With the help of a famous friend, the Retired Employees of Cherry Creek Schools, a group fondly known as “RECCS,” kicked off an exciting new initiative on Dec. 8. The group of retired educators and support staff welcomed nationally known nature photographer John Fielder to their meeting at the Student Achievement Resource Center (SARC) as they launched something called “RECCS U.”
Fielder, whose three children are graduates of the Cherry Creek School District, is a friend and supporter of RECCS. He delivered a presentation about his latest book, A Colorado Winter and signed copies of his other books and calendars, as part of the kick-off of RECCS U.
“RECCSS U is an opportunity for our members and their family or friends to take interesting and unique classes that are taught by other members,” said Jim Brickey, RECCSS second vice president. He explained that most educators and school district employees are, by nature, lifelong learners who are often interested in trying something new. RECCS U will give them plenty of opportunity to do just that. “We’re going to offer classes in politics, writing, meditation, technology and even how to sell on eBay,” Brickey added.
Some classes, such as technology offerings “Google It!” and “Cyber Security: Limiting Risk on Computers & Devices,” will meet just once. Others, including “Meditation: Seeking Mindfulness in a World of Chaos” and “Election Politics: Bridging the Partisan Divide,” will meet for three or four weeks in a row.
Former executive secretary Bobbie McIntire, who’s been retired for five years after a 25-year career with Cherry Creek Schools, is looking forward to taking several courses.
“I’d like to go see Harry Bull (CCSD superintendent who will present on the future of the district) and then there are some writing classes that look good, poetry and creative writing,” McIntire said. “It’s an opportunity for more learning and to keep active in your brain as well as your body.”
RECCS members and their guests will pay just $10 per class, most of which will go into the RECCS scholarship fund. Each year, the group presents ten $2,500 scholarships to graduating seniors in the Cherry Creek School District. Those scholarships fall into three categories:
1. Merit Scholarship - For those students who have demonstrated academic achievement and contribution to school and community. (Four $2,500 scholarships are awarded in this category.)
2. Adversity Scholarship - For those students who have faced and dealt with physical, mental, emotional, family or financial adversity. (Four $2,500 scholarships are awarded in this category.)
3. Career & Technical Scholarship - For those students who wish to pursue a career, trade or technical education at a community college or a certificate program. (Two $2,500 scholarships are awarded in this category.)
In just the past few years, RECCS has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships to deserving CCSD graduates, something most RECCS members are passionate about.
“We’re all very committed to that goal of providing scholarships for the kids,” McIntire said. “It’s a wonderful thing to see the kids – they’re so impressive.”
For more information about RECCS, the group’s scholarship program and the new RECCS U, visit https://www.reccs.org.