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Member Profiles

Rena Butler-Retired 2007


I was a typing and shorthand teacher in Kansas for three years before moving to Mississippi, where I taught third grade for 25 years and retired as a reading and language arts instructor for seventh and eighth graders.

I also served intermittently as director of the Mississippi Association of Educators until 2007.

What do you find most rewarding about retirement?

I love the freedom that comes with not having to report to anyone, but I miss getting up every morning and going to school. I still try to keep up with the students as much as I can, and I love seeing children that I have taught become successful.

When I attend graduation or read about former students on the honor roll or superintendent’s list, I am happy to see that they are in school and staying out of trouble.

Ernest Holley-Retired 1999


Ernest HolleyI first came to Staunton, Virginia schools in 1964, working as a biology, chemistry, and physics teacher for 12 years and a guidance counselor for 22 years at the junior and senior high levels.

I have served in several offices in local and state education associations.

Currently, I am the president of the Virginia Education Association-Retired, a member of the VEA’s board of directors, and a Minority Leadership Training Cadre for NEA and VEA.

What do you like best about retirement?

The best part about retirement is that I have control over the things that I want to do.  I keep busy by remaining active in my association as well as the community, working with the local boys’ basketball team. It keeps me in touch with students in high school. 

Singing is one of my passions and I enjoy participating in three different choirs. I also work as an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University, so I guess I’m semi-retired.


Betty B. Phillips-Retired 2000


Betty B. PhillipsI taught second, sixth, and eighth graders science for over 40 years in Tennessee.

 I served as president of the Tennessee Retired Teachers Association during the 2007-2008 period, and I stay involved by serving on the executive board in an advisory capacity.

How do you stay connected with education?

For the past eight years I have worked as a university supervisor at Austin Peay State University, where I advise and evaluate student teachers. I set my own schedule so that my days are more flexible than they were when I was working in the school.

During the summer I work with the Tennessee State Department of Education and assist with setting up STEM workshops. Even though I’m not in the classroom daily, I still feel as connected to education as when I was teaching.


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