Person of the Month: Loretta Mahan Burgess

Loretta Burgess recently retired from teaching in the Greenbrier School District. “I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am retired. I cried a lot the first two weeks after I turned in my papers. It was just hard to leave the people I worked with and the students. But I am getting excited about being able to spend more time with my family and friends, having long and relaxing lunches with my friends, having more time to read and not setting an alarm.” She has a few home projects planned and looks forward to trying new recipes and sharing baked goods with friends. She also plans to focus on her Mary Kay business and might get a part-time job. “I know that God is still writing my story and I am ready to see what is in the next chapter.” (Mike Kemp photo)

City: Greenbrier for 42 years.

Work: My first teaching job was at South Side High School (my alma mater) in Bee Branch. For the past 24 years, I taught in the same classroom as a business education instructor for the Greenbrier School District.

Community activities: I have worked with the Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce along with the entrepreneurship students (now Junior Ambassadors) to guide them to be community servants. I served on the committee to revive Brierfest. I have been active for many years with the Future Business Leaders of America chapter at GHS.

Family: Two younger brothers, Roger (Jodie) and Harold (Stephanie) Mahan; my husband of 44 years, Dallis (Dal) Burgess; four children, Lindsay Griffin (Kyle), B.J. (Misty Moore) Burgess, Amanda Burgess and Matthew Burgess; and six grandchildren.

Education: 1975 graduate of South Side High School as one of three salutatorians; University of Central Arkansas in 1979 with a bachelor’s in business education and a master’s in business education in 1987.

Most cherished possession: My children and grandchildren are definitely the most precious to me. My most cherished physical possession would be the antique china cabinet I inherited from my mother. She purchased it in the early 1950s when she was a young home economics teacher.  

Most enjoyed weekend activity: We have spent 35-plus years on weekends going to baseball, softball, volleyball and football games for our children and grandchildren. 

Favorite place in Arkansas: My backyard. We have a big deck for family gatherings, a new two-story playhouse under a huge pecan tree for our grandchildren that also has an upper deck for adults to sit.

What do you love about living in the 501: I love the beauty of the natural state, the lakes and mountains, great shopping and restaurants, good schools and great communities. I love that I can live close to my children, grandchildren and many of my relatives. This is my home.