Educators Day

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

To the editor,

Montana Retired Educators Day is March 10, 2022. MREA is a part of the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The National Convention, is held in Washington D. C., and meets every fall. The purpose of NRTA is to keep close contact with issues related to retired personnel and to help keep the teacher retirement sound. We are a non-political group concerned with what is happening at the State and Federal levels. We are concerned about various issues and how they affect our retirements. We give representation for those who need a voice to help maintain and secure retirement that is livable. We strive to help those the retired maintain a comfortable way of life. When our State Legislators meet, we attend and correspond to express needs we feel should be addressed and improved upon for all concerned.

In Montana, we have celebrated the second Thursday of March as the MREA day since 2014. It was in 2014, Gov. Bullock made the proclamation to secure this day special in honor of those who dedicated their time and many years of service to educating our youth and adults. Our membership is not just limited to teachers. We represent all educators and paraprofessionals involved with students and education. Our organization is nation wide and gives strong support to the needs of education retirees. We also provide many volunteer services to our communities and states. In Montana, the state board offers four scholarships, to currently teaching Montana teachers who are returning to earn higher degrees in education. Many local Units also offer scholarships to high school students seeking higher education.

Montana retired Educators donate many hours of time as well as give monetary support to help within Montana communities. On the average retired educators have recorded an average of 39,000 volunteer hours yearly to community service across the state. Last year, due to COVID the number of hours were lower than average. Many hours of volunteering go unrecorded. We are proud to report that Montana is in the hands of many volunteers who have dedicated their lives to the improvement of their state and communities. Thanks to all who have given their time and talents in order to make life better for us all. Without volunteers, many young people would not have the availability of programs kept afloat due to retired volunteers and their funding of various programs. Churches, schools, community projects and community support programs would not maintain the level of success if it weren’t for their contributions. So, when you see a retired educator, thank them for what they have done and continue to do. Their service is priceless! Also take time to thank the paraprofessionals like, bus drivers, safety school monitors, janitors, lunch personnel, administrators, and counselors.

MREA units contribute to food banks, backpack programs, health/hygiene, community concerts, work as school helpers, libraries, walking school bus, book fairs, scholarships, clothes for kids, school supplies, and church programs of which all help to build strong, healthy, communities.

Frances Schisler, Dillon

MREA State President