Roses and thorns: 4/22/12

April 21, 2012 10:08:58 PM



A rose to Nancy Bragg, principal and indefatigable cheerleader for Sale Elementary International Studies Magnet School. 


She didn't need district or state honors for us to know she was "a leader to the first degree," as Columbus Municipal School District Board President Tommy Prude said Thursday. We can look at Sale's test scores and see that.  


As goes the captain, so goes the ship.  


Two years ago, Sale was placed on academic watch by the state board of education. Currently, Sale is the only school in the city's district to rank as high-performing. Bragg hopes the school's 325 students score high enough on upcoming state tests to rank as a star school. We suspect if they don't achieve it this year, they will in 2013.  


This week, Bragg was named district administrator of the year. She's also a First Congressional finalist for state administrator of the year. But to the pupils who walk her hallways each day, Bragg is already a winner. She loves them, they say. And they love her. Some hope to become principals, too. And who knows? One of those ambitious students may someday be administrator of the year as well 


There are few professions more important than educating our children. Bragg and her team are doing a fine job.  




A rose to the participants and organizers of this year's Relay for Life, which will be held April 27 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at Columbus High School in honor of those who have faced cancer or lost a loved one to the disease.  


So far, 60 teams have signed up to participate in the overnight relay-style event. Similar relays will be held at 5,100 locations around the world. Proceeds will go toward cancer research, advocacy, education and awareness.  


Last year, Lowndes County fell short of its $150,000 goal, raising $146,000. This year, the goal is $154,000.  


If you haven't signed up for a team, look on your office bulletin board -- chances are good you'll see a signup sheet to join your colleagues in a day of fun and fundraising. If your company isn't participating, you can still get involved and involve them, too.  


If you're like most of us, someone you love has either been diagnosed with cancer or knows someone who has. 


Remember how helpless you felt? Consider yourself empowered. Visit for more information. 




A thorn to the Alabama man who threw a five-week-old kitten from the window of a moving car last week. As luck would have it, the car trailing his belonged to a Columbus Police Department undercover officer.  


The kitten's fall was cushioned by soft grass, and he was unscathed. But because it was a first offense, the guilty driver escaped with a slap on the wrist -- a $200 fine for animal cruelty. 


The American Humane Association reports 71 percent of battered women had partners who threatened, injured or killed the family pet, often with children present. Child abusers frequently use animal abuse to enforce coercion and silence.  


The man who threw "Tuff Tommy" from the window did so in front of his five-year-old son because the kitten's meowing got on his nerves. What happens to a child who witnesses such things? What does that child experience at home? 




A rose to Mississippi University for Women's faculty, staff and alumni, who celebrated the college's 128th year of educating women and 30th year of educating men. What a celebration it was.  


We had a feeling President Dr. Jim Borsig was a man unafraid to stir the waters and rock the boat. Friday, he stood in Pohl Gym and said words many have longed for nearly a decade to hear: Intercollegiate sports may once again be part of The W's rich legacy, if there's enough interest and it's financially feasible.  


And we eagerly anticipate seeing what else this forward-thinking president has up his sleeve.