EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, The Gazette salutes those who make Emporia and the surrounding area a better place to live and work. The following folks deserve a pat on the back ...

• Emporia Middle School sixth-grader Holden Wilson for winning the 2020 Lyon County Spelling Bee — along with Garret Hammond, Ellie Anderson and Aubryn Garriott, who finished second-through-fourth, respectively.

• Emporia State University Political Science Professor and Chair of Social Sciences Michael Smith for giving his students a look at democracy in action through a trip to the Iowa Caucuses.

Robert Blair for being named the next superintendent of USD 251 North Lyon County.

• Americus residents Jeremiah and Kelly Weatherhead for returning the 15th Avenue and Patrick Street sign to Emporia.

• Long-time Emporia Arts Center Education Coordinator and Gallery Manager Kaila Mock for her continued service to the arts in Emporia.

• Emporia High senior athletes Riley Wagner and Mya Chapman for signing national letters of intent to play football and softball, respectively, in college.

• Northern Heights senior Tee Preisner for continuing his football career at Emporia State.

Mark and Angie Schreiber for being named Honorary Chairs of this year’s SOS Hope-A-Palooza.

• The ESU Union Activities Council, Black Student Union and the Emporia Arts Center for bringing Step Afrika to Emporia for a performance.

• Emporians Regina Murphy and Andy Houchins, Amy and Lucas Moody, Sharon and Larry Finley and Lisa Soller and Greg Jordan for sharing their love of Emporia restaurants with the community.

Embrace Church for its service to the community through its clothing ministry.

Shoe Sensation and the Humane Society of the Flint Hills for teaming up for a supply drive for the Emporia Animal Shelter throughout the month of February.

Chase Harrison — who hit a game-winning shot in the championship game — and the Madison boys basketball team for its Lyon County League Tournament title. The Olpe girls basketball team for winning its third straight LCL Tournament championship.

• Emporia High diver Reed Slayden for breaking the school’s 11-dive record at Saturday’s home meet.

• The Kansas City Chiefs for bringing so much joy and excitement to the area with their first Super Bowl victory in 50 years.

Landon Dody for his continued commitment to raise awareness and help people with cystic fibrosis.

• The Burnley Memorial Library in Cottonwood Falls for mixing education and fun with Puppy Day on Saturday morning.

• Chase County native and ESU Custodian Robert “Bobby” Spain as he battles pancreatic cancer.

Zach Hacker

News and Online Editor

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