A rose to the Columbus Exchange Club for its “Book of Golden Deeds” award program and this year’s recipient, Josie Shumake. For nearly 50 years now, the civic group has honored a person who has given back to their community. Those awarded with this honor are chosen not on the basis of a single contribution, but years of service, almost always behind the scenes. In many respects, Shumake is the perfect example of an awardee, someone who has volunteered and served without fanfare over a period of years. Shumake is best known, perhaps, for her services on the city’s school board, but her contributions go far beyond that important, often thankless, work. Award recipients’ contributions are important, yet they are sometimes neglected, primarily because they do not seek attention. We salute the Columbus Exchange Club for making sure these community leaders are appreciated and we salute Shumake for her tireless work toward many causes.
A rose to Mississippi University for Women and its FSC 465 Program, which helps high school juniors prepare for life after high school. Each year, as high school graduation approaches, many students have made their plans. But we also know that many other students have given little thought to life after graduation. This program, led by MUW students and MUW visiting professor Cecilia Brooks, provides information about career and educational paths beyond high school. In March, program arrived at New Hope High School where about 40 sophomores and juniors were provided individualized information about their options after high school and how to prepare for the option they identify as best for them. Whether that means going directly into the workforce with an understanding of what skills they will need to find employment or continuing their education and what options they have in that setting, the program’s greatest benefit is helping students focus on the fast-approaching future. For many, it turns an abstract idea of the future into something they can invest in before their senior years in high school. We applaud the W and its students for providing this important service to our high school kids.
A rose to Starkville High School’s Millsaps Technology Center for acquiring its latest technological tool — a $30,000 ambulance simulator that will help students interested in a range of careers. The simulator gives students at least some tangible idea of how ambulances are equipped and how that equipment is used. It’s as close to the every-day, real-life experiences of an EMT or paramedic and will be an invaluable teaching tool for those students who want to pursue that path. Three career technology education programs will benefit directly from the ambulance simulator. Perhaps more importantly, the teachers in charge of the simulator want other schools to benefit by using the simulator as well.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.