FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County Schools said goodbye to nearly 100 employees Thursday night during its annual retirement luncheon.
According to the school district, 98 staff members retired this year. They ranged from counselors and bus drivers to teachers and central office employees.
Kathy Rohacek, who could be seen walking the halls at Vickery Creek Middle for many years, spent her last day as its principal Friday.
Rohacek has been with the district since 1986, beginning as a paraprofessional before becoming a teacher, then assistant principal and principal.
She also has worked at Cumming Elementary and South and North Forsyth middle schools.
“It’s a great place to learn and to grow,” she said of Forsyth County. “When I started it was a tiny little town with one high school. Look what we’ve become.”
Rohacek said she looks forward to traveling to see her three grandchildren in Pennsylvania and Maryland, exploring hobbies and “getting back to that part of my life.”
Betsy Dennison reflected fondly on her Forsyth County career, which was spent all at one school.
“I’ve been at Shiloh Point [Elementary] for all nine years,” Dennison said. “I’m the art teacher, so I like that there’s a lot of diversity in the population. It’s such a large school, so there were so many teachers to interact with.”
In her retirement, Dennison said she is excited about “not getting up early.”
She also said she intends to travel to the places she taught her students about through art, including Greece and Italy. Her specialization in art is oil painting, so she also wants to get back to that hobby, as well as spending time with her husband and family.
Though both women — and the rest of the retirees — have plans and ideas that entice them about this next stage in their lives, they said they are happy for the chance to be around what they love — children.
“I love to see them progress,” Dennison said. “In the end, that’s what’s worth it. Their enthusiasm is so rewarding.”