Irma Morgan Moore's family and friends respect her ability to make sound decisions. So after Moore decided to retire from her job as a nurse circulating through Memphis City Schools, more than 100 of them gathered at Precious Moments Banquet Hall to honor her and acknowledge her choice.
"I was assigned and traveled to three or more schools a day," said Moore, a traveling nurse who was assigned to schools from Collierville to Millington. "It was good experience. I was able to bond with the children and I knew that I was helping them."
After nine and a half years of service, Moore retired from Memphis City Schools in December.
"I knew it was time (to retire)," said Moore after her retirement party (Jan. 20). "I miss my students, but this is what I've worked so many years for."
Moore's career began at John Gaston Hospital, where she worked second shift as a licensed practical nurse on the second floor in the TOBY unit. After about 10 years, Moore transferred to the Shelby County Schools system, where she remained for the same amount of time.
Last August, Moore was assigned to Scenic Hills Elementary School. When her students learned that she was retiring they thanked her for service and dedication.
"It was a difficult decision to leave. I notified management and went to the board to put in my two-week resignation. I had an empty feeling riding home that day. It reminded me of my last day of high school," said Moore.
"This is the first retirement party I've been to," said Moore's sister Claudia Sims. "Irma is my only and oldest sister. She has worked hard and long for this day and we are happy for her."
The event's theme was "Career Journey," Evelyn Morgan emceed, and the program included remarks by family and friends.
"She's a tremendous lady," said former MCS co-worker Nelson Luster. "I was honored to come out...because of all the people Irma knows she found room for me (to speak)."
Other speakers included Moore's childhood friend Ruthie Neal; former co-workers Doristein Turner, Allison Perry, and Maxine White; granddaughters Tyra Jones and Moniqua Morgan; her children Harold Morgan, Isaac Jones, Michelle Moore-Lindsay, and Timothy Moore; and 12-year-old grandson, Collin Lindsay, who performed two selections on his violin.
"My mother enjoyed taking care of her students," said Moore's son, Isaac Jones, who is currently employed at SCS, working on his Ed.D., and engaged to Mona Roberson, a school nurse. "Watching my mother throughout the years and listening to her talk about so few men in the field helped me to decide early on to pursue a career in education."
Everyone was given a glass of champagne and Moore's special friend Clinton Taylor made a toast.
"For years I have heard you say that you wouldn't take a wooden nickel for your children," said Taylor. "Irma, I just want you to know that I wouldn't take a wooden nickel for you!"
Moore's son, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Moore, was happy to be able to come home for the party.
"My wife is expecting," said Moore, a 16-year serviceman. "She and my two children are at home in Texas. My job was just to get here. I'm glad my mother has retired, but I've got another job for her.
"Now that she can sit and relax, she can take care of her grandbaby that is expected in March!"