Breeding honored as the Citizen of the Year
By Sparta Live | February 27, 2003 12:00 am
The White County High School multi-purpose room was the venue on the evening of Feb. 25 for the seventh annual Expositor Citizen of the Year, Unsung Heroes, and Golden Apple Teacher of the Year awards.
Following a synopsis by Expositor Publisher Suzanne Dickerson, which featured a magnitude of civic and business achievements, Bob Breeding was announced as the recipient of the 2003 Expositor Citizen of the Year Award. Prior winners Bill Johnson, Edd Rogers and Fate Wilson were on hand as Johnson presented Breeding with the award.
“A lot of nice things have been said about me this evening, but a great deal of credit for the things I have been able to accomplish in this community should go to my wife,” said Breeding. “She has always been an abundant source of strength in addition to being my greatest supporter. I can’t begin to name the many people who have helped me during my years of community service, but I see many of their faces here tonight. I want you all to know I am very grateful.”
While Breeding suggested he could spend a considerable amount of time reminiscing about the positive evolution he has witnessed within Sparta over the past generation, he preferred to comment on what he sees as a promising future for our community.
“We have a great community. I am proud of it, I love it, and I am optimistic about its future,” said Breeding. “I look around this community and see the fine group of young people we have who have distinguished themselves through their professions and through assuming leadership role.”
Breeding briefly spoke about select projects within the past generation such as advancements in the water department, the establishment and expansion of Highway 111 and the history of the local airport. Breeding reminded the audience these were examples that challenged community leaders to be patient while working hard. Accordingly, the 2003 Citizen of the Year offered advice for today’s generation.
“For our fine young generation, I have some words of advice,” said Breeding. “Keep your faith, and be patient. Don’t be discouraged if good things don’t happen as rapidly as you hope. Good things don’t happen overnight, and if you don’t keep working at it they may never come at all.”
Recognized earlier in the evening was the Golden Apple Teacher of the year award winner for 2003.
Kurt Dronebarger, from White County Middle School, was presented the award from 2002 recipient Linda Mackie.
Dronebarger was selected from a group of nine candidates, which included Jill Wheeler (Findlay Elementary), Ruth Broyles (Doyle Elementary), Hilda Holman (BonDeCroft Elementary), Jenny Thacker (Northfield Elementary), Glenda Jones (Cassville Elementary), Terri Newton (White County High School), Annette McBride (Woodland Park Elementary) and Sandra Gentry (Central View Elementary).
“I haven’t been teaching for very long and not as long as many on this panel,” said Dronebarger. “They are all more deserving than me. Every person sitting here tonight deserves this award, and I am certainly appreciative of this honor. It is nice to be recognized among your peers for the work you do.”
Dronebarger was especially complimentary of the entire panel of candidates as he offered the audience the philosophy that makes these teachers so effective. “There is no secret recipe,” said Dronebarger. “We just all try to do the best we can to love kids, share information with them and share our lives with them. I am very thankful to the Expositor and all the people who consider me worthy of this honor.”
As a preamble to the Unsung Hero awards, the White County High School Advanced Chorale sang “Song for the Unsung Hero”. Expositor Newsroom Manager Kim Wood gave individual introductions detailing the qualities that earned each recipient the honor of Unsung Hero.
Mary Agee, Della Mae Pollard and Ruth Golden were the Expositor Unsung Heroes for 2003. Because of inclement weather conditions, Agee was not able to attend.
Winners in The Expositor photo contest were also on display during the awards ceremony. The winners were: Debbie Lamb, grand prize; Debbie Lamb, first place children’s category; Elois Hudgens, first place nature category; Darrell Tubb, first place animal category; Geneva Phillips, first place life in White County category; Geneva Phillips, first place Christmas category; Beverly Lawson, first place miscellaneous category.