and school children were honored Wednesday for their loyalty, their longevity and, as Superintendent Brent Williams said, for doing “that which has never been done before.”

In keynoting LCPS’s annual Retirement Luncheon at the Lenoir County Shrine Club, Williams called attention to the special nature of the work done by this group of 32 retirees during the three school years impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“You’ve not only figured this out, you’ve mastered it,” the superintendent said. “You’ve mastered support for our kids and you’re doing it in ways that never existed before.”

Nine of the 32 are retiring with 30 or more years in education. Jody Guttenberger, who among the group put in the most years with LCPS –32½ years as a teacher at Kinston High and a total of 34 years in education – said she will miss the work and the people.

“It’s hard to leave a place that has been your family for so long,” she said in a statement read during the luncheon. “Not many people can say they have loved their job for as long as I have.”

Laura Jackson, retiring as an art teacher at South Lenoir High, is the most veteran of this group of retirees. Her 26 years with LCPS included stints at South Lenoir, La Grange, Contentnea, Southwood and Pink Hill. Previous she worked in out-of-state school districts and leaves with a combine total of 38 years in education.

Retirees receive a plaque as a token of LCPS’s appreciation of their work. Those who attended the luncheon were presented the plaques by Superintendent Williams and Bruce Hill, chair of the Lenoir County Board of Education.

Presentation photos are on our Facebook page.

Retirees for 2022 are:

Banks Elementary – Wanda Daughtry, 13 years with LCPS and 29 years in education; Lossie Jones, 18 years with LCPS; Frances Leal, 21½ years with LCPS; Georgia Vick, 25 years in education

EB Frink Middle – Kelly Dilday, one year with LCPS and 30 years in education

Kinston High – Jody Guttenberger, 32½ years with LCPS and 34 years in education; Johnny Lewis Jr., nine years with LCPS and 14 years in education

La Grange Elementary – Debbie Anderson, 32 years with LCPS; Amy Burke, 30 years with LCPS; Lisa Davis, 11 years with LCPS and 30 years in education; Julia A. Jones, 26 years with LCPS; Antonio Mumford, 11 years with LCPS; Christel Perry, 29 years with LCPS and 30 years in education

Moss Hill Elementary – Donna Casad, 20 years with LCPS and 28 years in education;. Marenda Everett, 14 years with LCPS and 28 years in education; Rebecca Gunn, six years with LCPS

North Lenoir High – Nelida Gulino, 21 years in education; Patti Hughes, 26 years with LCPS; Reggie Jenkins, 29 years with LCPS; Katrina Turnage-Rouse, 26 years with LCPS

Northwest Elementary – Bethany Bridwell, 29 years with LCPS; Elizabeth “Gail” Wise, 32 years with LCPS; Lisa Jernigan, 29 years with LCPS and 30 years in education

South Lenoir High – Laura Jackson, 26 years with LCPS and 38 years in education; Julia Jenkins, 23 years with LCPS; Lisa Smith, 28 years with LCPS and 30 years in education; Dr. Janet Stivers-Blaebaum, 24 years with LCPS

Southeast Elementary – Mabelene Moore, 25½ years with LCPS

Southwood Elementary – Patricia Carlson, 20 years with LCPS and 25 years in education; Cher Chernault, four years with LCPS and 25 years in education

Transportation – Lawrence Carter, 26 years with LCPS

Central Services – Carmelo Linares, 15 years with LCPS