Huntingdon Director of Schools Pat Dillahunty was too overcome with emotion to read a letter officially announcing her upcoming retirement during the Oct. 15 school board meeting, so board chairman Dr. Lee Carter read the letter aloud for her.
“After much thought and prayers, I will be retiring effective June 30, 2021,” quoted Lee from the letter. “Being a part of the Huntingdon Special School District is not simply a job, it is literally part of who I am. I thank God every day for having this opportunity to work with students, their parents and members of this community.”
A 1976 graduate of Huntingdon High School, Dillahunty began her extensive career in the school district as a substitute teacher over 33 years ago and went on to serve as an educational assistant, secretary, teacher, and principal at Huntingdon Middle School.
She has served as director of schools for the past 12 years.
“It was never a job for you, but it was about your love for the kids and this school system,” said board member Dr. Tim Tucker.
“It’s hard to argue with what she’s brought to the table,” said district attendance supervisor Alan Eubanks. “We’re going to miss her.”
Lee pointed out that Dillahunty is only the fifth system director/superintendent in the school district’s history.
Lee also asked his fellow board members to give some thought as to how they would like to go about seeking Dillahunty’s replacement, and he said they would discuss it at the next board meeting on Nov. 13.
In her retirement announcement letter, Dillahunty also wrote: “I thank God every Day for having this opportunity to work with students, their parents and members of this community … I want all past and present board members, administrators, teachers and staff to know that our successes are a result of their dedication and hard work. Public school people hold tough jobs that require creative talents. Huntingdon Special School District has been blessed with such people.”
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Harold Eubanks honored for volunteerism
Community member Harold Eubanks was honored by the board as the recipient of the TSBA’s 2020 Northwest District Volunteer Recognition Award for all he has done and continues to do on a voluntary basis for Huntingdon schools.
As detailed in a letter from the TSBA, Eubanks has served as an unpaid groundskeeper for the high school baseball field for the past several years, he often fills in as a substitute teacher at the primary and middle schools, and he does repairs and building projects at school facilities, such as turning a storage room into a data room to help track student performance.
“He has a great love for the school district and his community,” stated the letter.
“This is a great opportunity to show a good example of a good citizen and a good man,” said Lee, who presented Eubanks with the award. “We do appreciate your heart.”
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In other business:
•Lee led the board in honoring the memory of former board member David Gibson, who passed away last week. “We appreciate the service he gave to our school district,” said Lee.
•Board members Morgan Butler and Shawna Smith agreed to serve as the board’s delegates to the TSBA’s Delegate Assembly, which will be held virtually this year.
•Lee advised the board that the TSBA has recently voted not to renew membership in the National School Board Association (NSBA) due to the NSBA’s refusal to deal with glaring financial problems, including a $6 million budget deficit.
•Members of the Carroll County chapter of the NAACP attended the board meeting and advised the board that they wish to stay involved with local schools and to help out in any way they can.
•The school district’s compliance report from the state was approved.