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Editorial: Thumbs up to celebration of service, good Scouts, anti-bullying week, Interview Day

THUMBS UP: More than 100 volunteers went to Marjorie Morel's house and immediately began weeding her gardens, tearing up her deck and chopping branches off of some of her largest shade trees, the first step of a total restoration of her yard by volunteers from the Home Depot and Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church.

The fixing up was scheduled as part of the Home Depot Foundation's Celebration of Service Campaign, where local stores volunteer time and materials to help veterans at home. According to Scott Tavegia, a supervisor at Home Depot, Morel was chosen as this year's recipient due to her service as a nurse in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Even with the dozens of volunteers, all remained busy throughout the entire day, as they replaced every garden bed, weeded areas, planted new plants, built walkways throughout her backyard, tore down and replaced the deck, raked up fallen branches, brush and leaves, trimmed dangerous tree branches, and repainted some of her deck furniture. Morel lives with her daughter, Ann, in the 107-year-old house. Ann said they were shocked but delighted: "It's a nice tribute to her. Navy nurses in World War II didn't get as much recognition back then."

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THUMBS UP: Carolyn Scott and her late husband Dr. Robert Scott will be awarded the Good Scout Award by the Carroll District of the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. This seems a particularly fitting honor for a couple whose philanthropy was well-known. The award is presented annually to someone — or in this case, a couple — who exemplifies the ideals of the Boy Scouts in their daily life. Edward Leister, executive director of Carroll Food Sunday and a previous Good Scout Award winner, told us: "I knew Bob and Carolyn as the couple who always said: 'Yes, we will help; yes we will donate; yes we will support your cause, your effort.' " Robert Scott operated an orthodontics practice in Westminster from 1973-2014. He participated in several philanthropic dental missions and also served as president of the Westminster Rotary Club, helped establish the Westminster Montessori School and served as chairman of the Industrial Development Authority of Carroll County. Carolyn Scott served as a McDaniel College trustee, president of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, a member of the Community Foundation of Carroll County board of directors and a board member with the local American Red Cross.

THUMBS UP: Commemorating the school's first Bullying Awareness Week, at the start of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Winfield Elementary School had kids writing positive messages in chalk, put up special decorations, encouraged wearing blue as a sign of solidarity and asked students to add their names to a bully-free pledge board on Monday. Jackie Diachenko, the school's nurse, headed up the spirit week effort. Starting with the youngest of students is important because that's when adults can make the biggest impact regarding this issue. "I feel like if we're able to make a difference and stop the negativity at such a young age, then it's going to radiate through their life," Diachenko told us, noting kids can learn what's appropriate, how to treat others and positive self talk through some of the measures being taken last week. Bullying awareness is a good time to talk not just about how to be positive with other students, but also with themselves, she added. These are especially important lessons for students who may not be growing up in the best of homes. We're hoping the message got through at Winfield last week and is getting through to kids everywhere.

THUMBS UP: Interview Day at McDaniel College took place Tuesday and numerous current students, as well as the more than 20 businesses who participated, can only hope this one works out as well as last year's did for Ellie Thompson, a 2017 McDaniel graduate, who landed a job with Skanska, a multinational construction and development company. Thompson returned to campus Tuesday to help run the interviews. "I would definitely say the Interview Day is one of the greatest things [the economics and business administration department] does," Thompson told us. Interview Day was launched 12 years ago as a chance for students to gain interview skills, make connections with businesses — many local — and try to get jobs and internships, said Kerry Duvall, assistant professor of accounting and the chief organizer of the event at McDaniel. The event involved more than 20 companies this year, and more than 180 interviews were scheduled with students. "The event has just grown and grown," Duvall told us. For good reason, it seems.



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