Bowling Green Daily News. May 11, 2021.
Editorial: Thoughtful gestures mean much in tough times
As the shutdowns and disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic enter their 15th month, it remains important to honor the exceptional work of those who have stepped up in difficult times. There are many groups that fit this description – including, of course, teachers, who have ably and repeatedly adjusted to changing educational environments and requirements.
That’s why we were happy to report this week that Bowling Green’s Compton Orthodontics chose to adapt its traditional award initiative – which has previously honored students who have consistently performed acts of kindness – into a recognition of educators who were identified as examples of “Excellence in Adversity.”
The teachers who earned the honors were Bowling Green Junior High School’s Bobbi Dotson, Bowling Green Learning and Virtual Academy’s Jennifer Lowe, Bristow Elementary School’s April Major, Jody Richards Elementary School’s Jen Green, Plano Elementary School’s Regina South, Potter Gray Elementary School’s Jennifer Hamilton and T.C. Cherry Elementary School’s Ann Bolin.
“Teachers have been super underappreciated this year,” said Kara Compton, spokeswoman for Compton Orthodontics. “We had to make the call back earlier in the year, and we were not sure students would be back in-person yet. Teachers have worked really hard to adapt. People don’t understand what they have gone through this year.”
Compton Orthodontics worked with administrators in the Bowling Green Independent and Warren County school districts to compile a list of nominees, then selected winners who were determined to have gone the extra mile during the pandemic – for example, by taking on extra workloads at school, by delivering food or supplies to students’ homes or by maintaining close virtual or phone contact with students to monitor their academic progress.
The teachers were presented with a $100 check and a gift basket containing various materials.
“It was a surprise just because I knew nothing about it,” said Bolin, a special education teacher. “It’s just really nice to be appreciated like this. It really goes a long way. My students were also very excited to see me win something. I’m super grateful, and it’s always nice to see someone in the community appreciating teachers.”
We agree, and while Compton Orthodontics isn’t the first – nor will it be the last – to do so locally, we appreciate the practice’s decision to turn its focus to educators this year, and we applaud the teachers whose efforts were recognized.
Frankort State Journal. May 10, 2021.
Editorial: Regardless of political affiliation, get vaccinated
It should come as no surprise that two counties consistently among the top 10 of the state’s 120 counties for voter turnout percentage also have another statistic to brag about. Neighboring Woodford County and Franklin County are neck-and-neck in the race to fully vaccinate residents against COVID-19 and reach herd immunity, which health officials estimate is between 70%-80% of the population.
According to the latest statistics from the Kentucky Department of Public Health, 55.57% of Woodford’s population and 54.51% of Franklin County residents have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Franklin County’s population of 50,296 is nearly double that of Woodford’s, which has 26,097 residents.
In the past four general elections, both counties have also consistently placed among the highest in the state in voter turnout. In fact, Franklin led the state with a 59.7% turnout in the 2019 general election, beating Woodford by 1.2 percentage points. The two counties were also first and second in 2018 when Woodford had the highest turnout with a 60.9% compared to Franklin’s 59.7%.
In the past two presidential elections, Woodford led the state in voter turnout percentage in 2016 with 67.1% and Franklin tied for fifth best with 66.3%. Anderson County’s 70.6% was the best in last year’s general election. Woodford was third with 68.7% and Franklin placed eighth with 65.4%.
So is there a correlation between voter preferences and vaccination rates? A New York Times survey found vaccination rates are usually higher in counties where the majority voted for Joe Biden for president in 2020 and lower in counties that favored President Donald Trump.
However, that is not true for three of Kentucky’s top five vaccinated counties. Trump narrowly won in Franklin, performed even better in Woodford with 58% of the vote and handily won in Scott with 63%.
A recent NYT poll shows that older Republicans are less resistant than younger Republicans when it comes to being inoculated against COVID-19.
Regardless of political party affiliation, we encourage more Franklin Countians to get the coronavirus vaccine. This virus does not discriminate based on age, sex, race or political affiliation. The sooner herd immunity is achieved, the sooner the economy can rebound and we can move on to a new normalcy.
Ashland Daily Independent. May 7, 2021.
Editorial: Pupils prosper
This editorial had to be written because of young people in our community: They have been winning so many honors that the kudos are piling up and need to be distributed.
We published three stories in less than a week about local students who, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, have excelled in their endeavors.
• A team from Russell High School has won the Dave Ziegler Technical Award in the Student Technology Leadership Program, the first time a team in the region received the prestigious award, for its virtual reality education program. Their work includes designing an affordable VR viewing device, curricula and teacher training and support.
• A number of other students from Russell won titles in the STLP program.
• Ashland Middle School’s team’s project, “Mitigating the Impact,” was named a 2021 Terrific Top 20 project. Students used 3D printers to make more than 100 masks and shields and distributed them in the community to discourage the spread of COVID-19 and devised a plan to teach younger children good hygiene habits to counter the virus.
• James D. Adams Middle School in Floyd County won runner-up for its project called “Behind the Mask,” which linked masks to an app so the wearer can create designs.
Student artists won honors, too, in the Burley-Coal Regional Art Competition at Morehead State University.
• Students from Russell High School won for paintings, drawings, mixed media, sculpture, graphic design, photography and video, film and animation.
• Students from Ashland Blazer High School had winners in 3D Fiber Arts and Textiles, graphic design, photography and digital art.
Performance artists also showed what they could accomplish.
Russell High School’s Varsity Dance Team won the 2021 National Dance Alliance National Championship for the Small Varsity Pom Division in April.
They also earned third in the nation in Medium Gameday and fourth in the nation in Medium Hip Hop.
Despite the difficulties of attending school virtually and working on projects without benefit of gathering in person, our students proved they can compete with the best and come out on top.
No need to worry about young people today. They’re going to do just fine.