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Patricia Beryl Ireland

October 20, 1940 October 15, 2018
Patricia Beryl Ireland
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Obituary for Patricia Beryl Ireland

Patricia Beryl Ireland (Patti), age 77, died Monday, October 15, 2018 after a long illness. She was preceded in death by her parents, Len and Myrtle Ireland and an infant brother.

Patti began her teaching career at Homer L. Ferguson High School in Newport News, Virginia, in 1962. She retired from the faculty of Towers High School, Dekalb County, Decatur, Georgia, where she taught Chemistry for 32 years and served as an Administrative Assistant for four years. Through her teaching career and into retirement, Patti leaves a lasting legacy of leaders who benefitted from her mentorship and guidance.

Patti retired as the Executive Director of the Southern Association of Student Councils (SASC), a position she held for 28 years. In that capacity, she coordinated programs for member schools across 15 states including an annual conference held in the fall each year. Patti was the co-director of a National Leadership Camp for the National Association of Secondary School Principals at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for ten years. Patti traveled across the country conducting workshops on leadership training for students and advisors. She was a well-known keynote speaker having been in more than 20 states for conferences and events.

Patti was recognized as STAR teacher in 1963, 1985, and 1992. She received the National Workshop Director of the Year Award in 1992. In 1992 she also received the Frances L. Bounds Excellence in Leadership Award presented by the North Carolina Association of Student Councils and the Advisor of the Year Award presented by the Georgia Association of Student Councils. In 1991 she was the Region III finalist for the Warren E. Shull Advisor of the Year Award presented by the National Association of Student Councils and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Patti also served as President of the National Association of State Student Council Executive Directors (NASSCED) in 2003 and 2004; in 2010 she was awarded Lifetime Membership in NASSCED after retiring from her position with SASC. For decades, Patti was an inspiration, mentor and advisor to many students. Patti also served several terms as President of the Decatur DeKalb Retired Educators Association and was associated with the Horatio Alger Foundation.

Patti was a graduate of Duke University and Emory University. She was a member of Phi Mu Fraternity and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. She was an elder and Clerk of Session at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church. She sang with the Decatur Civic Chorus for more than forty years having traveled with them on concert tours to England, Wales, Holland, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Scotland and Ireland.

Patti was born in Canada and has resided in the United States for most of her life. She became a naturalized citizen in 1962.

Patti is survived by many cousins and wonderful, devoted friends, young and old alike, who will miss her wisdom, wit and spirit.

There will be a private graveside service for family at 10 am, October 27th at Floral Hills Memory Gardens followed by a public Memorial Service at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church at 11 am. Friends may greet the family afterwards at a reception in the James Jefferson Hall. The family respectfully requests in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Oakhurst Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 310, Decatur, Georgia 30031-0310.


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