The Richmond Register

Local News

May 22, 2013

‘Berea’s Unsung Heroes’

Elementary students honor those who make a difference

BEREA — A group of Bereans were honored Tuesday night at the Berea Community School Board, many of which had never been in the spotlight before.  

Kindergarteners, third-graders and fifth-graders celebrated 22 community members by collaborating to create the hardback book “Berea’s Unsung Heroes: Our Invaluable Leaders.”

“These are people who never get recognition. They volunteer because they love it and they never ask for anything in return,” said Larinda Agee, fifth-grade teacher at Berea Elementary.

Agee’s fifth-grade students wrote the narrative, Nicole Isaac’s third-grade students interviewed each hero and Belinda Riddle’s kindergarten students snapped the portraits for the book.

Agee said when she scheduled the interviews in March, many of the heroes insisted there were others in the community who deserved to be featured instead.

“They are so humble about what they do,” she said.

The book was dedicated to the memory of Burt Gadd, a Berea graduate who returned to volunteer at his alma mater in 1983.

Gadd was a scorekeeper, scoreboard operator, Little League coach and team bus driver for 28 years until his death Dec. 4.

“He always gave himself to make our school a better place and is deeply missed by all,” stated the dedication in the front of the book. In the following pages, students featured heroes who exemplified the spirit of Gadd’s volunteerism.  

One such hero was Cecil Green, a man who could be spotted at most any sports game in the county for the past 35 years.

“Everybody knows Cecil,” Agee said. “He goes to games because he loves supporting our local athletes. He doesn’t want a big plaque; he’s just going to be supportive.”

Robert Elliott is on the front cover of the book. Elliot is a blind man who volunteers to shred papers at St. Joseph Berea hospital. He has done so 40 hours a week during the past 12 years.

The elementary teachers wanted students to learn about true examples of leadership to drive home the “Seven Habits” of a “Leader in Me” school, Agee said.

This year, the district adopted The Leader in Me school transformation model based on the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey and first published in 1989.

Part of that initiative is to ingrain in students the basic language of the Seven Habits, such as “seek first to understand” or to “put first things first” or to “be proactive.”

Teachers started the year by talking about the habits, learning the habits “and letting it change us,” Agee said.

“I can speak for most everybody I work with –  it is a life-changing program,” she said.

Agee’s students developed the questions to ask each hero, and many of the questions were based on the Seven Habits, she said.

For example, “How are you proactive in your daily lives?” or “What are the goals you have for yourself?”

Fifth-grader Macey Richardson, 11, wrote about Kenny Merritt, a Special Olympics volunteer.

Merritt just woke up one day and decided he wanted to volunteer, Macey said. His story got her thinking about what she was capable of doing for others.

“I’m the same as Mr. Merritt. I’m human. I have two arms and two legs. I am capable of getting up and doing something,” Macey said. “I can grow up and actually be that kind of person.”

Macey’s altruist nature already has led her to do charity work. She and her friend Samantha Cain raised money last year for “Operation Angel,” which she said is a program “for kids who don’t have a good Christmas.”

Writing for this book inspired her to look at other ways she can help her community, Macey said. One day, she wants to volunteer at the animal shelter and take care of neglected babies.

“I have a soft spot for babies,” she added.

Agee said the collaboration between the three elementary grades has been a “real confidence booster,” for all the children.

The younger students are no longer nervous around upperclassmen, she said. “They think it’s so cool to see each other in the hallways.”

For your own copy of “Berea’s Unsung Heroes: Our Invaluable Leaders,” email larinda.agee@berea.kyschools.us.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext 6696.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Berea utility doubles solar farm, again

    Berea Municipal Utilities started its solar farm in October 2011 with 60 panels. In less that five days, all were leased.
    Another 60, which became operational in June 2012, were leased in less than four months.
    Now, the farm again has doubled, with the addition of 126 panels that are ready for leasing, said Steve Boyce, a retired Berea College professor who has been involved with the program since its inception.

    July 30, 2014

  • Miss Madison Winners 2.jpg My fair ladies

      

    July 29, 2014 5 Photos

  • 10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday

    Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Lucille May 1.jpg Memories bloom in May’s garden

    After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
    Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Steven Coffey.jpg Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea

    Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
    Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos