Gladys Durant, 2016

Each year at the Retired Members Gathering, an educator is recognized with the “Honor Our Own” award for outstanding service. Gladys Durant, who died on June 4, was awarded this year’s honor posthumously. Here are remarks made by Retired Members Committee Co-Chair Richard Liston in presenting Durant’s son, Michael Durant, with the award on Sept. 25.

Each year, the MTA Retired Members Committee sponsors the “Honor Our Own” Award, which honors an active or retired MTA member for his or her outstanding influence on students, beginning educators and association members. All of the honorees are nominated by fellow educators.

This year I have the great honor to present the Honor Our Own Award in honor of a very special member of the MTA retired family – Gladys Durant. As many of you know, we lost Gladys on June 4 and she is truly missed. Those of you who knew Gladys know what I mean; she was one of a kind – a force of nature.

As the Retired Members Committee contemplated the Honor Our Own Award this year, it was a no-brainer that we needed to honor the life, career and service of Gladys. She embodied everything this award was created to honor.

Gladys was born in 1936, and was raised in Roxbury. She excelled in school, graduating from Roxbury Memorial High School at age 16. She went on to receive her bachelor of science degree in education from Boston State College in the early 1950s. After starting her family with her husband, James Durant, she returned to earn her master of education degree from Antioch College.

Gladys was a dedicated educator in the Attleboro school system for over 30 years and was a very active member of her local association and of the MTA. After she retired, she continued to stay active with the Attleboro School System, serving as a representative and former treasurer of the Bristol County Educators Association. She was also active within the MTA and was an active member of the Retired Members Committee at the time of her passing.

She was also a dedicated and active member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, acting as parliamentarian for the Norfolk-Plymouth County Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.

Gladys’ faith was also very important to her. She was very actively involved in her church, the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Brockton.

On behalf of the Retired Members Committee, it is such a great honor to present the 2016 “Honor Our Own” award to Gladys Durant. And it is a pleasure to present the award to her son, Michael Durant.