In the 24/7 world of information overload, the stories that reflect the worst of human behavior often are the ones that rise to the top and too often we fail to pause and consider the many positive things that happen around us on a regular basis. With that in mind, this week we debut what will be an occasional effort to recognize noteworthy achievement, special accomplishments and behavior worthy of congratulations in our community.
Nicole McCloskey is the kind of 7-year-old who gives us all hope for the future. Determined to do something to help others, Nicole, with more than a little help from family and friends, raised the money to purchase $1,000 worth of items which she donated to Head Start in Cumming. She did it because she wanted to help kids in need. We are in need of more kids like Nicole.
Kudos to county school superintendent Buster Evans, named as one of four finalist for recognition as the state’s 2012 Superintendent of the Year. The winner won’t be announced until December, but just to be one of the final four is certainly a noteworthy accomplishment.
We forget sometimes how overwhelming the support for worthy causes is in this community. The Leukemia & Lym-phoma Society held its first North Metro Light The Night event at the Cumming Fairgrounds last weekend, and raised more than $227,000 for the group, which supports medical research. Not bad for an inaugural effort.
Congratulations are in order for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s office, which has won two statewide awards for traffic safety. The agency placed first in the overall Governor’s Challenge and also won special recognition for motorcycle safety. Well done.
Big Creek Elemen-tary school knows something about special recognitions as well. Last month it was announced that the school has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for the second time in 10 years. The honor, considered one of the highest a public school can achieve, was first bestowed on Big Creek in 2001.
Excellence in art and poetry earned recognition for 10 students from Shiloh Point Elemen-tary and one from Riverwatch Middle School, as their efforts were selected for inclusion in the River of Words exhibit, a statewide compilation of student efforts.
Words were also on the minds of some adults last week, as they competed in Spell Check Live!, the annual spelling bee fundraiser for Literacy Forsyth. The Language Butchers, including Rusty Hodges, Craig Richman and Beth Buursema, represented the Lanier-Forsyth Rotary Club in the event and went home the winner after successfully spelling “orthoepy.” The spelling bee is always a fun event, and the money raised goes to badly needed adult literacy programming in the community.
Local philanthropists Tommy and Chantal Bagwell have long been supporters of the adult literacy effort, but were in the news recently for lending their support to another worthy cause. The Bagwells donated $100,000 to the Medical Association of Georgia to help bring awareness to the problems of prescription drug abuse.
And congrats to Probate Judge Lynwood “Woody” Jordan, who recently received two noteworthy appointments. Judge Jordan was named by the state Bar Association to serve on the Next Generation Courts Commission, and tabbed by the governor to be a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Judges of the Probate Courts Retirement Fund.