Teachers are among the most important people in our country as their work is directed toward preparing our young people for productive, wholesome, lives. As part of tradition, Phillips County will honor teachers for their contributions in a particular field or their community in general on March 26. Teachers, city leaders and supportive citizens gathered at the Phillips County Courthouse Thursday morning, March 14 to recognize National Teacher's Appreciation Day, a day that has been celebrated as a result of the efforts of the late Mrs. Mattye Maye Whyte Woodridge. Woodridge is remembered for her hard work and dedication in corresponding with political and education leaders as early as 1944 concerning the need for a national day honoring teachers who often go unnoticed, underestimated and unappreciated for their special contributions not only to the youth of today but to the community as a whole. Anne Zachary Pike will formally announce her retirement after 30 years of service to the Teacher's Day effort. “I will take with me the inspiration, knowledge, and wisdom of being involved with people of various beliefs,” commented Pike. According to Pike, the Teacher's Day organization reached out to active and retired teachers, public and private in memory of the late Gordon White, who started out supporting the art and lyric contest for students. According to Pike the art and lyric contest enables students to express themselves about their favorite teacher. The art and lyrics contest will be held in conjunction with the reception scheduled. The contest includes grades K -12. “I shall retire with the memory of the person who planted the seeds for this great celebration, Madam Mattye Maye Woodbridge, some 69 years ago,” she said. The event's program is entitled “Education: The Hope for a Brighter Future” and will include music by Ollie White, greetings by Mayor Arnell Willis, Joyce Anderson, director of HIPPY programs. Maureen Billingsley will present the teachers' cake. “We will take the opportunity to thank those for the continued support for the many teachers that have dedicated their knowledge and endless amount of time, aid, assistance and resources in providing students with the preparation needed for productive successful lives,” stated Pike. Many outpoured thanks to Pike including David Anderson, who stated “For your years of diligent and faithful dedicated services as chairperson for the Teachers' Day celebration and for you commitment in life, thank you. May God continually bless and keep you in you future endeavors.” Former State Rep. Clark Hall and his wife Becky, director of Delta AHEC, joined in commending all active and retired teachers, public and private stating, “We join the people of Phillips County in celebrating the educators who make our communities, our state and our future brighter. We honor the legacy of Mrs. Mattye Mae Whyte Woodridge and applaud all teacher for their service to a better tomorrow.” “For decades teachers have proven that their hearts are alive and well in the spirit of education and encourage the public to participate and show their support for the continued efforts in preparing our young people for success,” stated Pike. The event is scheduled for March 26 at 4:30 p.m. at J.F. Wahl Elementary School “Without your active and financial support this great movement would have been at a stand still. To God be the glory,” concluded Pike.