The first Friday of every month, Emporia Presbyterian Manor (EPM) hosts a meeting and luncheon of the Emporia Association of Retired School Personnel (EARSP).
“EARSP is a great social meeting in which you can mingle with other former and retired teachers. As an educator, upon retirement you may lose some of your contacts, but through EARSP these contacts can be maintained through the monthly lunch and learn opportunities,” said one attendee.
EARSP is an affiliate of the Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel. (The group was called the Kansas Retired Teachers Association from 1951 to 2001.) The Emporia chapter was the second unit to organize in Kansas in 1956 – no surprise for the hometown of what was then called Kansas State Teachers College, now Emporia State University.
The group is open to all school personnel from the three districts in Lyon County, Emporia State University, and local preschools. The association also is known for its volunteer work with local schools, churches, organizations and events.
The retired teachers living at EPM have benefited from having EARSP hosted at Presbyterian Manor. One of these residents is Jim Calvert, a former physics professor. Another is Robert “Galen” Barrett, a former elementary school teacher who specialized in reading. He has taught Kindergarten up to eighth grade.
“I haven’t been attending EARSP meetings for a very long time but the contacts I have been able to make are beneficial and the speakers are current,” said Galen.
Galen was previously invited to attend EARSP by Don Kile, former orchestra teacher, but declined the offer. Once becoming a resident at Presbyterian Manor, Galen was once again invited to attend and now does so routinely.
Each month, a different speaker presents a timely topic on education. For the July meeting, Casey Woods presented the program “Emporia Main Street.”