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Retired employees still supporting CCSD students

 Members of Retired Employees of Cherry Creek Schools (RECCS)For most educators and others who work in the field, supporting students is a lifelong calling and commitment that doesn’t necessarily stop when they retire. Case in point: the Retired Employees of Cherry Creek Schools, fondly known as RECCS, pronounced “recess.”

“As educators and employees, we always look forward to recess, just like the kids,” laughed RECCS President Michelle Kleve at the group’s annual kick-off luncheon and business meeting, held Sept. 28 at Maggiano’s Little Italy.

Superintendent Christopher Smith talks with RECCS membersThere were plenty of hugs and handshakes as former colleagues greeted one another and caught up on what everyone had done during the summer. Superintendent Christopher Smith interacted with the group and gave members an update on the district, which is still focused on academic excellence, with additional emphasis on the district’s five Core Values: Growth Mindset, Equity, Whole Wellbeing, Engagement, and Relationships.

RECCS has more than 650 members who lived those Core Values as employees and still have a strong connection to Cherry Creek Schools and the students that the district serves.

“We want to support the continued learning of Cherry Creek students and really, that’s our goal, to raise money for scholarships,” said Kleve, who was both a teacher and a counselor in the district.

 Members of Retired Employees of Cherry Creek Schools (RECCS)That’s why the group’s annual luncheon included a silent auction that featured pies, jewelry, and artwork made by RECCS members, along with baskets of books, holiday décor, and more. The silent auction is just one way the group raises money to fund 12 separate $3,000 scholarships in three categories: Merit, Adversity, and Career and Technical Education. The scholarships are presented each spring to deserving CCSD seniors.

“I especially enjoy talking to the scholarship recipients, because they’re so excited about leaving home and going to school and excited about having part of their tuition paid. It really is rewarding!” said RECCS Treasurer Jeanette Palmer, who worked in Fiscal Services for Cherry Creek Schools.

RECCS also hosts fun, monthly activities for its members and their family and friends. And because people who spent their careers in education tend to be lifelong learners, RECCS sponsors something called “RECCS U,” which is also available to family and friends.

“We have tons of people who volunteer their time to teach classes,” Kleve said. “This fall we’re holding a watercolor class, estate planning… We’re having emotional aging with Hal Goldberg who was a psychologist in the district.”

The classes are inexpensive, usually between $10 and $25, and most of the proceeds go into the scholarship fund.

Dave Pieta, who worked in IT for Cherry Creek Schools and now serves as the assistant treasurer for RECCS, said he loves being part of the group.

“It allows you to continue to contribute to public education and the Cherry Creek School District.  All of these retirees gave a good part of their working life to Cherry Creek and continuing that is quite rewarding,” Pieta said.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to RECCS, visit the RECCS website.

Posted 9/29/2022.