Another look at recent honorees

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Editorial: Dec. 24, 2013


U OF L THANKS JOE PRATHER. Not everyone who begins college is able to finish. The University of Louisville recognized one of its most successful dropouts last week when Joe Prather received an honorary degree.

Prather, who left U of L because of family commitments, would become a success in business, the community and government. The long-time state Senate president pro tem, he also served as state finance secretary and more recently Transportation Cabinet secretary and has played key roles on countless panels, committees and advisory councils.

He’s been described as a steadfast advocate of U of L and has played a vital role in the university’s ongoing relationship with Fort Knox.

A member of the college’s Board of Overseers, Prather serves as chairman of the university’s Fort Knox advisory board. Among his achievements has been securing research funding for the Wounded Warriors initiative.

Now he owns an honorary degree of doctor of public service and some well-deserved accolades.

“Joe is everything a public servant should be,” U of L President James Ramsey said. “He’s honest, cares deeply about the people of this state and was always willing to do what’s right, not necessarily what was best for his political career.”

TOP AG TEACHER. West Hardin Middle School teacher Leslie Meredith received the 2013 Excellence in Ag Literacy Award from the Kentucky Farm Bureau. She will represent the state in a national conference next summer.

A seventh-grade science and social studies teacher, Meredith was recognized for including agriculture lessons in her lessons. Inspired by her family’s farm experience, she continually finds way to seamlessly fit the practical applications into her classroom curriculum.

By involving other faculty members and community agencies, she also demonstrates the value of teamwork and quickly acts to modestly share the credit for her recognition.

“My name’s on it, but I feel it’s a team, a school, a community achievement, and it is,” she said.

A FUTURE GOVERNOR. Finally, a special congratulations to Abby Erckenbrack, an eighth-grader at St. James Regional Catholic School. She’s the next governor and has a gavel to prove it.

Erckenbrack was elected governor at the west region of the middle school Kentucky Youth Assembly conference this past weekend. In KYA’s mock government program, students learn about the American legislative and governmental processes, including running for office, where Erckenbrack excelled.

Recognition also goes to Alisha Suarez, another St. James eighth-grader, who was chosen as the outstanding delegate at the same assembly session.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.