We salute …

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 1, 2009

Each Saturday, L’Observateur will recognize individuals and businesses in the River Parishes who have gone “above and beyond” in their efforts to make this a better place to live, work, play and raise a family.

We believe that an integral part of a community’s wellbeing is an attitude and arena where people who do good things … who work to improve life for others … who try to make a difference … are recognized and saluted.

Because this is a salute to members of the community of the entire River Parishes, we solicit your recommendations for groups or individuals to be considered for inclusion.

This week we salute:

• ST. JOHN PARISH SCHOOLS, on the ribbon cutting and dedication of Emily C. Watkins Elementary School. The school is named for renowned local educator Emily C. Watkins, who served the district for 50 years.

• The GARYVILLE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT, on the dedication the Duane “Ducie” Crotty Memorial Fire Station .

• DON’S COUNTRY STORE, on the celebration of 59 years in business on Central Avenue in Reserve.

• Reserve Christian’s CHRIS ROUSSELL, on advancing to the next level of play by signing a grant-in-aid basketball scholarship with NCAA Division II member Southeastern Oklahoma State University

• THOMAS J. WISE and STEPHEN VICKNAIR, both members of East St. John’s Class of 2009, on scoring better than 30 on the ACT. Thomas scored 33 and Stephen a 30 on the test, on which a 36 is perfect.

• River Parishes Hospital employees recognized at the facility’s 26th annual Service Award Banquet. Included among those recognized were 25-year employees DIANE ABBONDANTE and IDA COLEMAN.

• SJPS seniors at EAST ST. JOHN and WEST ST. JOHN high schools, who earned more than $7.2 million in scholarships. Students at East averaged $57,946 in scholarships while students at West averaged $131,156 in college scholarships.