Retired Employees Association News

The following updates were written and provided R.E.A. Past President Tom Kearney and Secretary Paula Slifer.


September 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

Up, up, and away! The "Super Heroes" year for OPS/REA is off to a flying start. At the opening event, members had tasty treats, games, and giveaways. Texanna Ollenberger provided apple-themed cookies and a bountiful fruit tray. And there is more to come!

The board met after the event. Treasurer Connie Viebrock reported cash on hand of $7.373.62. Membership co-chairs Judy Rapp and Debbie Ramirez-Koch reported total membership of 116. If you know of a retired educator, administrator, or classified staff member — whether they served in Olathe or another district — let them know that membership is open.

Marsha Stoker, Fundraising Committee chair, reported that the "Romp Through the History of Hats" event on Sept. 6 raised over $400 for scholarships. The next event, Bunco Night on Oct. 12, had many enthusiastic participants. Don't forget to sign up for the annual OPS/REA fall trip to Abilene, Kan. Stops include Eisenhower Library, shopping, and, of course, Russell Stover. As always, many thanks to Don Everhart for arranging this trip.

Ernie Claudel, Legislative chair, announced that the annual KPERS rally will be on Feb. 5, 2018. There will be more information soon. The Olathe Women's Giving Circle will be held Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Shadow Glen Country Club. Just a reminder: Check the Facebook page for "Olathe District Retirees" for photos and information about the organization.

Scholarship Committee co-chairs Raleen Cox and Stephanie Royer shared that a record number of parents and students attended the Scholarship Night at Olathe East. Last month, the board voted to create two $1,000 scholarships. The new classified scholarship, renamed the "Mary Cochran Classified Scholarship" by a unanimous board vote, will be awarded for $500.

A key feature of OPS/REA is volunteerism. Volunteer chair Doug Cox reported that, so far, members have served 2,763 hours of community service. Heather Schoonover, Community Liaison for the school district, reported that the district is serving over 30,000 students (including a new high school at Olathe West) and the district intends to focus on promoting interpersonal skills and mental health.

In other board action, the board approved paying lifetime dues for all members at 90 years or older. It also voted to pay lifetime dues for Ron Gardner for his work as Legislative co-chair over the years.

August 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

What a year we have planned for OPS/REA! President John Kieffer heads up the board and, with the help of fellow board members, has outlined several events for the 2017-18 year.

Hold onto your hats! Our first event was held Sept. 6 – a festive “romp” through the history of hats from Ancient Greece to today. For $10, members were enlightened about “friggin” hats (ask someone who attended) to cowboy hats to fedoras. By looking at these hats, we learned part of the history of the world.

More big news! Don Everhart has created a wonderful fall trip for the group. Destination: Abilene. Traveling on a luxury coach (which leaves at 6:45 a.m.) on Oct. 26, there will be a tour of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, lunch (at your own expense), and, of course, time for shopping. Total cost for the trip is $48. Travelers should reserve a spot by Oct. 19.

On the legislative front, Legislative Committee co-chair Ernie Claudel reported that KPERS issues continue to be addressed by concerned retirees. Members are encouraged to keep lines of communication open between themselves and their legislators.

Opportunities for involvement include the Olathe Public Schools Foundation breakfast on Oct. 6 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center at 7:00 a.m. Tickets are going fast and will help fund the good programs of the foundation. Also, the Olathe Women’s Giving Circle will meet on Oct. 24 at Shadow Glen.

We have a budget! At the board meeting on Aug. 23, the budget was finalized. OPS/REA has changed its scholarship program. For this year, the group will award two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors who intend to seek a career in education. Also to be awarded will be a $500 scholarship to a classified employee seeking a career in education. The budget for the year was increased from $4,950 to $5,350 to address increased costs.

Hope to see all retirees at the Sept. 27 event where we will celebrate super heroes with friendship, games, prizes, and who knows what else! See you there!