Ron Brashear feels lucky.
From his family today to his educational foundation from Elizabethtown Independent Schools, “I am old lucky from Kentucky,” he said.“I got here because I have had so many loving hands on me,” he added. Elizabethtown Independent Schools recognized eight of its graduates, including Brashear, Saturday night during its annual Tradition of Excellence Alumni Awards ceremony. The honorees toured the school Friday and attended a pep rally as part of the festivities.
Brashear graduated in 1980 and works as a corporate manager for AT&T. During his time in school, he said he was a lost and confused student, but teachers helped him not squander his talents.
“I learned that it’s not about where you start or what skin you’re in, it’s all about attitude,” he said during the awards ceremony.
Brashear ended his speech by dedicating his Tradition of Excellence award to his mother, who he said pushed to get him an education.
During Saturday’s celebration, other honorees spoke about how teachers changed their lives and prepared them for future success.
“My experience in Elizabethtown Independent Schools has helped me dream big,” said Alvin Garrison, superintendent of Covington Independent Public Schools and a 1988 graduate.
EIS superintendent Jon Ballard said award recipients distinguished themselves among tens and thousands of graduates and embodied the district’s motto: A Tradition of Excellence.
“They made a difference in our world,” he said.
Other honorees talked about the lifelong lessons they learned in Elizabethtown classrooms and the opportunities they had.
“I’m appreciative of all the things I got to do here,” said Nancy Bargo Anthony, who graduated in 1968 and is president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
Anthony recounted how during her time at Elizabethtown, she and her friends started a girls’ tennis team. At the time, the school didn’t have any sports for girls. She went on to play varsity tennis at Vanderbilt.
Anthony said she’s learned through her work with the community foundation that “schools are incredibly important in communities.”
“I’m really proud of Elizabethtown, Kentucky,” she said.
For Hardin County Attorney Jenny Oldham, it’s hard to separate her family from Elizabethtown schools. Her parents taught, and she remembers spending time at the high school on weekends while her father graded papers.
“My past is all about this place,” said Oldham, who graduated in 1990.
She also owes her job to a teacher at Elizabethtown who connected her with the county attorney.
“E’town High has meant everything to my past, present and future,” she said.
Other recipients this year included Stacy Horn, Edward Mason, Mike Smith and Donna Hogg Terry.
Katherine Knott can be reached at 270-505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org