Home Voorhees News Kresson surprises Miss Gini

Kresson surprises Miss Gini

Students and faculty celebrated a teachers retirement after 34 years in the district

Students, faculty and staff sit and stand in the crowded cafeteria at Kresson Elementary School. Kids, while talkative and jittery, are patiently waiting their turn to go on stage and sing one of many carefully chosen songs. Meanwhile, faculty and staff wear bright yellow shirts with the face of a beloved Kresson teacher who, after 34 years, is ready to retire.

It’s not too long before Gini Miller, known by generations of students as “Miss Gini,” nears the open doors of the cafeteria and starts to laugh with tears in her eyes as she realizes what the school has prepared to do for her.

On Monday, June 17, the entire Kresson Elementary School community came together to send Miss Gini into retirement by thanking her for all that she’s done over the past three decades.

“I don’t think its possible to express in words how important she is to our school,” said Jen Palmer, a basic skills teacher at Kresson and one of the organizers of the assembly to thank the retiring teacher. “She’s a breath of fresh air and the first sunny face that all the kids and staff start their day with.”

Palmer said Miller has been one of the most caring and loving individuals she’s met, making her a great teacher but also a great human being in general.

“She’s truly special to our staff and our students and really a pillar to Kresson School,” said Palmer.

Palmer said she and other fellow teachers had joked with Miller over the years about when she might retire. A playful “Are you done yet?” at the end of each school year would joke about the inevitable. But this past December, after another knee surgery, Miller returned to school and knew this would be her last school year.

Immediately, Palmer and others in the district sprung to action to put together a proper sendoff for the beloved “Miss Gini.”

Miller, site supervisor for the after-school program, is a huge fan of professional and college sports and is also very patriotic. During the assembly, the first- through fifth-grade classes sang a combination of songs for Miller, from “Here Comes the Sun,” to the “Eagles Fight Song” and more.

Michael Redfearn originally started at Kresson as a teacher, having learned a lot from Miller. Miller’s relationship and caring nature for all students is something that particularly stands out to Redfearn.

Thinking back, Redfearn says Miller’s caring personality is best shown through her response and resiliency to continue to watch over others during the aftermath of a national tragedy.

“I’ve known her for 30 years and she’s amazing, the kids love her,” said Redfearn. “One of the things about her I always remember is 9/11; we thought there were kids that might not get picked up. So I came to try to give extra help after school, but she had it under control and told me to leave. As a parent, you’re going to turn your child over to these people, you can absolutely trust her. The whole community appreciates what she’s done.”

After weeks of practice, the school was able to surprise Miller with the assembly, along with multiple gifts from students and staff, without Miller hearing a hint of a surprise from anyone. With retirement close, Miller says the assembly was a perfect way to end her time at Kresson officially, although she plans to visit in the future.

“I feel so overwhelmed,” said Miller. “It’s unbelievable, and what’s so surprising is that I didn’t hear one word about this.”

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