Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association

50th Year Anniversary

History

 

 

                      DCRTA Organization

 

On November 5, 1970, Kenneth Pitts sent an affiliation request to the Indiana Retired Teachers Association (IRTA) from Dearborn County retired teachers to become an affiliate.  The request was received by the Indiana Retired Teachers Association on November 9, 1970. On September 1,1972, the IRTA Board of Directors approved the formation request for the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association (DCRTA). 

 

 

First minutes of the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association

 

On Thursday, December 21, 1972, at 3:00 p.m., seventeen retired teachers and three state officers met at the Oak-Hat Restaurant between Aurora and Lawrenceburg for the purpose of organizing the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association (DCRTA).  In attendance were

     E. L. Morrison                                Eugene Gabbard                                 Evelyn Darling

     Ellamarie Williamson                     Blanche Ashley                                    H.C. Benedict (state)

     Florence Rolf                                 Lula Kemp                                          Paul L. Phillippe (state)

     Forest Mosier                                 Verle Rumsey                                      Robert Shelby

     Beatriz M. Kyle                              Earl Utterback (state)                        Herman Grinstead

     Alma Buchanan                              Mildred Cole                                       Grace Kyle (not retired)

     Helen Petscher

 

E. L. Morrison was named acting chairman and Evelyn Darling as secretary.  Each teacher introduced him or herself and gave number of years taught and interesting facts.  Perhaps the most unusual was that of Ellamarie Williamson.  Not only had she taught forty-five years in the same school but in the same classroom.

 

Mr. Earl Utterback, Mr. Paul L. Phillippe, and Mr. Harold Benedict each spoke on conditions now existing among retired teachers, some purposed legislation, and organization of retired teachers.

 

An election was held to elect officers for Dearborn County Retired Teachers’ Association.  The following officers were elected:

            President – E. L. Morrison – Aurora

            Vice-president – Eugene Gabbard – Aurora

            Treasurer – Forest Mosier – Aurora

            Secretary – Mrs. Alma U. Buchanan – Moores Hill

            Legislative Committee:           Herman Grinstsead (Chair) – Aurora

                                                            Robert Shelby – Aurora

                                                            (Miss) Evelyn Darling – Guilford

                                                            (Mrs.) Elizabeth Ogden – Lawrenceburg

                                                            (Mrs.) Estella Rawlins – Moores Hill

 

Mr. Utterback expressed his thanks for the interest and enthusiasm shown by those in attendance.

 

Hot rolls, doughnuts, and coffee were served during the meeting.

 

It was decided to hold a meeting in January to get more retired teachers interested and make more definite plans.

 

Meeting was adjourned,

 

Evelyn Darling, (Sec. pro tem)

Alma U Buchanan, Sec’y.

 

In the 1973 IRTA Representative Assembly book the following statement from the IRTA Membership Committee Report is included:

            Congratulations to the officers and   members of these County Retired Teachers Associations who since September 1 (1972) have become active organizations:

                        Daviess                        Dubois             Montgomery

                        Dearborn                     Miami                          Pulaski

                                                            Ripley

We welcome your organizations as active groups of retired teachers to join the already 70 organized county organizations who form the IRTA.

               

Respectfully submitted,

            Cecil Tharp

            Membership Chairman

 

IRTA records show that in the IRTA fiscal year 1973-1974, fifty-three Dearborn County retired teachers were members of the IRTA.  

 

 

 

Interesting Facts from the Early Years

 

1. At the January 24, 1973 general meeting twenty-two retired teachers met in the basement of the Aurora Public Library.   Mr. H.C. Benedict, IRTA State Legislative Committee Chair, spoke on House Bill 1119 pertaining to retired teachers and stated the three parts of this Bill, namely:

            a. Enough money to make pensions work.

b. Help for retired teachers who are on so called “starvation pension,” – that is less than $100 a month pension and no Social Security.

c. Automatic cost of living increase of 2%.

 

2. In 1974 there were sixty-five retired teachers in Dearborn County; twenty-two were members of DCRTA.

 

3. At the March 1977 general meeting the DCRTA Constitution was changed to have four meetings a year instead of two (January and November). The January meeting was changed to March, a June dinner meeting was added, a September trip meeting was added, and the November meeting remained the same.

4. The various locations of the September trip meetings throughout the years included:  Sherman House – Batesville, IN; Clifty Falls Inn – Madison, IN; Beef and Boards – Harrison, OH; Butler State Park – Carrollton, KY; Ogle House – Vevay, IN; and Carnegie Hall – Moores Hill.

 

5. The early January, later March, and November general meetings were held in the Aurora Public Library basement and various churches in the county with Hamline Chapel as the most frequented.   A social hours was held either before or after the meeting serving cookies, punch, coffee, and cookies.

 

6. The June dinner meetings were held at various locations:   Tree House in Aurora, Blue Star Restaurant between Lawrenceburg and Aurora, Chalet at Hidden Valley, and one at Dante’s Restaurant in Western Hills.

 

7. At the March 19, 1980, general meeting, a motion was made to send $10.00 to the IRTA Scholarship Fund for memorial of deceased DCRTA members.

 

8. In 2008, the Executive Committee made the decision to hold the 2009 meetings during the months of April, June, August, and October.  This change was for the benefit of the snowbirds who were in Florida during the months of March and November.

 

 

 

Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association Presidents

 

DCRTA have had many members serve as President of the Association.  Following is a list of these presidents:

            E.L. Morrison               1973-1974                               Mary McElfresh                       1995-1999

            Mabel Long                  1974-1976                               Larry Givan                              2000-2001

            Jeanette Graver            1977-1978                               Charlie Workman                     2002-2003

            Kenneth Pitts                1979-1980                               Dennis Bourquein                     2004-2010      

            Wilma Gerkepott          1981-1982                               Jim Pierce                                 2010-2014

            Jeanette Graver            1983-1986                               Denise Kaffenberger                 2014-2017

            Rosemary Watkins       1987-1988                               Jim Pierce                                 2018-2021

            Kenneth Pitts                1989-1990                               Judy Mosier                             2021-present

            Earl Mann                    1991-1994

 

 

Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association Vice-Presidents

 

            Eugene Gabbard                       1973                            Mary McElfresh                       1993-1994

            Verle Rumsey                           1974                            No V-P                                    1995-1996

            Marian Smith                            1975-1976                   Larry Givan                              1997-1999

            Mary Lou Elliott                       1977                            Charlie Workman                     2000-2001

            Kenneth Pitts                            1978                            Dennis Bourquein                     2002-2003

            Eugene Gabbard                       1979-1981                   Patty Rullman                           2004-2006

            Kenneth Pitts                            1982                            Jane Wuestefeld                       2007

            Wilma Gerkepott                      1983-1984                   Marilyn Cook-Booker              2008-2012

            Mabel Long                              1985                            Denise Kaffenberger                 2012-2014

            Lucile Schaich                          1985-1988                   Linda Lyness                            2015

            Dale Knigga                             1989                            No V-P                                    2016-2017

            No V-P                                    1990                            Marlene Dozier             2018-2021

            Mary Frances Murray               1991-1992                   Janet Hart                                 2021-present

 

 

Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association Secretaries

 

            Alma Buchanan                        1972-1978                   Etta Bostwick                           2004-2008

            Mariam Smith                           1979-1980                   Sharon Anness             2008-2012

            Irene Rumph                             1981-1982                   Jean Petscher                           2012

            Mary Murray                            1983-1988                   Pam Kaiser                              2013-2014

            Marian Smith                            1989-1990                   Sue Strasemeier                        2014-2017      

            Lucille Schaich              1991-1999                   Jim Pierce                                 2017-2018

            Louise Cutter                            2000-2001                   Cathy and Larry Weber            2019-2021

            Karen Gates                             2002-2003                   Patty Harper                             2021-present   

           

           

Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association Treasurers

 

            Forest Mosier                           1972-1976                   Sabra Duerstock                      2002-2005

            Grace Kyle                               1977-1980                   Phyllis Callaway                        2006-2008

            Belle Moreland             1981-1982                   Connie Hilton                           2008-2010

            Edward Hayman                       1983-1986                   Janet Hornbach                        2010-2014

            Floyd Kroger                           1987-1996                   Tina and Dale Jensen                2014-2021

            Dois Givan                               1997-2001                   Etta Bostwick                           2021-present

           

 

 

 DCRTA Membership Participation in the IRTA

 

Since DCRTA’s association with the Indiana Retired Teachers Association there has grown an active participation in the state organization.  A number of DCRTA members have become state committee members or chairs, area directors, and one a state officer.  As an area directors or state officers, these members served on the Indiana Retired Teachers Association Board of Directors.

 

DCRTA members who have participated or are currently participating in activities at the state level include:

 

A) Committee members:           Etta Bostwick

Betty Bourquein – state committee chair

                                                Dennis Bourquein – state committee chair

                                                Dois Givan

                                                Larry Givan

                                                Jeanette Graver

Jeannie Herman

                                                Denise Kaffenberger

                                                Mary McElfresh

                                                Judy Mosier

                                                Jim Pierce

                                                Kenneth Pitts

                                                Mary Weber

 

B) Area Directors:        Mary McElfresh           2002 – 2006

                                    Dennis Bourquein         2006 – 2010

                                    Jim Pierce                     2010 – 2014

 

C) State Officer:           Dennis Bourquein

                                                Secretary-Treasurer      2011 – 2013

                                                President Elect  2013 – 2015

                                                President                      2015 – 2017

                                                Past President               2017 – 2019

 

 

DCRTA Achievements in IRTA

 

Anthem/AMBA Clock Award

A number of DCRTA members have won the highest Volunteer Service award given by the IRTA.  The award, originally known as the Anthem Clock Award is now known as the AMBA Clock Award.  These recipients were/are:

            2005    Mary Weber                                                    2010    Sharon Anness

            2006    Catherine Droege                                             2011    Marita Cizek

            2007    Marilyn Cook                                                   2018    Cherie Rump

            2008    Betty Bourquein (Ripley County)                       2019    Jo Sloan

            2009    Judy Mosier                                                     2020    Mary Bradley

 

 

Community Service Award

Throughout the years Dearborn County has been recognized by the IRTA for its Outstanding Community Service Projects. Projects and the year received are:

 

1992    Collecting and sending non-perishable food items to Hurricane Andrew victims

2006    “Packed for Learning” – School supplies for needy children

2007    Recognition for the beginning of Retirement Seminar for active teachers

2008    Recognition for 1st Active Teachers’ Grant Award

2009    Teacher Treasure Sale

2010    Apples, Apples, Apples

2011    Pillowcase Dresses

2012    Training to administer the AIMS reading evaluation test to students

2013    Establishing the DCRTF Endowment Fund for Teacher Grants

2014    Pillowcase Dresses with addition of Shorts for Boys

2015    Re-structure of Teacher Grants program to include businesses and local organizations

2016    Poetry Contest in Dearborn County Public and Private Schools for Indiana Bicentennial

2017    DCRTF recognition of public school nurses with luncheon and monetary gifts

2018    Partnering with DCRTF to sell tickets at the local 4-H Fair to raise funds for the Teacher Grant Program

2020    Making of three-layered masks to combat the Covid Virus

 

 

With Our Youth Award

After the Apples, Apples, Apples project won the 2010 IRTA Outstanding Community Service Project award, the IRTA Community Service Chair forwarded the project to the National Retired Teachers Association for the With Our Youth recognition. Later that year the IRTA received word that the project had indeed won the national award.  The recognition was quite an honor for both associations.  The following year on October 19, 2011, Dearborn County was recognized for the award at the Retired Teachers Appreciation Day held in the Rotunda of the State Capitol.

 

The Apples, Apples, Apples project began as the Apple Pie Ministry of the youth at Mt. Sinai United Methodist Church under the direction of Judy Mosier. Money received from the project was given to Relay for Life to fight cancer.  As the project grew, more and more helpers were needed and Judy called on the assistance of the Dearborn County Retired Teachers.  In 2010, when the project received the With Our Youth award, 1,090 apple pies and 2,300 turnovers were made in 5 ½ days. A profit of $11,072 was sent to Relay for Life that year from the project. 

 

 

 

Public Relations Awards

Another DCRTA recognition by the IRTA has been the area of Public Relations.  In 2005, after having served on the IRTA Public Relations Com0mittee for two years, Dennis Bourquein, then DCRTA President, decided to create a newsletter for the DCRTA.  After a discussion with the DCRTA Executive Committee, the name of The Recess Bell was selected for the newsletter.  On June 15, 2005, the first edition of the The Recess Bell was presented to the membership.  Over the next few years the newsletter went through several minor changes, but the main sections remained: 1) Message from the President, 2) Meeting dates and times, 3) General Meeting Minutes, 4) Treasurer’s Report, 5) DCRTA News, 6) IRTA News, 7) Listing of DCRTA and IRTA Officers & Leaders, and 8) a Humor Section.  The newsletter eliminated the reading of the Secretary and Treasurer reports at the general meetings and it gave the membership a hard copy of information for them to take home.

 

In 2006, DCRTA began a long stretch of Outstanding Public Relations’ Recognitions at the IRTA Representative Assembly.  The recognition included: Outstanding Newsletter, Outstanding News Releases, and Outstanding Website.  Articles for the newsletter and news releases were written by DCRTA Presidents, Committee chairs, and the Foundation Director.   Bourquein was assisted by his wife, Betty.

 

 

Retirement Seminar

 

In 2005, the DCRTA Executive Board decided to hold a Pre-retirement Workshop for future teacher retirees.  ISTA had stopped holding these workshops in the southeastern Indiana area though they were greatly needed.  The first workshop was planned for November 2006 in the Lawrenceburg High School auditorium and was available to active teachers in the counties of Dearborn, Ripley, Franklin, Ohio, and Switzerland.  To raise money for this event the Executive Board held an auction in September 2006 at the Greendale Cabin.  From the sale enough money was raised to hold the workshop.  Marilyn Cook and Jane Wuestefeld headed the Workshop Committee. 

 

Through the years the workshop has continued to be an expected and important event for active teachers considering retirement. The venue has changed over the years, but attendees have continued to appreciate the event.  Participation have ranged in numbers from fifteen to over fifty.

 

 

The Educator Grant Award and Foundation

 

The Educator Grant Award was first introduced to the DCRTA membership on June 18, 2008, by the DCRTA Executive Committee.  The award was to provide an active teacher in Dearborn County with a $500 financial gift to promote a new program in his classroom.  Bonnie Kelley chaired the new committee.  Over the next two years a silent auction and the auctioning of a painting by a local artist funded these grants.  Both projects, although well planned, did not meet the financial needs necessary to advance the progress toward a grant award.  Finally in 2008 the idea of a Teachers’ Treasure Sale was conceived. For the sale the retirees brought boxes of materials that were stashed away in their attics and garages for sale to active teachers in the county.  Surprisingly, the basement of the Tanner Valley United Methodist Church was filled with all kinds of teaching materials.  At the end of the sale the DCRTA had taken in $756.80!

 

In November 2009, Betty Bourquein became the chair of the Educator Grant Committee.  During her leadership the committee learned that it must obtain its 501 (c ) 3 status to be able to offer tax-deductible receipts to its donors.  At this time the Foundation applied for non-profit status with the federal and state government.  Articles of Incorporation, a separate set of By-Laws, and a separate Board were required for the establishment of the Foundation.  In 2012 DCRTF became the charitable branch of the retired teachers.  Their mission was to promote innovative and creative learning in the classroom.

 

The Teachers’ Treasures Sale continued to be the main fund-raiser for the organization.  The sale raised enough funds so that in 2009 the first Educator Grant Award could be given.  Over the next eight years, the Teachers’ Treasure Sale continued to be a source of income for the Educator Grant Award.  The Foundation partnered with the Dearborn County 4-H Fair in 2018 and this now has become the main fund-raiser for the group.

 

The next step for the Foundation was to establish an endowment so that funds could grow and eventually feed the Educator Grant program financially. In 2013, the Foundation started an endowment fund with the Dearborn Community Foundation and immediately became a member of their Legacy Society.  The Dearborn Community Foundation has been a great blessing to the DCRT Foundation.  Through this partnership, DCRTF has seen not only their yearly contribution doubled by DCF and the endowment interest fund grants, but the Community Foundation itself has become a supporter of the program by financing individual grants for active teachers.

 

DCRTF applied for and was accepted into membership with the Indiana Association of Public Education Foundations (INAPEF).  This organization provided leadership and donated $400 for DCRTF to get started.

 

In 2014 the Knights of Columbus asked if they could join the Foundation so that grants could be made available to the parochial school in the county. As of 2021, nine grants have been given by various Knights of Columbus organizations.

 

Over the years Bourquein worked to encourage local businesses and organizations to help fund requested grants.  The interest has been amazing. From one grant per year, the total numbers of grants given annually gradually increased to sixteen grants being awarded in 2019, with DCRTF funding only three or four of the grants.

 

A great benefactor of the DCRT Foundation’s work has been the Betty McLaughlin Foundation.  Betty McLaughlin was a beloved teacher and member of the DCRTA.  Her family has continued her interest in education by creating their own Foundation in her name.  Since its association with the DCRTF, five grants have been given by the Betty McLaughlin Foundation.

           

 

Foundation Award Winners of With Our Youth

The DCRT Foundation, as a Legacy member of the Dearborn Community Foundation, submitted Geraldine Barber in 2018 and Jasica Robinson in 2019 as Heart of Gold nominees.  AARP had also sent applications to the Foundation for their With Our Youth award.  Both Barber and Robinson won this prestigious national recognition in their respective years, winning the glass trophy and little red wagon for this recognition.

 

Barber’s award was for her work with the pillowcase dresses. Barber was instrumental in the beginning of the pillowcase dress project in 2012.  After finding a pillowcase dress pattern, she asked her retired teacher friends if they could help her with this project.  Soon the ladies had made hundreds of dresses which were being personally carried to overseas missions.  The project continued to grow and the request for the dresses kept coming.  Soon there were requests for dresses for the mothers and boys shorts too. Again, the ladies answered the call.  Materials for the dresses and shorts began to come from individuals far and wide as they heard about the project. 

 

The ladies met, and continue to meet, weekly in the Lawrenceburg Community Center. The Center’s staff even help the ladies with the set-up and tear-down of the sewing machines.  As was mentioned earlier in Community Service Projects, the pillowcase dresses and shorts project has been the winner of three IRTA Outstanding Community Service Project awards.  Today the number of dresses and shorts sewn reaches into the thousands.  This project has become one of the most well-known DCRTA activities.  Several ladies have helped Barber in developing this program.  Jean Vaughan helped for a number of years in co-chairing the project, Mary Bradley has been influential in making the barrettes used to decorate the dresses, and Judy Mosier now helps to organize the sewing.

 

During 2019, at the start of the COVID pandemic, the pillowcase ladies began to make adult and kid-sized masks to protect their loved ones.  Funds and materials were again donated to this worthwhile project.

 

Robinson’s With Our Youth award was for her work with the Think Smart, Stay Safe program which she wrote and developed. Taking over sixty adult volunteers into southeastern Indiana school, she and the volunteers teach fourth and fifth grade students about their safety at home and school, on the internet, with strangers, and elsewhere.  Working with the Indiana State Police, she updates kids as young as second grade to strategies to cope with dangerous situations.

 

Robinson also serves as the youth leader for her church and has taken a group on a servant event every year.  They have worked in Alaska, California, Idaho, Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, Florida, New Orleans, and Appalachia.  Every third year the group attends a National Youth Gathering.  Robinson also has volunteered with Kicks for Kids, a charity founded by former Bengals kicker Doug Pelfrey which provides opportunities for less fortunate children.

 

Facebook

The Dearborn County Retired Teachers Foundation began in 2015 to honor the grant award winners on a Foundation Facebook page. The page was later changed to the include news, activities, and concerns of the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association and the Indiana Retired Teachers Association and Foundation. 

 

 

Court of Honor

 

In 2019. President Jim Pierce began a program entitled Court of Honor for lifetime members.  With this program DCRTA members who had given many years of service to education and the community were honored. With many inductees, family and special friends came to the ceremony to see their loved one honored.  Honoree in the past have included Louise Cutter, Mary Alice Crouch, Betty and Tony Gilb, Maxine Klump, Earl Mann, Alma Trennepohl, Sharon Anness, Bill Hopping, Mary McElfresh, Betty McLaughlin, Gerald and Alice James, Mary Evelyn Rump, Lucile Schiach, Robert Henman, Londalea Murray, Marita and Clint Cizek, and Patti and Roger Rullman.

 

 

Volunteer Hours

 

One of the major thrusts of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association is making our legislators knowledgeable of the volunteer service that retired teachers render to the state and their local communities.  The collection of volunteer hours each year from retired teachers helps the IRTA Legislative Committee and leadership negotiate with the state legislators for a COLA or stipend each year. 

 

Each year individual counties collect hours from their members.  These hours are then sent to the IRTA Area Community Service Chairs.  The Area Community Service Chairs sends them to the state chair who tabulates the total hours. Prior to the year 2000, the hours were only reported in the IRTA Representative Assembly book by state areas.  Since 2000, each individual county’s hours are being reported.  Since 2000, Dearborn County has reported 739,662 hours!  In 2021 the value of a volunteer hour, according to the IRS tax standards, was $28.54.  That means that the Dearborn County retired teachers have given back monetarily to the state since 2000, $21,109,953.48 in volunteer service!  Way to go DCRTA!! 

 

 

 

 Indiana State Legislature and Teacher Pensions

 

Throughout the past ten years there has been an active movement by state and national legislators to curtail the state pension support of retired teachers. These curtailments have included:

1) going strictly to a 401K program,

2) reducing pension amounts, and

3) eliminating the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).

 

 Because of the abuse of the Teachers Retirement Fund Indiana in the early years of the fund by state legislators and governors, the Teachers Retirement Fund became underfunded. In 1996 the Pension Stabilization Fund was created to keep the Fund solvent. 

 

During the past three years however, more money has been going out of the Fund than going in. The state legislature has had to transfer funds from the General Fund to the TRF to meet pension needs.  Although this action was verbally agreed to by the legislature in earlier year, it is an action that does not have to happen.  The legislature could simply reduce the pension amount to keep it in the black.  For this reimbursement action by the legislature, we can be grateful, but as most retirees will state, “The TRF’s going in the red should never have happened.”

 

 

The Indiana Retired Teachers Association

 

The Indiana Retired Teachers Association has been a steady advocate for the Indiana retired teachers over the years.  Each year the IRTA Executive Director, the IRTA lobbyist, and the IRTA Legislative Committee meet with state legislators to discuss and debate the needs of retired teachers.  The IRTA keeps a close eye on the development of hostile legislative actions and bring it to the forefront when legislators try to incorporate it into the small print of other bills. 

 

In addition to being an advocate for the pensions of Indiana retired teachers, the IRTA offers a multitude of discounts and benefits for its membership.  To take advantage of these benefits go online at <www.retiredteachers.org> and browse the benefit offered, speak with your DCRTA Membership Chair, or talk to your IRTA Benefits Representative listed in The Recess Bell.

 

The purpose and goals of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association can best be seen in the a short summary of the history of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association written in 1990 by Doris Dunn.

 

In December of 1950, Robert Wyatt, Executive Director of the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA), called together four prominent retired teachers whose experience in work with ISTA through the years had been rich and productive.  Called together were Clara Rathfon of Logansport, president of ISTA in 1932; Mattie Fry of Anderson, president of ISTA in 1930; Meredith Aldred of Fort Wayne who had been a member of the Executive Committee of ISTA for a number of years; and E.B. Wetherow of Indianapolis who had been Treasurer of ISTA for a number of years.

 

These five people met in the ISTA Offices in the Lincoln Hotel in Indianapolis and discussed the necessity and desirability of establishing and Indiana Retired Teachers Association.  My Wyatt sketched a brief constitution for the organization setting forth its name, the Indiana Retired Teachers Association; its purpose: to advance the cause and welfare of retired teachers and education in general; the officers that should be elected, namely a President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Advisor and submitted it to the group.  The group then proceeded to elect themselves to the five offices as follows:

Clara Rathfon, President;

Meredith Aldred, 1st Vice President;

Mattie Fry, 2nd Vice President;

E.B. Wetherow, Secretary-Treasurer; and

Robert Wyatt, Advisor.

 

Letters then went out to all retired teachers giving them the details of the organization and establishing dues of $1.00 per year.  In a matter of weeks, IRTA had several thousand members in the organization with that amount of money in the treasury.

 

The first general meeting of the new organization was held in October 1951, with the speaker being Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, founder of the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

 

The Indiana Retired Teachers Association grew steadily during the next decade and the need grew for an executive director.  In 1969, The Association hired Earl Utterback as its first executive director, and an office was set up in the ISTA Building.  Mr. Utterback served ably in this position until his illness forced him to leave in 1972.  Mr. Wyatt was appointed to serve as acting executive director in December of 1972 and then was elected in 1975 as the IRTA executive director.

 

The phenomenal growth in membership from 5 to 19,500 over the past forty years, and the successes of the past are the cornerstones for the next decade.  As IRTA heads into the 21st century, the combined efforts of all Indiana retired teachers will keep the IRTA the most successful and effective retired organization in the country.

 

History research and written by Doris S. Dunn, Director of Operations

 

 

 

Looking Ahead

 

The IRTA has been an influential part of the workings of the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association and DCRTA has been an influential part of the workings of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association.  The two Associations have greatly benefited each other.  Dearborn County RTA had seventeen consecutive years of membership on the Executive Board of the IRTA – 2002-2019, in addition to the many years of committee service before 2002 and continuing still today. This participation helps to keep the leadership of DCRTA strong and influential.

 

 For retired teachers to have a strong voice with the state legislature it is essential that both Associations remain strong.   It is the hope of all the current and past leaders of the DCRTA that the new members of the DCRTA will continue to be active participants in DCRTA and IRTA.  Our pensions and the pensions of future retirees depend upon it.

 

 

 

History researched and written by Dennis Bourquein, Past DCRTA President