On to the next chapter: Retirees bid farewell to Matoaca Elementary

Adventure, family time and a move lie ahead for three retiring members of the Matoaca Elementary School family.  Effective June 19, David Early, a fifth grade teacher, Phyllis Glovier, a general education instructional assistant, and Major Goode, lead custodian, will officially be retired from the Chesterfield County school system.  This Thursday, May 13, from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m., a reception honoring the retirees will be held at Matoaca Elementary School on River Road. Sponsored by the Matoaca Elementary PTA, the event is open to the public.

“You don’t find people who stay that long [in one location anymore], it’s incredible,” said Gloria Cooper, principal at Matoaca Elementary.  “It is a testimony to Chesterfield County. This is a wonderful community to serve.  Many of my teachers have been here their entire career.  This community is family centered with family values.  It is very special.”

Early, 57, with 30 years of service, will be heading to Alaska shortly after the last day of school.  His plans include camping, something he has been doing one night each weekend since he was 49.  He is also preparing to hike the Appalachian Trail.  Along with camping, he loves the Nottaway River and canoeing, the beach and seafood.  Early is married with two adult children.  He said the thing he will miss most is the children.  

“The kids are a blast,” he said.  “The job has changed tremendously, with the paper work, the SOL preparation and clerical work required.  I won’t miss the job, but I will miss the kids, their enthusiasm and excitement they offer.”  

Early said the best part is seeing the students he taught succeed as adults and when they return to say hello, he sees them in the community or sees them receive fame on a national level.  He mentioned Terrell Brown, who is with CBS in New York today; while Brown was in his class, he knew he would make it on the national scene. When Early taught James Farrior, who wasn’t too interested in math, he said, even in the fifth grade Farrior said he was going to play football when he grew up.

Glovier has been at Matoaca Elementary School since May 1979 and is retiring with 31 years of service.  She starting working after the youngest of her two sons entered school.  She said she was very fortunate to be able to work at the same school her sons attended.  As an instructional assistant, Glovier did a little bit of everything over the years.  She worked as a library aide, a Title I aide and spent many hours in the copy room.  

“We will be lost without her,” said a teacher who did not want to be named.  “Not only as a co-worker, but a good friend.” After retirement, Glovier plans to spend more time with her husband and her family, and to have more time to read and keep learning.  

“I am looking forward to enjoying each day,” she said.   “I hope to be able to do some volunteer work with the elderly, children’s hospital and oh yes, elementary schools.  I have always enjoyed working with children.  They are so special and they just make your day.  It is such a joy to see them learning and growing.”  

Glovier added: “This has been such a rewarding job for me in many ways.  I’ve met many wonderful teachers and students who have touched my heart in such a special way.  I take into my retirement so many cherished memories of friendships and person growth.

Goode, 56, says he has worked in many schools as a custodian and the staff at Matoaca Elementary has been the best.  He is retiring after 21 years in the Chesterfield County school system.  

“I have never worked with a staff like at Matoaca.  It is a really good staff to work for,” he said.  “One of my favorite schools and I have worked in several.”  His plans are to move to Norfolk at the end of school.  He may do a little fishing, but he loves football, especially the Washington Redskins.  He also loves music and has played in a band.  

Goode is a graduate of Matoaca High School.  His mother also retired from Matoaca Elementary as a lunchroom worker and his sister retired from teaching at Matoaca Elementary.  He has no favorite area in the building when it comes to cleaning; says he is all over the school.   He served in the U.S. Army for four years and says his last weeks of retirement feel like a countdown.

“It feels like I am getting out of the Army.  I am on the countdown until my last day,” he said.  The thing he will miss the most is the people.  He said his retirement doesn’t mean he is gong to stop; he is just taking a break.

Join the retirees during their retirement celebration this Thursday at Matoaca Elementary from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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