Sherwood Elementary teacher given special retirement celebration after final year cut short

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After two decades at Sherwood Elementary, a kindergarten teacher’s final year was cut short due to COVID-19.

Before kindergarten teacher Kerry Mitchell left, she got a special surprise for her retirement Thursday that left her with a priceless reaction.

“Every year when a teacher retires from our school, we always throw them a big retirement celebration,” teacher Heather Moore said.

That tradition had to carried out just a little differently this year.

“With COVID-19 of course, we are out of school, so we could not do that,” Moore said.

Mitchell retired this year after 22 years at Sherwood Elementary.

“She was a wonderful teacher,” Moore said. “Dedicated. There first thing in the morning. Sometimes the last to leave.”

They decided to decorate their cars and surprise her with a parade.

“We’ll make two loops around, and then a couple of us will get out of the car,” Moore said. “We have some gifts and a cake.”

Teachers, former students the principal were all able to participate.

“I was like great idea; let’s do it,” principal Terra Stigger said. “She is going to shed several tears of joy. She’s going to be excited.”

Those predictions were right.

Mitchell overwhelmed with joy and tears. It was evident this was more than a creative celebration.

“This is why this is the best school ever,” Mitchell said. “You have made me so happy. You have been so supportive, and everyone is so caring and loving at Sherwood.”

“Even though she may be retiring, she still has a family at Sherwood,” former student Caleb Jones said.

Mitchell taught 28 years in Shelby County Schools. Her husband and kids also went to Sherwood Elementary.

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