First-day-of-school celebration is a chance to ‘come and kibbitz’

School bells will be ringing soon, but one group of local residents with a long history in the education field is hearing another sound – the dinner bell.

Retired Oil City Area School District staff members will hold their annual first-day-of-school celebration at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at Hoss’s Restaurant in Cranberry.

“Come have lunch. No reservations needed – just come and kibbitz,” said Tom Mohney, a retired supervisor of special education in the Oil City district.

Now in its 18th year, the tradition began when Jeannette Thompson and Marilyn Karns, both retired elementary teachers, decided they would like to get together for lunch with former fellow teachers and other district employees.

They chose the date – the first day of school – because they could celebrate it without going to work.

Anyone who is retired – custodians, teachers, aides, principals, cafeteria workers and all others – from the Oil City Area School District is welcome to attend, said Mohney.

Over the years, the luncheon has drawn 30 or more retired employees who attend to “socialize, share stories, renew friendships,” he said.

“And there’s a lot of talk about our former students. Elementary teachers, particularly, seem to keep in real close touch with their students over the years,” he said.

The gathering may be a bit larger this time than in previous years, he said.

“There are a lot of new Oil City retirees this year, so we might get a larger crowd,” said Mohney.

Additional information is available by contacting Mohney at (814) 676-9731.