Ten Years Later – Ameenah Reed is the first retiree of Confluence Charter Schools
Ten Years Later – Ameenah Reed is the first retiree of Confluence Charter Schools
Posted on 09/05/2013

A ReedA little more than 10 years ago, Confluence Academy-Old North opened its doors. It was a first for Confluence – the first school, the first teachers and staff members, the first students and families.

Now, 10 years later, Confluence has experienced another first – a retiree.

Ameenah Reed started her first day at Confluence Academy-Old North on August 3, 2003. It was the first day of her career in education. Students arrived two weeks later. She had a dual-role. She was the school nurse and the student support manager/counselor. A year later, she decided to serve as the student support manager and another nurse was hired.

Fast forward to 2013 – Reed is retired. She ended her career as the guidance counselor at Old North. The school grew from 245 students to serving nearly 900 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“I’ve only worked at Old North campus,” said Reed. She worked through the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

How does she feel about being the first retiree?

“Bittersweet,” paused Reed. “Bittersweet in the fact that I’m 66 years old and I just feel like it’s time for younger legs and brains to take over. I’m happy to start a new chapter in my life, but the bittersweet part is not being able to advocate for students and staff. I’ve had the opportunity to voice and address concerns in the school. I will miss that. The students were always my No. 1 priority.”

Most people don’t retire after 10 years, but education was not Reed’s first career.

“I was a nurse manager in Cleveland, Ohio. I left Cleveland to move back home to East St. Louis. I got a job at Bethesda Health Systems. I was hired to open the adult day program for therapy.”

Although she said she would “miss the family that I’ve become a part of with the students, their families and staff,” Reed does have plans for retirement.

“I’m a grandmother and a recent great-grandmother. My grandchildren are the light of my life. I’ll spend more time with them. With my church, I’ll be able to get involved in more activities. One of the best things is that my mother will be 89 and I’ll get to spend more time with her. I’ll do some traveling, too,” said Reed. Her mother celebrated her birthday in July.

Reed called herself “one of the original settlers of Confluence. Now there are only two people left – Brad Slinkard and Leslie Sanford.” Slinkard teaches physical education at Confluence Academy-Walnut Park. Leslie Sanford is a math coach at Old North.

“When my life story is written it won’t be complete with Confluence Academy-Old North. Old North was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”