Three teachers with a combined 91 years of teaching experince are retiring from Concord Christian School this week.
“With the retirement of Debra Peddicord, Renee Halbert, and Becky Fraser, CCS will lose decades of teaching experience, along with their lifelong dedication to the teaching profession,” CCS Head of School Donald Snider said. “Spanning over decades, these ladies have brought great leadership to their profession as they have mentored new teachers, inspired students and touched the lives of future generations that will carry on for years to come.
“On behalf of the School Board, faculty, and staff of Concord Christian School, thank you for your service and congratulations on your retirement,” he added.
She taught for 45 years, the last 15 at CCS, noting 23 years was with first-graders and 22 with fifth-graders, which is what she taught at CCS.
“There are so many favorite moments at CCS, but one that stands out to this day ... it was my first year and we were in portable classrooms on the hill that is now the children’s building,” she recalled. “Because we were so small in numbers, fifth-graders were allowed to be in the band. One day, my class and I heard this horrific cacophony of sounds coming from outside our classroom. When we looked out, Mr. Akins and his whole class (while playing their band instruments) were marching around our building ‘practicing bringing down the walls of Jericho.
“There was never a dull moment in the 14 years in fifth grade with Mr. Akins” who retired last year, Peddicord added.
“I will miss the people the most. I’ve met some of the sweetest, kindest, Jesus-loving, giving people ever. That includes students, parents, teachers and staff. Some of those will remain life-long friends.”
Peddicord said she “will not miss meetings Give me a class full of fifth- graders any day of the week. Meetings, no thanks.
“I look to forward to more time with family, friends, and a little traveling,” she added. “Coming up soon ... a grandson — my first, I have two granddaughters — is expected in June; my youngest son is moving back to Knoxville from Dallas; a retirement celebration with my sisters and a month at the beach in the fall.
“God is good. Thanks for all the wonderful memories, Concord.”
“I’ve been blessed to teach for 30 years,” Halbert said. “I came to CCS in 2005 and have enjoyed being part of the staff for 16 years
“I don’t have one favorite memory, but many favorite ones are of the cute things my students have said and shared over the years,” she added.
“I will miss my students the most and being able to watch them grow and learn. They will always have a place in my heart and prayers. The thing I won’t miss will be new technology. I do my best, but I’m very thankful for (my co-worker) Amanda and her patience with me.”
As for future plans, “Missions travel with my husband, visiting our grandchildren and spending more time with them and adapting to a less demanding schedule,” Halbert said.
“I have served CCS for 25 years,” Fraser said. “Prior to coming on as a faculty member I was on a feasibility committee for the school, served on the school board as a member and chair. I was a PPO officer and served as president my last year. I have been on faculty as a teacher for 16 years.
“It is so hard to pick one memory,” she added. “It has been an incredible journey to watch a prayer become a reality before my eyes. God has been extremely faithful. I have seen families changed due to their children learning about Jesus and bringing the word home to their families.
“I will miss my students. It has been a privilege to serve God by teaching, loving and listening to students. I will not miss grading.”
Looking ahead, “I am looking forward to being in my own art studio, traveling and experiencing life with no schedule,” Fraser said. “I know God does not close one door to serve without opening another one. I am excited to see what God has planned.”