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.
News and Online Editor