The Arkansas Retired Teachers Association held their Area VII spring meeting Tuesday, April 30, at the First Christian Church in Harrison.

Registration occurred between 9 and 9:30 a.m. During registration, available for attendees were platters of fresh fruit and finger foods. Dining tables, covered in white, held crystal vases containing yellow roses in the center.

Dr. Charles Adair, president of Boone and Newton County Retired Teachers and Support Staff, (BNCRT&SS) gave the welcome.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Girl Scout Troop 5002, directed by Alli Green. Mary Purselley, ARTA past president, offered the invocation. The greeting was given by Matt Bell, executive director of Harrison Convention and Visitors Bureau.

James Morris, Area II director, conducted a roll call of counties: Newton, Benton, Carroll, Madison, Washington and combined Boone and Newton. There were 28 teachers in attendance.

Mary Alice Hughes, insurance representative and co-owner of Insurance Advantage and LMA Financial Services, gave insurance advice to teachers.

Bob Thompson, ARTA president, gave a progress report on membership and legislation. He conferred on legislation with Claude Whited, legislative chairman of (BNCRT&SS). There are eight scholarships for teachers.

Lura Campbell, ARTA president-elect, urged teachers to use their gifts. Optimism is important she said.

At 11 a.m. there were break out sessions. Tammy Grey led a discussion on leadership, including political issues, such as the presidential location of 2020.

Pam Curtis, chairperson Area VII, led a discussion on membership.

Donna Morey, ARTA executive director, led a discussion on ARTA general information.

Following the break out sessions, Clint Rhoden, ATRS executive director, spoke on the importance of teachers becoming familiar with ATRS before they retire, in order to prepare for their retirement.

At noon, a buffet was served. Dr. David Artman, senior minister of First Christian Church, gave an invocation for the meal.

Harrison High School Chamber Singers, directed by Michael Crouch, entertained during the luncheon meal.

Their performance was a choreographed tribute to broadway musicals, the tender lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel, “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” “I Will Be Your Friend,” and other popular music. Several outstanding solo voices were featured. Their performance received a standing ovation.

During the meeting, breaks were taken for drawings of door prizes.

Near the conclusion of the meeting, Tammy Gray, ARTA Communications coordinator, offered helpful suggestions.

There were Area VII committee reports, and Area VII business conducted by Morris, Area VII director.

the meeting concluded at 2:30 p.m., as thunder and a downpour of rain commenced.

—Submitted by Lavonne Martin, correspondence chairman, (BNCRT&SS)

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