News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Woodmeade principal makes each child feel loved, special

Too many times, service beyond the call of duty goes unrecognized. Today, I want others to know that I personally witnessed Dr. Reba Wadsworth, principal of Woodmeade Elementary School in Decatur, provide service that went far beyond what I expect from a principal. At 7:30 a.m., I entered the school and saw Dr. Wadsworth sitting in a rocking chair in the foyer, greeting each child with a big smile, a hug, and telling them she loved them. I overheard many say, "I love you, too," and some told her, "I read a book last night." Her smile got even bigger as she replied, "Oh that is wonderful. I love you so much."

As a physical therapist who works in many school systems, I have the opportunity to see many different types of interaction between principals, teachers and staff with students. I have never witnessed such genuine caring and affection as I saw on that morning. I stood off to the side, out of sight for a short while, because it was so nice to see the children "light up" and feel so special as they hugged their principal with such endearing affection. I thought to myself, "I wish my children had gone to school here."

I entered the classroom where my work was to be done and asked the teacher if this was a special day or did Dr. Wadsworth do this daily. Each teacher I asked said, "This is how it is every day at Woodmeade."

It is nice to know that all children who enter the front door at Woodmeade receive a hug and are told they are loved every day.

Robin Irwin


Retiring physician provided care, concern for patients for 40 years

Dr. George Hansberry — civic leader, physician, husband, father and friend — is retiring after 40 years of dedicated service to the community. Dr. Hansberry is a doctor who cared more for his patients than whatever financial rewards came his way. I met him 30 years ago as his patient and his friend. While being treated, I never felt rushed. He always took the time to listen and care for me as a human being rather than as "just another patient."

Dr. Hansberry was not only a wonderful doctor, he was one of Decatur's most prominent and active civic leaders. He had a hand in many, if not most, of the worthwhile and significant projects undertaken in our community. He worked tirelessly to make Decatur a better place for all of us to live.

I will sorely miss George Hansberry as my physician. I know there are many others who feel the same way. No one can take his place in our lives. But I know he will continue to be an asset to North Alabama, even in retirement.

Thank you, Dr. Hansberry, for all the lives you have touched during the past 40 years.

Michael Miller


Former classmates remember Thomas Adams, cope with death

I grew up with Thomas Adams. We went to school together from fourth grade until we graduated from eighth grade and he moved to Tanner. Like many people in your community, my classmates and I are trying to cope with the thought that our buddy is gone.

We were told the news last week at school. Right away there were students crowding around, trying to comfort one another. Many of us have experienced the loss of friends due to car accidents here in town, but this one hit me the hardest because Thomas was such a good friend.

He was always the one to get my spirits up when I was having a tough day. He was one of the most athletic kids I knew. Even though he excelled in sports he didn't leave the classwork behind. Even though we lost touch over the years, I still kept the thought of him in the back of my head. Still when I hear the song "Sweet Home Alabama," I see his smiling face.

Almost immediately after hearing the news, we were on the Internet, looking for a newspaper article or something to tell us what exactly had happened, scrambling to put together pieces of knowledge. Reading the article made me realize that he did not change one bit. He was still the caring, funny person that he had always been.

Now that he's gone, many of us here in Hollister won't receive any closure, but we know that we now have an angel looking down on us. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary, George, Mark and the rest of the family.

Kristina Garcia

Hollister, Calif.

Buy cookies to help girls learn responsibility, achieve dreams

Remember being young, when each new activity opened up a whole new world of friends, information, and wonder? Some activities seemed exciting, some scary and others left you wanting to know more. First you wanted to be a doctor and then you woke up one day with visions of becoming a lawyer or a writer. Girls throughout North Alabama are currently dreaming of their futures and you can help make their dreams come true by purchasing a box of Girl Scout cookies.

One of the most well-known and respected Girl Scout activities is the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program. Through this activity, girls learn how to work as a team, set goals, and develop plans for reaching those goals. As they take orders for America's favorite tasty treats, girls learn about business ethics, advertising, marketing, and money management. When delivery time rolls around, they learn the importance of fulfilling commitments.

In addition to developing and strengthening skills, the cookie program revenue helps Girl Scouts of North Alabama Inc. supply essential services to troops, groups, and individual girls, such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers, and conducting special events.

With cookie season upon us, Girl Scouts of North Alabama thanks all of you who support Girl Scouts through your purchase of Girl Scout Cookies.

For further information on our annual Girl Scout Cookie Program, contact Girl Scouts of North Alabama Inc. at 883-1020 or

Paula Schlumbrecht, CEO

Girl Scouts of North Alabama Inc.


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