Georgia Sharp Recognized for Service to MARSP
On March 15, 2023, Georgia Sharp of Ionia County received the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel’s State Distinguished Service Award in recognition for her many years of service to the association, to the Ionia County Chapter, and to her community.
Sharp has served on the MARSP Legislative Committee since 2015, and has co-chaired the committee since 2019. She is also the Legislative, Reservations, and History Chair for the Ionia County Chapter.
Her nomination came with the following statement from Karen Merchant on behalf of the Ionia County Chapter:
“We are very proud of her and her efforts to keep us in Ionia County, as well as all MARSP members, informed of what is happening in Lansing. But, perhaps, more importantly is her ability to treat everyone with dignity and respect. She is a kind and loving person and we are so excited to nominate her for this honor.”
Sharp stated that her interest in politics began with her parents, who were active at the state and local level all her life. When Sharp retired after 39 years as an English teacher, she found herself with more time to invest in political endeavors. She became chair of her county party, and then served on her county board of commissioners from 2016-2022. During that same period, she also became more involved with MARSP and found roles within state and chapter leadership that suited her love for political action and discourse.
“I enjoy meeting and having discussions with legislators and the people that are making the decisions for our government and our society,” said Sharp.
When she looks back at her service to MARSP, she’s particularly proud of the Legislative Committee’s efforts surrounding pension tax repeal. Despite differing political ideologies of members, the committee always kept its focus on MARSP’s mission and found ways to discuss (and disagree) respectfully.
“There were a lot of passionate feelings and opinions as to how we should address the pension tax,” said Sharp, “When that legislation did finally pass, everyone was so respectful and appreciative of our work over the last 12 years. It was just so cool.”
MARSP President, Steve Gordon, applauded Sharp’s leadership on the Legislative Committee and her ability to rally members around shared goals.
“Georgia Sharp is the type of person that makes any organization she’s a part of better. She is intelligent, empathetic, and gracious. She can keep a team focused and moving in the right direction. And she’s always civil, which is no easy feat in the world of politics. We are most fortunate to have her on our team at MARSP, and she is very deserving of the State Distinguished Service Award.”
Sharp thanked MARSP’s Board of Directors for the award, and her longtime friend and colleague, Karen Merchant, for the nomination.
“There are a lot of people out there who are just as deserving – I just feel so honored.”
Thank you, Georgia Sharp, for your dedication to MARSP’s mission in Ionia County and across Michigan!
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