Teachers, staff and Newton residents were not satisfied with a simple announcement marking long-time Newton Elementary educator Kay Killens retirement. So, they threw her a parade.
On Friday, the community, in cahoots with her family and school district officials, lured Killens to the District office under the guise of an unfinished federal report, where a long line of family members, former students and well-wishers waited to thank the 27-year veteran of Newton schools for her decades of service to their town.
“I was totally, completely caught off guard. I never suspected anything,” Killens said. “I thought I was coming in to work on a federal programs report, and they totally got me.”
In total, Killens’ career in public school education spans more than 38 years, with 27 years in Newton as both a teacher and an administrator. For the past five years, Killens has served as the principal at Newton Elementary School.
Although she is retiring, Killens said she is not going to stop being there for her community and will continue to support her school family.
“These people have been my family for the last 27 years, and when you’re committed and you really love something, when you go home you don’t forget about it. That’s part of who you are every day,” she said. “Even though I’m going home, they’re gonna always be in my heart.”