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Awards to Students & Staff

What a week for education news in Danville!

Of course, the list is topped by commencement ceremonies at the Norton Center for the new Danville High School grads. More than 125 seniors took their final steps as high school students and their first steps as DHS alums on the way to the next stages of their lives—in college, in trade school, in the workforce, or in the military. Congratulations to all and best wishes for a bright future.

Jada Jones accepts the Kathy Belcher Scholarship.

Special recognition was also bestowed on a number of scholarship winners, including Jada Jones who received the Danville Schools Foundation annual award. She will continue her education at the University of Louisville.

That was Thursday. On Friday, it was time to honor faculty and staff members. Each school and Central Office recognized certified and classified employees of the year, the rookie of the year, and the people’s choice winner. In addition, the Foundation and Friend of the Arts Committee joined Lydia Ellis in presenting the award named in her honor for an outstanding teacher in arts education. This year’s recognition was for Katie Gash Palmer from Toliver Elementary.

Katie Palmer accepts the Lydia Ellis Arts Educator Award.

Earlier in the week, the Danville-Boyle Early Childhood Alliance helped sponsor a panel discussion at the Boyle County Public Library on developing the infrastructure to provide the necessary foundation for learning that our children need and deserve. Two things were obvious: there is no shortage of great ideas and there is no shortage of public interest. The meeting room at the library was packed with people from all walks of life who were interested in learning what the community must do to step up its efforts to provide early learning opportunities for children.

The facts are clear and have been reported a number of times here and elsewhere in the news. More than half of all children lack the physical, linguistic, cognitive, social, or emotional skills necessary to benefit from instruction at the kindergarten level. In other words, they are not ready for kindergarten, which puts them behind in being prepared for future challenges and opportunities that education can offer.

And the week actually started on a great note when the school board approved an agreement with Danville Pediatrics to provide in-school health clinic services starting (we all hope) with the new school year in August. A separate agreement will be approved in the near future with Danville Pediatric Dentistry to offer oral health services at an onsite clinic.

If you would like to support that work and help purchase equipment, you can do so with a donor-directed contribution to the Foundation.

As a reminder, the Admiral 5K is now accepting entries on the Foundation website. The event will be June 15 at Millennium Park. Preregistration information can be found at

It’s also not too late to add your name or your business’s name to the list of sponsors for the event. Drop me a note if you would like to discuss it.

As always, Go Ads.


This article originally appeared in the May 28, 2019 edition of The Advocate-Messenger.

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