Middleburg Elementary Honors a Retired Staff Member


(Saturday, November 11, 2006 3:27 PM EST)

Health problems forced Middleburg Elementary School's custodian Roger Berryman to retire in June last year without the usual retirement festivities. But now that he's feeling better, the school held a long-awaited celebration for him on Oct. 22.

Berryman worked in Loudoun County's school system for 26 years, 15 of which were at Middleburg Elementary. A former student at the school, he had a special attachment to it and found great satisfaction working there.

“This is about the best school you can work for,” he said. “It's a small school, but it lets you get to know everyone here on a one-on-one basis.”

Berryman was at the school every day at 7 a.m., sometimes working 12-hour days. He was happy to do it, though, and wishes that he could have stayed longer.

“[The school] is like one big happy family,” he said. “Working in a good environment makes everything easier.”

Middleburg Elementary's faculty and staff thought highly of Berryman and will miss him.

“Mr. Berryman was a very dedicated worker. He took great pride in his work,” said the school's principal, Gary Wilkers. “He treated staff and students like family, and the school building like it was his home.”

But Berryman is enjoying his retirement so far, and he keeps busy. He spends a lot of time at Macedonia Baptist Church, where he is a deacon and performs with the choir.

An active musician, he also plays bass guitar with his quartet, the Spiritual Harmonizers. The quartet travels along the east coast to different churches and schools, and performs at least 40 times a year.

“I playmost every day,” he said. “It works my mind and my fingers.”

Now that he has the time, Berryman hopes to travel and visit places he's never been before. And once his health improves a little more, he wants to bowl and play horseshoes, two of his favorite games.

Although retiring was a bittersweet experience, Berryman is optimistic about his future.

“I can enjoy life now,” he said.

Students and staff members turned out to celebrate the retirement of Roger Berryman, who worked in the Loudoun County school system for 26 years, including 15 at Middleburg Elementary School (where he had been a student). “He took great pride in his work,” principal Gary Wilkers said. “He’s treated staff and students like family.”

Return to index of articles