There is a day, a week, a month set aside for just about everything and every profession imaginable, but 911 Appreciation Week certainly is one worth noting. And so it is good that this past week the good folks who work in the Greenwood County E-911 Center were feted and festooned. These people, and those who operate 911 centers everywhere, are very deserving of the recognition given them during their special week.
They perform incredible and demanding jobs that quite often are unnoticed or simply glide under the radar. While firemen, EMTs, police officers and deputies are the ones responding to the scenes, it is the dispatchers who often make the difference between lives saved and lives lost. They are often the ones who talk someone through the procedures necessary to save another’s life or help guide them through child birth. They are the ones who keep a child on the phone, maintaining calm until public safety arrives to handle a bad situation. They often relay information from a caller to law enforcement that aids responders in where and how to respond to a situation, again possibly saving a life or lives.
Their job requires a blend of acute listening and communication skills with a dose of calm and compassion that enables them to take command of a situation that leads to a positive -- or more positive -- outcome.
So a huge thumbs up to 911 dispatchers throughout the Lakelands. You might not be seen, you might only be heard by a handful, but what you do is vital. And appreciated.

A thumbs up to some folks in Greenwood School District 50. Administrative roles have shifted for a few people recently, and so congratulations are due to Beth Taylor, who migrates from the leadership role at Greenwood High to take the reins as director of secondary education in the district office. Her predecessor, Shirley Boyce, who also previously served as GHS principal, has been named assistant superintendent for instruction. She replaces Pat Ross, who retired.
These changes also resulted in principal shifts. We wish Chad Evans and Corey Collington success in their roles heading up Greenwood High and Brewer Middle, respectively.

If you have a favorite tax preparer, you should consider giving that person a thumbs up -- especially if he or she was able to find you a nice refund. While many of us trust ourselves and our ability to navigate not only the vast ocean of tax codes, but also tax preparation software, a good many of us simply hand volumes of paperwork to someone else and entrust them with finding us refunds at best, avoiding an IRS audit at least.
If you looked carefully this past week, say about Wednesday, then you probably were able to tell which people were tax preparers. They were the ones with glazed eyes and faint smiles on their faces. The glazed eyes were from the endless hours during the final days leading up to the April 15 filing deadline. The reason for the faint smile? The deadline passed.