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Keith Speaks at 2019 McCreary County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet

McCreary County Schools Superintendent Corey Keith was the featured speaker at last week’s Chamber of Commerce banquet.

By Eugenia Jones

Speaking to a packed house, McCreary County School District Superintendent Corey Keith addressed those attending the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Awards Banquet held last week at Whitley City First Baptist’s Goodan Ministry Center Reception Hall.
In his remarks, Keith stressed the best, and at the same time, most difficult part of being an educator is knowing one’s work matters and makes a difference every single day and that every action can contribute to the success or failure of a child. Referencing the “butterfly effect,” Keith discussed the theory that a tiny action, such as the fluttering of butterfly wings, on one side of the world can set molecules in motion and create larger action or change (such as hurricanes) on the other side of the world. Likewise, Keith noted, the same type of magnified effect can occur in a positive way when a kind word or act greatly influences a student-particularly when the student is going through a difficult time.
“It’s possible to be tough and be kind at the same time,” Keith noted. “I am passionate about the fact that we never know how a kind word or act may affect someone. It’s the butterfly effect, and it takes us all working together because, after all, we all matter. It’s important to remember we never know what the other person is going through.”
Keith stated he has focused heavily on “three Cs” since becoming McCreary County School Superintendent in July.
“Of course, there is curriculum,” Keith observed. “Then there is culture with high expectations being key. The third “C” of collaboration allows all parties to work together and do well. It’s here that we need each other. Strong schools need a strong community with a thriving local economy. At the same time, a strong community needs strong schools. It’s here that I’ll be asking for your help in the days to come. Of course, we want our students to be successful on assessments, but as part of the community, it goes beyond assessment. We, the schools, the Chamber, and the community, need students who have the desire to work, possess integrity, and have good communication skills. I plan to launch out and collaborate with local government, legislators, businesses, parents, and members of the community about what we need to teach our students. I want your help in painting the portrait of a successful McCreary County high school graduate.”
Following Keith’s address, the Chamber honored several McCreary Countians including Zoey Jamison as Student of the Year, Bo Rowe as Educator of the Year, Dave Worley (Big M) as Business/Businessperson of the Year, and Sandy Strunk as Volunteer of the Year. Thomas Corder was named Citizen of the Year, and Col. Sherrill and Gail Owens were recognized for Lifetime Achievement. The President’s Award went to Crystal Ledbetter. Whitney Roark was recognized as outgoing President.
McCreary County Judge Executive Jimmie “Bevo” Greene installed new officers. Outgoing Chamber President Kristina McFeeters provided a look back at Chamber accomplishments in 2019 with incoming President Holly Daugherty looking forward to continued growth and progress.
Greg Burdine acted as master of ceremonies for the event. The McCreary County VFW conducted the presentation of colors with the McCreary Central Choir singing the national anthem. Daniel McFeeters led the prayer. Dinner was served by Knife of the Party Catering and Kristina’s Kitchen.

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