Gina Johnston surprises with a retirement party; completes 34 years with DCS – THE WEST ALABAMA WATCHMAN
After some 34 four years on the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education, Gina Johnston is retiring.
Although Jan. 31 is her last day at the central office of the Demopolis Schools Board of Education, Johnston was surprised with a retirement party on Tuesday. Her family, friends, and former and current teachers and administrators, including former superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, cheered her on as she entered the council chamber.
“When you’ve been here for 34 years, you have a lot of people wanting to say thank you,” the DCS superintendent said. Tony Willis. Calling her an “accomplished professional”, he added: “She will be missed.”
Johnston, who admitted to being speechless and completely surprised, said she started crying when friends, family and colleagues greeted her. The three girls – two from Atmore and Atlanta – added to the surprise.
The secret “was so hard to keep,” her granddaughter Lorelei Russell said, especially since the family had spent the previous weekend together.
On stepping down as director of federal programs and curricula, Johnston said she hadn’t made specific plans about what she would do after retirement, although she expects to visit the five grandchildren and to “enjoy life one day at a time”.
As she sat in the rocking chair she received as a gift, Johnston teased her husband Johnny that she will now be able to oversee all the tasks she gives him.