The Leadership Woodford County program, which provides a forum for leaders to study the community and learn the skills needed to help promote change, to improve the quality of life and to lead, graduated its first class May 4.
The program, which began in September, featured monthly all-day meetings highlighting education, industry, health care, government, law and justice, agriculture and tourism.
To apply for the 2017-2018 Leadership Woodford County program, contact Don Vizi at Woodforddirector@gmail.com or 859-873-5122, or call the Woodford County Cooperative Extension Service at 859-873-4601.
Woodford Schools Hall of Fame announces 2017 class
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The Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame has named its class of 2017. The organization’s sixth group of inductees includes people in six categories and offers special recognition for a notable team. The inductees will be recognized at a dinner Aug. 26 at Woodford County Middle School, and they will be introduced during the halftime ceremony of a Woodford County High School football game Aug. 25. The inductees are:
▪ Dr. Mark Gormley Jr., (WCHS, 1979) Specializing in pediatric rehabilitation medicine, Gormley has cared for children — and presented lectures to other physicians — in more than 20 countries and nearly every U.S. state and Canadian province. He is medical director for pediatric rehabilitation medicine at the Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minn., the world’s oldest and largest hospital for children.
▪ John Lodmell (WCHS, 1992) Lodmell was appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he earned a degree in astronautical engineering. He later earned a maser’s degree in business administration at Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management, graduating No. 1 in his class. Since serving in the Air Force, Lodmell has a career in financial analysis.
▪ Megan Schenck Dragoo (WCHS, 1997) Dragoo danced for the Radio City Rockettes from 1998 to 2001 and 2004-07, performing on TV shows, in parades and at two presidential inaugurations. She also was an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning revival of “42nd Street,” sharing the Broadway stage with her sister, Joni, and appearing on TV shows.
▪ William Bland (WCHS, 1966) A longtime educator and coach, Bland lettered in basketball, baseball, track and field, and cross country at Versailles High School and then at WCHS. He was twice named to the Central Kentucky Conference’s All-CKC basketball team and earned a basketball scholarship to Tennessee Tech University, where he was a three-year starter. When he returned to Woodford County High School, Bland taught physical education and coached for 32 years.
▪ Joe Carr Jr. (WCHS, 1997) Carr’s four state championships, 242 career wins and 1997 first-team All-American status place him among Kentucky’s finest high school wrestlers. He was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2008. At West Virginia University, Carr qualified for the NCAA tournament four times. Returning to Woodford County to teach and coach, Carr was assistant coach for two state team championships, in 2005 and 2006.
▪ Teresa Jones James (WCHS, 1980) A licensed clinical social worker since 1993, James was commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services from 2011 to 2015, overseeing nearly 4,600 employees and a budget of $1 billion. James has been recognized for lifetime achievement by Eastern Kentucky University, and in 2014, she was inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Social Work Hall of Fame.
▪ James McAfee (Versailles High School, 1947) Before becoming a high school principal, McAfee taught and coached in Montgomery and Woodford counties. He served the state of Kentucky, first as a leader with the Department of Education for 18 years, then as a finance manager with the Department of Surface Mining. McAfee died in 2016.
▪ Jack Kain: Through Jack Kain Ford, Kain has supplied vehicles for driver education, special events and Project Graduation. By sponsoring fundraisers including Drive One for Your School, Kain has raised thousands of dollars for Woodford schools. He also has supported athletic teams through sponsorships and donations, and he has sponsored career programs and field trips, has spoken to classes and has hired a succession of graduates.
▪ Walter Bradley (Simmons High School, 1943) Bradley was the first black person elected to serve on the Midway City Council. Through articles he contributed to The Woodford Sun, Bradley educated others on the accomplishments of black inventors and leaders. Bradley renovated and lived in the 1872 building that housed the Pilgrim Baptist Church and, later, the Midway Colored School, which he attended. Bradley died in 2004, and Midway’s public park is named in his memory.
▪ Decima Carl Osborne (VHS through 1951) For 38 years, Osborne was the first teacher for thousands of Woodford County children who attended Jack and Jill Preschool. After the final class left the school in 2007, Osborne continued to work with small children at Falling Springs, building on decades of service as an arts and crafts teacher for Woodford County Parks and Recreation. She also led a dance team and choreographed for local pageants and theater groups. Osborne has been honored by the U.S. Congress, Transylvania University and the city of Versailles.
Special recognition for a notable team: Honored this year is the 1986 WCHS mock trial team, which won the Kentucky state title and advanced to the National Mock Trial Tournament in Phoenix. Members of the team were Sarah-Andrea Adler, Anthony Atwood, Evan Bledsoe, Geri Etherington, John Meholovitch, Tanya Mirilovich, Sarah Pryor, Lucy Vance and Brenna Venis. The team was coached by faculty sponsor Dan Cassity and by local lawyers Ralph Combs and Bob Swisher.
Fister to speak to Woodford County Historical Society
The next meeting of the Woodford County Historical Socieity will be at 6:30 p.m. May 25 at the society’s library and museum, 121 Rose Hill, Versailles.
The guest speaker will be Bradley Fister, a Lexington resident with roots in Woodford County. He is a University of Kentucky graduate with a degree in interior design. He is a teaching assistant pursuing a master’s degree in interiors and a candidate for certification in historic preservation.
As an undergrad, he researched the Amsden Bank building at South Main and Court streets. Currently, his research in academia is on potential adaptive re-use of the old buildings around Versailles’ courthouse square.
Members and guests are welcome to attend to envision our town’s future. For more information, call Judy Phillips at 859-879-8667.