By Rebecca LaFlure
Killeen Daily Herald
For nearly five decades, Charlotte Adams-Graves and Doris Wilkerson-Ellis have experienced life's milestones together.
The friends went to the same elementary school and walked the stage at the same high school graduation. They attended the same college, pledged the same sorority and even named their two sons the same.
And this year, they will retire from the Killeen Independent School District - together.
Adams-Graves and Wilkerson-Ellis, both 55, were among the 26 educators honored Thursday evening during the 2010 KISD Retirement Banquet.
The event recognized the achievements of employees who will retire from the district this school year. The educators represented 718 years in combined experience, which ranged from serving 11 years in the district to 36.
"One thing we all try to do is make a difference in the lives of young people. And there's no better group to do that than educators," KISD Superintendent Robert Muller told the crowd. "You certainly deserve the best in the next chapter in your life."
Adams-Graves and Wilkerson-Ellis met at J.H. Hines Elementary School in Waco, and the friends said they both knew at a young age that they wanted to be educators.
"And that's what we did," Wilkerson-Ellis said.
Wilkerson-Ellis has worked 26 years in KISD, and will leave her post next month as assistant principal of Montague Village Elementary School.
Adams-Graves, who has served 20 years in KISD, has dedicated her life to helping military children cope with frequent moves and multiple deployments. She will retire from KISD as a counselor at Smith Middle School.
Both women said they will continue to work even after retiring.
"I'm not going to just sit at home," Adams-Graves said.
Adams-Graves will begin a new career with the Military Child Education Coalition, training others how to help military children.
Wilkerson-Ellis said she looks forward to focusing on her two businesses: a bridal shop and a cleaning service.
"It's wonderful," Wilkerson-Ellis said of retiring with her childhood friend. "Now we can really start working."
Contact Rebecca LaFlure at email@example.com or (254) 501-7548. Follow her on Twitter at KDHeducation.
Killeen ISD Retirees
30 years in education, 20 years in KISD
Counselor and teacher at Smith, Marlboro, Fowler, Duncan, Montague Village and Aldine ISD, Waco ISD and in Germany
22 years in education and KISD
Director's secretary federal programs
Media aide for Chapter 1 from 1988 to 1990
Director's secretary for federal and compensatory programs 1991 to 2009
Dwight C. Allen
19 years in education and KISD
Math and digital graphics teacher at Killeen High School
26 years in education, 22 years in KISD
Director for transportation in Temple ISD, teacher at Manor and Eastern Hills
29 years in education, 25 years in KISD
Campus instructional specialist, assistant principal and teacher at Nolanville, Meadows, Willow Springs, Brookhaven, Hay Branch, Temple ISD and Borger ISD
25 years in education and KISD
Paraprofessional at Killeen Developmental Center, West Ward, Reeces Creek, Iduma and Willow Springs
Caril M. Baker
36 years in education and six years in KISD
Librarian at Skipcha, Duncan and Clarke and an elementary school teacher in Rhode Island, Florida and South Carolina
23 years in education, four years in KISD
Teacher one year in Belton, 23 years in Temple, two years at Mountain View Elementary School and two years at Willow Springs Elementary School
31 years in education and KISD
Crossing guard, special needs bus driver and grounds crew
32 years in education and KISD
Teacher at Clifton Park Elementary School, Marlboro Elementary School, Nolanville Elementary and Oveta Culp Hobby Elementary School
18 years in education and KISD
Teacher at Clifton Park Elementary School, Trimmier Elementary School and Oveta Culp Hobby Elementary School
31 years in education, 27 years in KISD
Speech pathologist in Oregon and KISD
Doris Donovan Clendinen
30 years in education and KISD
Bus driver and crossing guard
Harold E. DeGarmo
16 years in education and KISD
Cafeteria manager at Bellaire, Willow Springs and Oveta Culp Hobby
Anthony "Tony" Dunn
36 years in education, 30 years in KISD
Teacher, coach, trainer at Ellison High School and Snyder ISD
Larry D. Edwards
11 years in education and KISD
Bus driver and Army supply technician at Shoemaker High School
35 years in education and 18 years in KISD
Teacher and coach in Indiana, Germany, Arizona, Ellison and teacher, coach and assistant athletics coordinator at Shoemaker High School
12 years in education, eight years in KISD
English teacher at JJAEP and Dallas ISD
Glenda Manning Dennison
23 years in education, 12 years in KISD
Teacher at Iduma, Cedar Valley and Grand Prairie, Copperas Cove and Temple
29 years in education, 25 years in KISD
Custodian at Union Grove Manor, Liberty Hill, Cedar Valley and McGregor ISD
Connie J. Milner
28 years in education and KISD
Teacher at Willow Springs and East Ward
34 years in education and KISD
Teacher at East Ward and Willow Springs
26 years in education, 19 years in KISD
Teacher at Hay Branch Elementary School
12 years in education and KISD
Cashier in Harker Heights Elementary School cafeteria
29 years in education, 26 years in KISD
Teacher and assistant principal at Montague Village, Meadows, Nolan, Smith, MLLC and Waco ISD
17 years in education, 15 years in KISD
Teacher at Killeen High School and in Georgetown and Humble