Two educators were recognized for their service at Mercer Area School District.

David Tomson and Anita Willaman were presented the Dr. Loretta Woodson Award by the Mercer County Retired Teachers Association at the May 21 Mercer Area School Board meeting.

“It’s wonderful to get an award for what I enjoy doing so much,” said Willaman, who has been a teacher’s aide in the learning support class at the elementary school for 21 years.

Tomson has taught 4th grade in the district since 1992, and was called by his nominators “a truly gifted teacher,” said Carolyn Sack, president of the county association, during the presentation.

To honor her for her help, Tomson had his wife, Amy, an aide in his classroom, stand with others who work with him at the elementary school at the meeting.

“You do what you can do to make a difference,” Tomson said.

The recipients were given a medallion, certificate of recognition, association pin and a gift from Wendell August Forge.

The award was named after a member of the association’s state chapter. She left a sum of money upon her death for the association to use “to support public education, to do something positive,” said Dorothy Rust, chair of the county association’s Educational Support Committee.

“The awards are special to my heart because of people I’ve taught and admired,” added Sack, who taught at Mercer elementary for 31 years.

The state chapter also supports retired teachers, mainly those who have trouble leaving their homes due to age, and those in hospitals and nursing facilities, she said. “Committees visit these people so they know they aren’t forgotten.”

The state group also lobbies for the needs of retirees on a state level, Sack said.

Recommended for you