Paula Verrier, 2009

Retired Members Committee Honors former Bedford president

Paula Verrier, former president of the Bedford Education Association, is winner of the MTA Retired Members Committee’s 2009 “Looking to Honor One of Our Own” contest.

Verrier was nominated by Christopher Zellner, current president of the BEA. The annual contest provides the opportunity for an active or retired member to be honored for his or her influence on behalf of students, educators and association members.

“As a senior at Bedford High School in 1089, Paula Verrier was my class advisor,” Zellner wrote. “Then I only knew her as a caring Social Studies teacher, who was incredibly involved with students inside and outside the classroom.”

“When I returned to BHS in 2005 as a teacher, I got to know Paula as a professional. In that capacity I learned that my perceptions of Paula as teacher were right. I also learned that the time she dedicated to improving our school community was greater. Not only as a teacher-she ran the National Honor Society, our community service program, coached teams, and she was local association president.”

“Paula reached out and encouraged me to get involved in the union, nominated me for trainings, and supported me as I worked in the local leadership,” Zellner continued. “Last year Paula told me that she should be teaching one more year before she retired. Because her term as president was up, she would also be leaving that position. She told me that she wanted me to step into that role.

“I didn’t think that I was ready, but she responded that she would be there to mentor me the whole year. She has been advising me all along, making this a very successful year.”

“Paula retired from teaching in June, and will continue to work for the MTA. 250 words are too few to tell you all of the wonderful things she has meant to teachers and students, but you get the picture,” concluded Zellner.