Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Gilmer County Schools bus operator (and all around Wonder Woman) Susie Kirkpatrick, who was named the West Virginia School Service Personnel Employee of the Year last week. Kirkpatrick is more than a bus driver. She is athletic trainer for Gilmer County High School’s football team. And, as State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch pointed out, “Susie was one of the bus drivers driving around during the pandemic delivering meals and calling to make sure the children received the meals.” It takes someone special to approach her calling the way Kirkpatrick does. “I have worked really hard, and I love the kids. And I love this job,” she said. Congratulations on the recognition, then. It is richly deserved.

UP: To 10-year-old Chelsea Romine, who called law enforcement in August, after her grandparents were in an accident while trying to feed their cattle. Romine’s grandmother gave her the phone and she went to the top of a hill to get enough reception to call for help. Though the farm was in a remote location, the youngster stayed calm and on the phone with the dispatchers until they were able to get to the couple. Romine has been honored by the Roane County Sheriff’s Department for her heroic actions, and we add our applause for her efforts.

UP: To those who brightened the birthday of immuno-vulnerable 5-year-old Adalynn Gunnoe, of Williamstown, by mailing birthday cards from all over the place when they learned of the little girl’s inability to gather with friends and family to celebrate. This year has been particularly rough on those who must take extra precautions for their health because of compromised immune systems. Bless those who took a moment to make one girl’s birthday extra special.


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