Read, read, read, honored educators say

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2004

Vicksburg High School librarian Patsy Tidsdale stands to accept her award, left, as dietitian Gail Kavanaugh applauds. At right, Barbara Applebaum of South Park Elementary reacts as she hears she’s been chosen.(Melanie Duncan Thortis & Jon Giffin The Vicksburg Post)

[1/23/04]The two educators recognized Thursday by the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce work outside traditional classrooms.

Patsy Edwards Tidsdale is a librarian at Vicksburg Junior High School, and Barbara Bruce Applebaum is the theme coordinator at South Park Elementary School.

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Both were chosen as Educators of the Year one for the elementary level and the other from the secondary level in the Vicksburg Warren School District by the Chamber and were recognized at the annual banquet Thursday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

As a librarian, Tidsdale said her goal is to influence the lives of students by encouraging them to read.

“At the junior high age, a lot of the students are involved in video games and other things, so I encourage them to read anything: a newspaper, magazine, a book, anything,” said Tidsdale. “All of the students know that Mrs. Tidsdale says, Read, read, read.'”

Her inspiration to continue to encourage students comes from her own love of books.

“I’ve always loved reading, and I think every child should experience the wonderful feeling you can get from that great book or great story,” she said.

As for herself, Tidsdale counts “The Last of the Mohicans” as one of her all-time favorites, but now she’s involved her whole family in reading the current best-seller, “The DaVinci Code.”

A teacher for 31 years, Applebaum also knows the importance of teaching children to read.

“I knew I wanted to be a teacher in grade school because my teachers told me I was stupid, and I knew I could be better,” Applebaum said. She suffered from dyslexia, and that experience taught her to give children several ways to learn and allows students to pick the way that suits them best.

As the theme coordinator, teaching the math and science lab and as sponsor of the Warren County S.E.A. Lions, an environmental group at the elementary school, Applebaum can spend time with all the students in the K-4 school.

“I love the students,” she said. “The children are the only thing I get up in the morning for.”

Faculty at the private, parochial and public schools are asked to vote on a faculty member they believe has gone above and beyond the call of duty. The field is then narrowed to the top five vote-getters from each school, and a re-vote determines one educator from each school.

The finalists are then interviewed by a panel of retired educators and are chosen based on a personal interview and resume.

Superintendent James Price attended the banquet and extended his thanks to the community, faculty and the Chamber for taking a vested interest in education.

“I’m thrilled that the Chamber of Commerce has chosen these two as educators of the year,” Price said. “While they may not have a traditional classroom, they interact with the entire student population and share their considerable skills with all of the children.”