Carbon PASR holds spring meeting
HEATHER BACSICK/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS During the Carbon PASR spring meeting, Vincent Spisak, far left, was the recipient of a commendation for years of service. With him, from left, is Marjorie Balliet, chapter president; Kathy Long, guest speaker; and Josephine Strausser, inductee into PASR's John J. Dillion Service Hall of Fame for 2011.
Carbon chapter of the Pa. Association of School Retirees met Thursday at the Carbon Career & Technical Institute for its spring meeting and luncheon. Marjorie Balliet, chapter president, presided. The chapter welcomed 32 retirees into membership.
Storyteller Kathy Long of Lehighton, a member of the National Storytelling Network & Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild, was the featured speaker. She shared the story of Hess's Department Store in Allentown. Long works as a historic interpreter at the Asa Packer Mansion in Jim Thorpe and has taught at a local community college.
She helped to create the documentary "Panorama: A Focus on Jim Thorpe" that received a national award and was aired several times on the History Channel. As an artist-in-residence, Long teaches about storytelling and how young people can use this medium to pass on oral traditions.
Educators, students and parents alike have praised her highly motivational "Anti Bully" classroom program. She also promotes the written technique of "Life Journaling" to encourage the young and the young-at-heart to write and preserve their stories for future generations.
Josephine (Jo) Strausser was honored as Carbon PASR's inductee into PASR's "John J. Dillon Service Hall of Fame" for 2011. Strausser served as chapter president during 2003-2004. During the past years she has expanded the role of Chapter Public Relations with the Times News and Blue Ridge Communications, TV 13.
On numerous occasions, the media has publicized chapter events and activities that serve other members as well as the community. This publicity helped to earn state awards for Carbon at the PASR State Conventions. Strausser created a trifold display poster with pictures of members engaged in a variety of activities. The poster is used to promote Carbon PASR at Retirement Planning Seminars, Carbon County Senior Health Fairs, and at meetings of service organizations in the county.
A special commendation was presented to Vincent Spisak from the PASR board of directors for his many years of service. He was a wrestling coach who retired from Panther Valley School District in 2002. Upon retirement, he joined PASR and has served the chapter as president and retirement committee chairman, region II retirement committee chairman and seminar presenter at the state convention.
Luncheon was served in the Harvest Cafe at CC&TI.