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ACPC: Party honors Garrison and Perkins at retirement

Paula Garrison, outgoing Coordinator of the Adair County Primary Center Family Resource Center, and Jennifer Perkins, 28-year FMD teacher in Adair County schools, were honored at a retirement party at the end of the 2020-2021 school year at Adair County Primary Center.

Garrison is looking forward to spending some time at the beach and with her family, and to helping her husband with their construction business, JAGCO Construction. Perkins says she plans to "buy and remodel my grandparents' house, sell mine, and live happily ever after."

Click headline to read Jennifer and Paula's thoughts about retirement, and some memories from other teachers and staff.

Paula Garrison wrote about her retirement:
It has been an honor to serve the students and families of Adair County. The favorite part of my job has been making a difference in someone's life and seeing the positive results to make a child and/or parent happy. Sometimes that can be small or big. The Family Resource Center motto has been "Whatever it Takes."

That might mean giving a child a backpack or shoes because theirs tore or pants because they fell in the mud outside. It could also mean getting a family the resources they need to get through some very difficult times in their life. I will miss the kid's smiling faces and my friends who are like family to me.

My journey with Family Resource Centers began as an Assistant Coordinator for the Family Resource Center in January 1995. At that time, I served Col. Wm. Casey and Sparksville Schools but our office was in the Library of the Adair County Middle School (referred to then as the Old High School). In July 1999, I became Coordinator. My office was moved to 2 different trailers on 2 different occasions behind Col. Wm. Casey and John Adair over the years. After the county schools closed in 2007, I started serving Col. Wm. Casey and John Adair. When Col. Wm. Casey and John Adair were torn down, I came to the new Adair County Primary Center.

I hope that everyone remembers the dedication I gave to providing a place of understanding, empowerment, and sincerity so that any student or parent could feel comfortable receiving services.

The biggest change I have seen over the years has been technology. When I began working in Family Resource Centers, I remember a time of not having a personal cell phone when making home visits. I have also seen many community and state programs increase over the years to help families.

My plans after retirement are to spend more time with my own family, enjoy more time at the beach, travel, and help my husband more with our construction business, JAGCO Construction.

Angie Smith had this so say about Paula: "I have seen Paula doing so many things for our students and their families. She has always showed compassion and love to everyone. We could write a book on some of our experiences. Like the time a turkey chased us on a home visit. Numerous students just drop by to bring her a note or picture, telling her how much they love her and thanking her for all she has done. She will be greatly missed by all, but I know some students will never forget her."

Jennifer Perkins wrote about her retirement:
I have been an FMD teacher in Adair County at Colonel William Casey Elementary and the Adair County primary Center for 28 years. During those years I have worked in the same classroom with several people however, Rosemary Bennett was with me for 20 years.

I have loved seeing my students reach milestones and participating in their little celebrations. I will miss everything about teaching and the friends I have made at school. Something I will never forget is all of the faculty talent shows that were so much fun to participate in, moving from Col. William Casey to ACPC in a 2 day monsoon, and I will NEVER forget any of my students.

The biggest changes in education since I started teaching has included: KERA, No Child Left Behind, and technology.

I hope students remember how much I truly love each of them. I would like to be remembered for loving, accepting, teaching and understanding children with special needs. I would also like to be remembered for being their voices and their biggest fan!

I enjoy being a JeJe to four beautiful grandchildren and painting. I love being outside and working in my flower beds. I have also found enjoyment in going on motorcycle rides and charity runs with my love, Trevor. After retiring I plan to buy and remodel my grandparents' house, sell mine, and live happily ever after.

Natalie Curry commented, "It has truly been an honor to work alongside Jennifer during my time at ACPC. The love and compassion she shows to her students is unmatched. She goes above and beyond to meet their needs as if they are her own children. Jennifer is always a bright light to my day as well as anyone that crosses her path. On any given day she can be found in her classroom teaching, dancing, hugging, advocating, or creating a functional learning environment for her students. Jennifer has taught me what it looks like to meet each student where they are and love without expectation of return. She will truly be missed by all, and her legacy will live on in the lives of her students and families."

Rosemary Bennett said, "I was in the classroom with Jennifer for 20 years. We became very close and have been through a lot together. I could write and entire book about our time together. She has been wonderful with her students and always put them first. Jen, our nursing home will be rolling with all our memories we share because we will always be together. Happy Retirement! You will love it!

This story was posted on 2021-06-03 15:38:05
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ACPC: Party honors Garrison and Perkins at retirement

2021-06-03 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy Adair County Primary Center.
Paula Garrison, outgoing Coordinator of the Adair County Primary Center Family Resource Center, and Jennifer Perkins, 28-year FMD teacher in Adair County schools, were honored at a retirement party at the end of the 2020-2021 school year at Adair County Primary Center.

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