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You can nominate ‘distinguished alumni’ of Danville schools

By PHIL OSBORNE

Danville Schools Education Foundation

If you have been to the Foundation’s new website, you will have noticed significant changes — thanks again to Ben Saylor for the redesign.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the list of distinguished alumni. There has been no induction ceremony since 2010. What is equally surprising is that only 50 alums have been honored.

We need to change that. There are so many more outstanding alums who have walked the halls of Danville and Bate High Schools to leave the number at 50 any longer. That’s why we are actively seeking nominees for the next class of distinguished alums.

Blow the dust off your high school yearbook and see if one of your classmates is deserving of recognition for his/her contributions to the arts, education, law, medicine, business, sports, music, or simply serving as a positive role model for generations of young men and women in Danville.

If you’re not sure who already has been recognized, you can find the list on our website under the alumni tab.

There are no specific criteria other than the nominee be an alum of DHS or Bate and that they distinguished themselves in some capacity as already mentioned.

Send a brief letter of nomination to phil.osborne@danville.kyschools.us; or drop a note to Danville Schools Education Foundation, 152 E. Martin Luther King Blvd., Danville, Kentucky 40422.

While we’re on the topic of people who make a difference, I’d like to hear from former students about a teacher, coach, administrator or someone else in the Danville system who made a difference in your lives. Teachers touch so many young people in so many ways, and it often goes unrecognized. Yes, I’m a nerd, but I can name every teacher I had from kindergarten through high school and tell you a little about how each one made a difference.

There was Anita Cater — first grade, Jefferson Elementary in Warren, Ohio. It was the early 1960s. Ohio schools were integrated; most of Kentucky was not. Miss Carter helped me understand how we must live, work, and learn together as opposed to the separatist position I heard from my family in Eastern Kentucky.

Opal Moore was my seventh-grade mentor. She gave me free rein to argue with her on specific points of history, social policy, and even mathematical approaches to problem solving. She didn’t shut me down; she helped lift me up into a greater understanding of our world in the turbulent 60s and 70s.

Chuck Campbell was my band director in high school. He taught me as much about leadership as he did about larghetto.

I could go on, but this is not about me — it’s about you and a teacher who impacted your development. The Advocate-Messenger is kind enough to give us 500 words each week for this column. What I propose is using some of that space in the weeks to come to allow you to tell us about people involved in your educational career path who made a big difference in your life.

Send your thoughts to the same addresses listed above. We’ll publish as many stories as possible between now and February when we will honor all of the great educators who have been a part of Danville schools with a Valentine’s Day salute.

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Phil Osborne is executive director of the Danville Schools Education Foundation. Email him at posborne@danvilleschoolsfoundation.org or phil.osborne@danville.kyschools.us.