Roses and thorns




Roses to a handful of sixth-graders who got a leg up on college professors at Mississippi University for Women''s "Are You Smarter than a 6th Grader?" competition.


Judging strictly from the contest results, several W faculty members Thursday would have had to answer, ''No.''


Students in Terry Coffey''s Managing the Educational Resources of the Intellectually Talented class went head to head with professors from the W and -- to their elation -- came out on top, with a score of 1-0.



The Thursday contest featured MERIT students Chance Burchfield, son of Rusty and Tanya Burchfield; Mary Grace Caldwell, daughter of Andy and Jennifer Caldwell; Trevor Gibson, son of Jay and Brenda Gibson; David Lewis, son of Kerry Lewis; Brittany Walker, daughter of Kris and Meredith Walker; and Abby Wilson, daughter of David and Bethany Wilson.


And the MUW team featured education professor Kate Brown, Ken Polizzi of the Psychology Department, Dorothy Kerzel and Ross Whitwam, both of the Math and Science Department, Amy Swingle of Campus Recreation and Van Roberts of the Communication Department.


The sixth-graders had a flawless record when it came to answering questions. The professors lagged behind.


The contest was coordinated by the MUW Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society to benefit the Sally Kate Winters Children''s Home in West Point. Sponsors included the Troubadours Social Club, Domino''s Pizza, Papa John''s Pizza, The Grill and Chili''s.


Organizers hope to make the competition and annual event. A rose also goes to Ms. Coffey for preparing her students for conquest. Maybe next year, the professors too will get in some extra hours of studying.


And if not, it''ll be all the more amusing for those of us watching.



A rose to the folks at the Columbus Convention and Visitor''s Bureau for bring named the best CVB in the state by the Mississippi Tourism Association.


2008 was quite a year for the CVB, who brought us such events as tributes to the late legends sportscaster Red Barber and boxer Henry Armstrong.


And with the help of the CVB, Columbus was named one of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


"Columbus thrives on its extraordinary mix of Southern history, natural beauty and culture," The National Trust for Historic Preservation''s description of the city said. "With antebellum homes spared during the Civil War and historic tours showcasing the remarkable impact of the African-American community to a revitalized Main Street that possesses great curb appeal."


Other area attractions noted by the Trust were Waverley Plantation, Friendship Cemetery, Mississippi University for Women and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.


The CVB''s job has been to call attention to the sometimes overlooked treasures right here in our own backyard and support events that encourage tourism and help visitors get their fair dose of the Friendly City.


It would seem they''ve done a commendable job.


CVB President James Tsismanakis, who said, "We''re just so excited to be recognized with all the other wonderful convention and visitor''s bureaus in Mississippi," is rightfully happy about the award, presented Tuesday in Hattiesburg at the Mississippi Governor''s Conference.



A rose to Mississippi University for Women''s Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity, for funding an art gallery at West Lowndes High School.


Acrylic art from West Lowndes students Tiffany Harrell and Ebonie Brooks are among the pieces now hanging on the walls at West Lowndes High. Their teacher is Jeannie Staten.


Thanks to support from the Kappa Pi fraternity, the school soon will be open an art gallery.


Art is an important and often underemphasized component of education.


Staten has said, within the next few weeks, West Lowndes students will be able to put their art on display in their new gallery -- a great way to reward and enjoy the fruits of their creative efforts.




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