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My Word

  • MY WORD: A word from a man full of thanks

    My name is Andrea Cottrell, the wife of the late George Cottrell, Jr.

    Our family would like to thank everyone for all their love and support throughout our entire journey with George’s ALS diagnosis.

    We were blessed and highly favored by our Lord and savior! George and I often talked about our blessings and how much we appreciated them all.

    So, one day, George says to me, “Dot, read this.”

    I did, and it was one of the most sincere letters I have ever read. This letter is addressed to everyone in the community. It reads:

  • NEIHOF: Goal-setting efforts paying off

    This BIG Goal was introduced to staff and students three years ago, a lofty goal with high expectations, intense monitoring, and consistent engagement.

    The focus never wavered. The hard work got harder. The efforts were never-ending.

    “Not all of my students are on grade level but by golly way more than the majority are,” is what Pam Pickens from Painted Stone Elementary said on the last day of school, June 4. “Setting that bar so high made us aim high, and it worked.”

  • MY WORD: This fight against cancer has incredible allies

    Every day is Cancer Awareness. Cancer is a 365-day, 24/7 kind of carnivore. It is not selecting on whom it will prey. My husband is a two-time survivor. When life is lived by simple pleasures, the enemy can attack. Life as you know it is forever changed. Attached is an open letter to Gary’s physician.

  • MY WORD: Remembering true spirit of Memorial Day

    In his address following the battle at Gettysburg, Kentucky native President Abraham Lincoln stated that we as Americans need “…to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”

  • MY WORD: Outlet mall would bring problems

    The editorial (“Outlet mall plan will test us all,” May 9) in The Sentinel-News (Shelby County’s local paper) about the proposed outlet mall in Simpsonville (The Outlet Shoppes of Louisville) already seems to support this development as “progress” and implores: “We have to avoid the tragedy of lost opportunity.” How is progress and opportunity defined by building this outlet mall?

  • MY WORD: Special idea from special sisters

    Kate Schaefer has won awards in art. Claire Schaefer has won awards in dance and beauty contests.

    They wish every student had the same opportunities, especially since Claire remembers only one time seeing children with special needs competing in a contest in which she participated.

    Their wish has come true because of their own efforts.

    These two sisters have worked out arrangements with the Shelby County Fair Board to have an art contest and a Miss Sensational Pageant for students identified with disabilities.

  • MY WORD: A new learning experience

    Recently I heard the phrase “the new norm” being tossed around. I cannot specifically remember to what it was in reference, but I started thinking about what Shelby County Public Schools will look like when we meet our Big Goals: all fifth-graders going to middle school on grade level, all middle-schoolers going to high school on grade level and all students graduating college and career ready.

  • NEIHOF: Here’s how to prepare for K-PREP

    We are preparing for the annual state assessments in May – but it’s out with the old and in with the new.

    The new state system is called Unbridled Learning: College/Career-Readiness for All. It takes into account all areas of a school’s work and even replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements because of a federal waiver. That means Shelby County Public Schools will have a single set of goals to meet.

    I am excited – and anxious – about the changes.

  • MY WORD: Shelbyville's requirement isn’t just an issue of paying for a sidewalk

    This spring, my wife and I will be replacing the sidewalk abutting our home on Henry Clay Street in Shelbyville. We were among the first 150 residents in a 22-square-block area to receive notice from the Codes Enforcement Office that a 16-year dormant ordinance requiring homeowners to pay for sidewalk repairs was being resurrected and enforced.

    The letter directed us to start making arrangements within 30 days and complete the work within 60 days, or the city would make the repairs and file a lien against our home for the cost of the work, plus fees and penalties.

  • MY WORD: What organic farming is really like

    I was very interested to read the article The Sentinel-Newsthat started out talking about beef prices but ended as a discussion about organic livestock (“Shelby’s beef prices jumping,” March 23). My husband and I own Earth's Promise Farm. We are among the state's first certified organic farms, and we raise certified organic pastured poultry for meat and eggs, certified organic pastured pork and certified organic produce.