By Linda Cooper
Millington First United Methodist Church (FUMC) hosted its 21st annual Teacher Appreciation Breakfast to kickoff the 2017-18 school year on Friday, in its Flame Center.
Rev. Ronnie Peck offered an opening prayer and welcomed the crowd of educators, school administrators, staff and community leaders, estimated to be the largest ever in attendance. Millington Mayor Terry Jones and Millington Municipal Schools Board Chairman Cody Childress gave brief remarks of welcome and thanks to the teachers, administrators and staff for all of their hard work and dedication.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools said to the crowd, “As Millington moves forward and the city school system moves forward, we all benefit from that happening, together. Doing the best that we can for our students in Millington is what this is all about. I appreciate all the work that you all do every day.” He stressed, “I am very optimistic of the direction things are going in for year four. I am confident it is going to be a very good year for us.”
Millington schoolteacher and FUMC member Amy Tickle, who oversees the church’s weekend backpack ministry, gave an overview of the program, which was started last spring. The ministry provided food for 20 children from E.A. Harrold Elementary School and 30 children from Millington Elementary School who are living in food insecure homes. She offered special thanks to the guidance counselors at these schools for helping to identify families in need. Tickle said the program would pick up again as the school year begins and expand to help another 10-15 more children with the assistance of a local businessman and perhaps other churches in the community.
Cary Vaughn, president of the Millington Education Foundation noted the foundation provided $20,000 in grant funds for teachers in the Millington Municipal Schools last year, and encouraged teachers to apply for grants again this year.
The Millington Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director Dianne Baker noted 17 new businesses have opened in Millington this year, making it easier for families to shop for back-to-school clothes and supplies.
Roper added, “I would be remiss if I didn’t say a word of thanks to Ronnie Peck and First United Methodist Church, and all that they have done now for 21 years and continue to do, thank you so much.”
The event offered members of the school system and community leaders an opportunity to meet, greet and mingle, and included a breakfast of sausage and biscuits, doughnuts, fruit, coffee and juice.