Arts Day at Simmons Elementary School allows Jessie Lause and other visiting artists to show students why the visual and performing arts matter.
Seeing the excitement on the faces of students “reinforces, for me, how important arts education is and how valuable it is ...,” says Lause, a 2016 graduate of Woodford County High School studying arts administration and music composition at Butler University.
Lause says she returns to Simmons Elementary every year during her Thanksgiving break because she wants to share her favorite pastime – improvisational comedy – with the next generation students.
She wants them to know, “It’s okay to be silly.”
Melissa Bane Sevier, former pastor at Versailles Presbyterian Church, gets to share her passion for photography on Arts Day at Simmons. She says it’s...

Students at Woodford Christian School and Woodford Christian Preschool donated 677.4 pounds of food to the Food Pantry for Woodford County last Friday, Nov. 22.
The over 700 nonperishable food items donated by students and their families helped replenish shelves at the food pantry.
“We have more and more clients, new clients and just people in need,” said food pantry volunteer Nancy Redden. “Even though we collect (donations) daily and weekly, it dwindles quickly.” Jars of peanut butter, canned pasta and soups, as well as cereals donated by students will “really make a good meal for families” facing food insecurity, she explained.
Students (60 preschoolers and 53 from Woodford Christian School) wanted to give back to the community, said Joni Edester, director/teacher at Woodford Christian...

Laura Jane Phelps has been a practicing attorney for less than two months, but says it always “felt right” being in a courtroom.
“I cannot see myself doing anything else,” says Laura Jane, who was three years old when her mom, Mary Jane (Wilhoit) Phelps, became a district judge in Woodford, Bourbon and Scott counties.
If a young Laura Jane couldn’t go to school because she was sick, she often went to work with mom. That meant being in the judge’s chambers, and sometimes crawling out to her mom at the bench.
The judge could look down and see Laura Jane through the transparent glass at the bench during court “and she could look up … and wave to me,” recalls Phelps.
When she was older, Laura Jane wrote her mom notes telling her that she was hungry. “One time,” remembers Laura Jane, “I pressed...

By the time Nicole Stromberg was a middle school student, she already knew she wanted to be a hairdresser. It was the only profession she wanted to pursue after graduating from Woodford County High School in 1992.
“So I have always been in the beauty industry – straight out of high school,” says Stromberg, who has been a hairdresser for 25 years, a cosmetology instructor for 10 years and owned a beauty shop for 11.
“I honestly owe my career and my success,” she adds later, “to my mother and father.”
Doug Smith was a wedding photographer and she got to see the beauty of those couples and their families in his images as a child.
Monica Smith, who died of pancreatic cancer 10 years ago, was known as “a classy woman” to everyone who knew her. She talked to her only daughter about what it means...

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