Barbara Sims Downs circa 1977-78
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Augusta Verner taught elementary school for 28 years retiring in 1985. Mrs. Verner worked with Special Needs Children and taught 1st through 7th grades. In her later years at OCES, she was an Administrator and worked closely with Principal Walter Gunter in running the school. They were very close until his sudden death in 1983.
After retirement, Mrs. Verner's interest in special needs youth continued. She served as a foster mother and served on numerous committees relating to Special Need students.
Mrs. Verner was a strong 'mover' in bringing Head Start to Oconee County in 1989-90. She continued her interest in Head Start and the needs of disadvantaged children.
'Gus' Verner was known for years as a walker. She walked all over Watkinsville for her health. She would walk 4 or 5 miles or more a day. In the 80's and 90's, I frequently saw her walking along the New High Shoals Road and around the Watkinsville First United Methodist Church as I took my morning (much shorter) walk. We were 'waving buddies'!
Many have known Mrs. Verner as 'Huggin Gus". She loves people and frequently greets persons with a hug.
This fine lady has been an inspiration to countless children and adults. She is loved dearly by many, including this writer.