The message on the blackboard said it all:
"School's out forever!"
The blackboard, in the Columbia County school system's central office, was posted Tuesday at a reception for the 70 newest retirees, who are leaving at the end of the school year, and for past retirees.
"You can tell the difference," Superintendent Charles Nagle said. "The older retirees are smiling."
He told the retirees they will not realize the effect they had on their pupils through the years until people stop them on the street when their teaching days are over.
"The lives you have touched are many," he said.
Regina Buccafusco, school board chairwoman, told the employees how much they have meant to the system.
"Our school system is growing," she said. "We are building on what you ladies and gentlemen have put forth."
Buccafusco said the teachers' lasting effect also is evident through many of the young teachers that the system hires.
"We recognize many of the faces because a lot of you taught them," she said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.