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Roses and thorns: 7/28/13




A rose to Edna McGill, the temporary interim superintendent for Columbus schools. Since taking over for fired superintendent Dr. Martha Liddell, the veteran school administrator has been a godsend to the district, quickly tackling the issues that faced the district at the end of the 2012-13 school year and preparing for the 2013-14 school year. McGill has proven to be a soothing, encouraging influence among administrators, teachers and staff and is to be commended for her accessibility to the media. 


She has changed the tone of the conversation for a district that was embroiled in controversy, all the while assuring that her work is not to perceived as a campaign to seek the job on a permanent basis. McGill has stated emphatically that she has no desire to serve at superintendent permanently. Her only ambition is to see the district succeed. She is, in that respect, just what the doctor ordered. 




A thorn to the maintenance crews whose duty it is the keep our roadways cut. Anyone who has traveled our highways -- notably the stretch of Highway 82 between Columbus and Starkville -- this summer can attest to the unsightly jungle that has emerged. It is not only an eyesore but a potential safety hazard. By comparison, Alabama's roadways are stark contrast to the overgrown roads we have had to endure this year. Granted, there may be reasons ­ -- lack of funding for crews or equipment. Even so, we have every right to demand our roadways be maintained to some minimal standard of care. That is not the case. We have every right to expect better. 




A rose to organizers and volunteers of the Hoops for Troops basketball tournament held Saturday at the Columbus High School Gym. The tournament is a fund-raiser for the Mississippi National Guard, Columbus 114th A-Battery Strike unit. Much credit goes to Columbus Walmart general manager Ernest Rogers, who has organized the event since its beginning four years ago.  


This year, Robinson hopes to raise $10,000 for the Family Readiness Group, which assists families of soldiers who are in financial straits. In addition, the group sponsors Christmas parties, family outings and also helps in the time of a lost loved one. "It has grown and gotten bigger each year and we are really proud of that," Robinson said. "It is a fun time where the community can come out and help support a good cause. The response has been better each year and we are really trying to grow this into a premier event."  




A rose to the Mississippi University for Women, which was named as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.  


Additionally, because The W was rated highly across all categories, it was one of only 42 institutions named to the 2013 Honor Roll. The results are based on a survey of more than 46,000 administrators, faculty members and professional support staff members at 300 participating institutions. Only 97 institutions achieved "Great Colleges to Work For" recognition for specific best practices and policies.  


Employees rated The W highly enough in the following categories for the university to be designated as a 2013 Great College to Work For: Collaborative Governance, Professional/Career Development Programs, Teaching Environment, Job Satisfaction, Confidence in Senior Leadership, Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship, Respect and Appreciation and Tenure Clarity & Process.  


Mississippi State and Ole Miss also earned that distinction in the large university division. 




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