Two Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) district administrators are retiring this year. They didn't plan on leaving so soon, but sudden deaths of friends and family members prompted their decision to say goodbye.
"Got a call to let me know one of my best high school buddies died on the operating table," CMS Auxiliary Associate Superintendent Guy Chamberlain said. "So at that point there's a lot of other things I need to be doing besides working."
Back in March, Amy Harkey's brother suddenly passed. She says he was in good health and that is why she is having a hard time dealing with his death.
"I had headaches for months," CMS Director of Child Nutrition Amy Harkey said. "I wasn't sleeping well. I had no closure on the whole event. People in the office were saying, you're just not the same Amy. When are you going to get back to normal."
Chamberlain and Harkey arrived at CMS around the same time about 13 years ago. Chamberlain is in charge of school construction and Harkey is responsible for child nutrition. Both say the recent deaths emphasized to them life is too short. They no longer wanted to feel the pressure of working a 9 to 5 job.
"There are things I want to do with my life," Chamberlain said. "Besides work everyday."
"It's time to reduce stress," Harkey said. "To have good health."
During Chamberlain's time in CMS he was responsible for $1.8 billion in school construction. Harkey is responsible for getting rid of the fryers in CMS cafeterias to promote better eating.
Chamberlain planned to retire down the road and Harkey wanted to retire in a few years. The deaths helped put things in perspective. Chamberlain's last day will be the first day of school, August 25th and Harkey will leave in October.
"I have things I like to do," Harkey said. "That I never have time to do, which is going to be the fun part."
Both say they are committed to Charlotte and say you will see them around volunteering.