Ms. Shirley Wheeler retired this week from Central Elementary School after 23 years of teaching in Macon County. Wheeler retired out of her 2nd grade classroom in order to spend more time with her grandchild.
“He lives in Memphis,” said Wheeler, “and it was hard to get away, driving back and forth.”
Over the course of her career, Wheeler taught a literacy program, GED classes, Title classes, 4th grade, and Jr. High, as well as tutoring at Westside.
“I’m a senior now,” she said. “I should probably let someone younger step in. I’m happy, and I’ve made someone else happy.” She is talking about her replacement, Nicki Dean, a TSU graduate in Elementary Education with a Master’s from Cumberland University.
“I’m very happy to have the opportunity,” said Dean. She had applied to several school systems following her graduation from the graduate program in 2011, but nothing had come through yet. “Now, I guess I was where I’m supposed to be.”
Dean found out about her appointment on January 30th, the day before she came into the classroom to meet her students and receive instructions from Ms. Wheeler. “One of the great things about this is that Ms. Wheeler taught me in 4th grade,” said Dean.
Interestingly, Dean worked as a reporter for the Macon County Times for seven years before getting her teaching degrees.