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Retired teachers hear reports on insurance, convention

East Bernard Express of East Bernard, Texas

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Wharton County Unit of Texas Retired Teachers Association met Wednesday, June 8 at the Heritage Center in El Campo. The meeting was called to order by President Jim Murrile of East Bernard. He led pledges to the U.S. and Texas flags.

President Murrile welcomed new members/guests George Lehnert, Kathy Parker, Neta Ripple and Margaret Sitka.

Murrile asked for volunteers for the nominating committee for next year. Officers up for election are president, first vice president and treasurer.

Jeanette Macha of El Campo presented long stemmed roses to the 19 members present who are 80 years and older.

Kay Sikes of El Campo, first vice president, presided over the memorial service for Vernell Bard, Delores Lehnert, and Judy Lane. A candle was lit and brief remarks were given to honor each of them.

President Murrile presented a hand-out of several options being considered by the State Appropriations Committee regarding increasing TRS insurance. He advised everyone to keep informed by going to and looking under legislative issues. Contact your representatives in order to make your wishes known.

Mary Ellen Meyer of El Campo reported that Lucia Vargas of El Campo was the recipient of this year's WCRTA scholarship. She will receive $1000 toward her pursuit of a degree in education.

Tish McAlister of El Campo reported on the recent TRTA state convention. The four priorities of TRTA are these: 1) finding health care solutions; 2) keeping our TRS defined benefits funding; 3) maintaining and funding all of SB 1458; 4) supporting Windfall offset bill 711 at the federal level.

Secretary Dana Riley of Wharton and Treasurer Donald Lorfing of East Bernard gave their reports. Dottie Collins of El Campo provided suggestions for keeping healthy during the summer. Joy Roppolo of El Campo reminded everyone to volunteer and report the hours. Murrile noted that the Retired Teachers Foundation will no longer be giving scholarships, but will continue with $500 classroom grants.

Rachel Stone, Program Director for Women's Crisis Center, presented an informative talk and distributed packets of material. This organization has been providing shelter and support to victims of family violence and sexual assault in Matagorda and Wharton counties since 1984. Petra Cortinas accompanied Stone to the meeting.

The blessing was given by President Murrile before the catered lunch was served. Members bought items at the silent auction.

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Original Publication Date: June 23, 2016

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