The Neighborhood Scoop by Dr. Cynthia L. Toles


As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!” 

This was the expression found all over the face of Shelia Billingsley as she walked into her surprise retirement party on Dec. 19.  At around 6 p.m. family, friends and co-workers gathered to help Shelia celebrate her retirement. 

When Billy retired from the Gadsden City School System, Shelia surprised him with a party. This was Billy’s way of getting Shelia back while also celebrating her life’s work.

Shelia thought she was going to a karaoke party. When she entered the room, she received applauses and started pointing out all the people she knew. 

“I told Billy I couldn’t sing but he brought me to the Karaoke party anyway,” she said. 

It was a fun time to share in the milestone Shelia had accomplished. Kate Tinker had a game on each table about her mother. The partygoers had to guess what they knew about Shelia. 

The questions were as follows: what year did Shelia start working for the Gadsden City Board of Education, how many superintendents has she worked under, how many trips has she taken since she’s been retired, what did she buy first after her retirement and where would she like to spend her time? (Guilty pleasure).

Shelia Billingsley retired in November of 2014 from the Gadsden City School System working in the Central Office. She will be remembered for her thoughtfulness, kindness and a quiet, sweet spirit. She plans to enjoy her retirement, travel and assist Gadsden City Councilman Billy Billingsley, Sr.

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