2020 ASSOCIATION NEWS
Updated January 2021
DCRTA members make Covid Masks
A big thank you goes out to the Dearborn
County retired teachers who made over 1800 COVID-19 masks in just three months!
To begin the project
Organized by Judy Mosier and Cathy Mund, seamstresses included Etta Bostwick, Lucinda Campbell, Cindy Dibiase, Patty Harper, Janet Hart, Denise Kilburn, Jennifer McClamrock,, Marsha Malie, Judy Mosier, and Deane Wise. Patti Bloom sent thank you notes to all who donated.
The Dearborn County Retired Teachers have also made it their community service mission to make pillowcase dresses and shorts for overseas missions. These individually-designed dresses and hair pieces are all personally delivered to the missions.
If you are interested in participating in these projects, contact this site for additional information. Also, note that anyone can become a member of the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association as an associate member. Again, contact this site for details.
Though retired, these retired teachers remain active in their communities. They have been a blessing to many here locally and around the world. They continue to teach some very important values.
DCRTA receive IRTA Honors
The Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association (DCRTA) was excited to learn that its nominee, Mary Jo Sloan, has been selected for the AMBA Clock Award for outstanding volunteer service in Area 10 at the Indiana Retired Teachers Association’s 2020 Representative Assembly. The Clock Award presentations are the highlight of the Representative Assembly as they recognize those members who go above and beyond normal volunteer service in the state.
volunteer services are many and varied.
Upon retirement Sloan began serving as a member of the Dearborn County
Retired Teachers Foundation which gives grants to
Other DCRTA members were also recognized by the Assembly for volunteer service. These members were recognized as Honorable Mentions and include Marita Cizek, Jane Richie, and Cherie Rump. The Association also thanks them for their many unselfish-giving hours.
2020 Representative Assembly again recognized Dearborn County Retired Teachers
Association with an Outstanding Group Project Award. For a number of years the retired teachers
have been making pillowcase dresses and shorts to send overseas for missionary
purposes. The Association won a group
project award several years ago for this endeavor. This past year the group added barrettes to
their pillowcase dresses. A barrette was
pinned to the dress so that the girls could wear them on the dress or in their
The DCRTA was again recognized at the Assembly for outstanding achievement in Public Relations. The Association’s recognition was in the areas of news releases, association newsletters, and website. Dennis Bourquein who serves as Chair of this committee has also served the Association as a past president of the Dearborn County Retired Teachers and as a past president of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association.
The DCRTA thanks all of its members for their willingness to serve their communities and organizations. Our time and service make our communities and organizations better places in which to live.
2019 ASSOCIATION NEWS
Golden Thread Award Winners
The Dearborn County Retired Teachers proudly honored two of their own at the association's June 5th Association meeting.
Honored were Bev Strasmeier and Marilyn Warneford. Both ladies are avid sewers and both have been active participants in the Association’s Pillowcase Dresses and Shorts project, which transforms regular and fitted sheets into clothing.
Marilyn, a former school office
secretary, has sewn over 1,100 shorts for the project and Beverly, a former
The Pillowcase Dresses and Shorts
project has been a long-standing project for the Dearborn County Retired
Teachers. Begun originally by members of the Hamline Chapel, the retired
teachers took over the project in 2011 under the leadership of Gerri Barber and
Jean Vaughan. The project has sent dresses and shorts to thousands of children
throughout the world. Each year dresses and shorts are given to American
missionary groups going oversea to distribute to the many children to which
their groups minister. In the past these countries include
Dennis Bourquein, DCRTA and IRTA Past President Honored With Circle of Corydon Award
Leising surprised Immediate Past President Dennis Bourquein with the state
Circles of Corydon award recently at the Indiana Retired Teachers'
Representative Assembly in
The Circle of Corydon Award
is for Hoosiers who have made remarkable contributions to the betterment of
Bourquein began as the local Dearborn County Retired Teacher Vice-President under DCRTA President Charles Workman. He then served as DCRTA President for six years. As IRTA's Area 8 Director, he also served on the state Public Relations Committee. Nominated to become the Secretary-Treasurer of IRTA, he served on the Membership Committee. As President-Elect he served on the Legislative Committee. He was the President of the Indiana Retired Teachers 2015-2017. For the past two years, Dennis has continued on the Board as the Immediate Past President. He will serve as consultant at the up-coming Executive Committee Retreat and as a Search Committee member for the new IRTA Executive Director.
In addition to the Circle of Corydon Award, Bourquein was presented with a retirement award for his twelve years on the Board of Directors.
IRTA Executive Director Tom Mellish Retires
On June 24, after four and a half years of service, Tom Mellish IRTA Executive Director officially informed the IRTA Board of Directors that he was stepping down from his position as of October 4. He stated that he has enjoyed his time serving as the IRTA Executive Director, but he felt that it was time for someone new to come in with new energy and ideas to move the Association forward. He explained that he wanted more time to do his own things and he also stated that having his wife Cynda now retired played a major role in his decision.
Tom will be greatly missed as he has done so much to improve our Association, as well as his work supporting retired teachers in the State Legislature. Tom visited all of the local chapters in the state and was a strong supporter for local and state membership.
A Search Committee has been formed by IRTA President Barry Conrad and plans are moving forward to select a new Executive Director. Mellish has agreed to assist in this search.
DCRTA Member Cherie Rump is 2019 IRTA Area 10 Clock Winner
Cherie Rump, a graduate of
Cherie has been an active member of the ARC of Dearborn County in which her granddaughter has been a participant. During her granddaughter’s elementary years, Cherie oversaw camp stations where she shared picture books, made up songs, skits, puppet shows and other activities that related to the camp’s theme.
Cherie has volunteered in South Dearborn Schools since her retirement. She has worked one on one with students, small groups, and with students who had been absent.
Cherie started the Seuss Week while working in the South Dearborn Schools and still continues to wear her Cat in the Hat costume and visit SDCSC school when asked.
Cherie is involved with the Dillsboro Community Partnership
and volunteers on the Dillsboro Heritage Festival Committee where she now serves
a 2019 Heritage Festival Chair. During the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial, Cherie
created a pop-up museum displaying a detailed timeline followed with
Dillsboro’s history until present day.
She also created a Historical Scavenger hunt designed for families,
assisted with a fourth-grade musical entitled “
Cherie additionally serves on the Community Park Board, assists with the 2019 Relay for Life, and works replanting and caring for the flower beds at her church.
2018 ASSOCIATION NEWS
Dearborn County Retired
Teachers’ delegates to the Indiana Retired Teachers Association’s
Representative Assembly on June 13 at
The Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association was only one of two local associations in the state to receive Outstanding Recognition in its Public Relations’ area. This recognition consists of local association newsletters, press releases, and website work.
In volunteer service
The National Retired Teachers
Association each year sponsor a “With Our Youth” award for individuals in our
nation that have done outstanding volunteer youth-centered service. This year,
Gerri Barber – NRTA National Award Winner
Gerri Barber, DCRTA member,
won the prestigious National Retired Teachers’ With Our Youth Award in
recognition for her work with the Dearborn County Retired Teachers’ Pillowcase
Dresses and shorts project for overseas missions. The project which began in 2012 has sent over
5000 dresses and 1000 pairs of shorts all over the world. Examples of destinations include orphanages
and tent cities in
The With Our Youth Award is presented yearly to a retired teacher who has done outstanding service for youth. Recipients are selected by an independent panel and scored for how well the project addresses the five promises to our youth (provide caring adults, a safe place to learn and grow, health/wellness, effective education, and opportunity to serve).
Currently the retired
teachers are working with Kids Against Hunger, which is partnered with A
Child’s Hope International, to send dresses and shorts along with the
vitamin-fortified rice that is sent to various missions. Barber has personally taken dresses and afgans
to a cousin’s church in
In addition to her work with
the Pillowcase Dresses and Shorts, Barber additionally donates time to various
other local organizations, some of which includes the Dearborn County Social
Council’s Friendly Visiting program, the
2017 ASSOCIATION NEWS
The Passing of DCRTA’s Beloved President, Denise Kaffenberger
It is with much sadness that
we report the death of our beloved Dearborn County Retired Teacher President
Denise Kaffenberger on
Denise retired from the Lawrenceburg Community Schools where she was the Gifted/Talented Teacher.
IRTA Representative Assembly Award
The Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association returned from the Indiana Retired Teachers Association Representative Assembly jubilant over the recognition received during the Assembly. DCRTA was recognized for the second year in a row as the leading county in the state for collection of volunteer hours. A total of 52,639 hours were recorded by the members of the Association. These hours are important for use with the state association in negotiating with the state legislature for a stipend or COLA to the teachers’ retirement pension.
Also awarded at the Representative Assembly were three Outstanding Awards for Public Service Recognition. Denise Kaffenberger received the award for the DCRTA newsletter, The Recess Bell, Betty Bourquein received the award for DCRTA/DCRTF news releases, and Dennis Bourquein received the award for the DCRTA/
Dennis Bourquein, former President of the Dearborn County
Retired Teachers, was recognized for his service to the Indiana Retired
Teachers Association, having served four years as Area Director, two years as
Secretary-Treasurer, two years as President-elect, and two years as State
President. Dennis’ last official duty as
President was presiding over the 2017 Representative Assembly. He remains on the IRTA Board of Directors as
the Immediate Past President. The new
IRTA President for 2017-2019 is Jane Boultinghouse of
Dearborn County Retired Teachers have many projects and
activities throughout the year. The Dearborn County Retired Teachers Foundation
provides classroom grants to active teachers.
Any teacher teaching in
Another project that has far-reaching effects is the
Pillowcase Dresses and Shorts project.
This project has brought state recognition to the Association. Every Thursday from to
various members of the Association and friends gather at the
2016 ASSOCIATION NEWS
COMMUNITY SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Each year the local chapters of the Indiana Retired Teachers
Association keep track of their volunteer hours to help with State Legislative
negotiations for better pension benefits for
SALVATION ARMY SAYS THANKS
Thank you very much for your participation in the
God Bless You,
Sue Manford, Kettle Coordinator
2015 ASSOCIATION NEWS
Jessica Barber is awarded Active Teacher Grant for Area 10
Jessica Barber, a senior and an education major at the
Updated March 2021