YOU WILL ENJOY AND GROW YOUR MEMBERSHIP WHEN YOU ATTEND PEAR MEETINGS
Join Hands to Accomplish More!
PEAR meetings are held each month of the year that does not start with the letter "J ". Meetings are generally held at 10:30 am in the Polk Education Association Building, 730 E Davidson Street, Bartow, Florida.
NEXT MEETING WILL BE ON
The Inflation Act -- How to save Money While Helping the Climate Presented by Dr. Katie Southerland
PEAR Holiday Patio Party
Save the Date
Wednesday December 06, 2023
315 E Summerlin St Suite A
Bartow, FL 33830
Through involvement in Polk Education Association-Retired and its affiliates, members are kept informed of programs designed to improve and strengthen the retirement experience, and to maintain their interest and involvement in public education and their community through mentoring, volunteering and being knowledgeable about education and community issues.
PEAR members stay engaged with pressing issues facing students, public education, and educators.
PEAR is an organization that works to preserve, protect and improve retirement pension and health benefits, Social Security, and Medicare.
PEAR members are part of the over 4,500 FEA-Retired and 335,000 NEA Retired members.
PEAR members continue to work with and support PEA members to achieve mutual organizing, bargaining, legislative, and political action goals.
PEAR members enjoy socialization and camaraderie with other retired educators.
PEAR members receive periodic PEAR UPDATES by email.
PEAR members continue to receive FEA, NEA, and AFT member benefits.
President Bernie Warren was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers, majoring in Psychology. She lived in Williamsport, PA, and in the 70’s moved to State College, PA where she did graduate work at Penn State & worked in Admissions.
She Moved to FL in 1976, & worked in the public school system as a School Counselor/AP.
In 1988, she moved to Polk County, which is still home. She was the Counselor at Bartow Academy. While there, she earned her National Board Certification & began as an Adjunct at Polk State College. She retired in 2013.
Bernie earned two degrees from the University of South Florida, an MA in Counselor Education and an MA in Educational Leadership. Since retirement, Bernie became involved in environmental & social causes & joined the Polk County Retired Teachers’ Union, PEA-R, where she now serves as president.
She enjoys times with family, traveling and daily bike rides. She volunteered at a local theatre and is a Reading Pal to eight kindergarten children.
Vice President Lorinda Lehning was born in Buffalo, New York, the youngest of eight. Her family moved to Winter Haven in the summer of 1966 where she attended Eagle Lake Elementary, Westwood Junior High and Auburndale Senior High. She earned an AA from Concordia Lutheran College (now Concordia University Texas) in Austin, Texas, then earned a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Concordia Teacher’s College (Now Concordia University Chicago) in River Forest, IL. Her first teaching position was in El Monte, CA at a small Lutheran Elementary School.
She then worked in various jobs prior to returning to teaching in July of 1999. She taught several grade levels in Polk County Schools before becoming a teacher of the gifted in 2010. While teaching she became active in the Polk Education Association and served 9 years as their Secretary-Treasurer. The last two schools served were Eagle Lake Elementary and Lake Shipp Elementary. On May 31, 2022, she retired from Polk County School Board and became a member of PEAR.
She is divorced with two sons and three grandchildren. Since retiring, Lorinda has enjoyed reading, editing the newsletter for her community, spending time with family, neighbors and classmates, and volunteering at Eagle Lake Elementary.
Secretary Molly Bailey was born and raised in Western New York State until her family moved to Auburndale, Florida where she started fourth grade. She attended Polk Community College as an early admission student and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of South Florida where she was a member of Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies.
Molly began her career as a Secondary ESE teacher of Daily Living Skills at Fruitland Park/Karen M. Siegel Academy where she was nominated as their Teacher of the Year. She also was Resource ESE teacher at Eagle Lake Elementary, later in ESE Pre-K and First Grade at Brigham Academy, and Kindergarten and First Grade at Pinewood Elementary.
She retired in 2016 and immediately tagged along to Italy, France and Spain with Marvin Holt and his daughter who had studied abroad in that area. Iceland, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales were some of the other wonderful destinations before Covid 19 brought that joy to a sudden halt.
Her son is a Certified Financial Planner and Partner at CPS Investment Advisors in Lakeland. Her daughter-in-law is a former Polk County Public School teacher now supervising student interns at Florida Southern College.
Molly enjoys participating in church functions including volunteering at the food pantry, visiting local attractions and parks in addition to antiquing and bargain shopping.
Treasurer Ann Mailloux grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where she lived until 1987 and moved to Miami, Florida. She attended New Hampshire College (now called SNHU) where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Marketing/Management. It was there that she met her husband, Robert.
After moving to Boca Raton, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Education from FAU. In 2014, she happily retired from teaching after 22 years of service as a teacher including Miami Lakes Technical Educational School where she taught Business Education, to Boca Raton at Advent Lutheran School as a 5th grade teacher and finally to Winter Haven where she taught 3rd and 5th grades at Pinewood Elementary and Bethune Academy until retirement.
Ann has been married 41 years to Robert and has two daughters, a grandson and a granddaughter. Primary interests are traveling (usually to see the grandkids), crafts, reading, playing games and volunteering at various organizations.
Past President/Executive Director Rhea McKinney is a native of Oklahoma and is in his thirteenth year of leadership in PEAR. As a member of PEA, he served on many committees including as Chief Negotiator with the district. He is the recipient of the PEA Presidents Award for Outstanding Service to the union.
He is the current Secretary of FEA-Retired, is a previous Area Director and chairs several committees. A past member of the FEA Governance Board, he currently serves on the Credentials and Elections Committee. He is a Trustee of the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans.
Prior to his retirement he taught physical sciences in Polk County secondary schools. He also taught at Polk State College and Florida Southern College. Before coming to Florida, he taught in higher education and secondary schools, and worked in education related publishing.
He is the recipient of many awards related to his work in the sciences and the education field including the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing career longevity and demonstrating unwavering excellence in education. He also received the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans President's Lifetime Service Award for Service to Senior Citizens.