Like the world’s oldest Energizer bunny, Dennis Trudeau this past week rolled to the rescue again in Grovetown.
It wasn’t enough that he served in World War II and was a prisoner of war. It wasn’t enough that he straightened out the city’s famous turmoil in his 20-year tenure as mayor. It wasn’t enough that he came back to fill an unexpired city council term in 2011.
Nope, at 87, Trudeau has come back again: This time to seek the city council seat vacated by Jennifer Jones, who quit in January.
Oddly, Jones and Trudeau served together back in 2011 to fill a pair of unexpired terms on city council. He stepped down once his temporary service ended, but she ran and won re-election in November 2012 – and then quit abruptly after the latest round of city hiccups. I’m not sure we’ll ever really get to the bottom of that strange episode.
Trudeau is a genuine hero, and one of my favorite people in the entire world. You just can’t help but like him, and how can anyone not admire his willingness to serve on behalf of the city he loves?
Still, a town growing as fast as Grovetown is someday going to have to get new blood into its leadership. Jennifer Jones could have been that new blood, but bailed out when the going got tough. Maybe that’s why Trudeau is back again: He doesn’t run from a fight.
Incidentally, with a little lower profile, I hope a few people in the right places know how much of a valuable player Columbia County’s team has over at Bel Air Elementary.
The school’s principal retired last year, and school system officials know the school will close after this year as Bel Air Elementary. It will operate temporarily in its building as Martinez Elementary while the new Martinez school is built, but at the end of this school year Bel Air Elementary will no longer exist as a school.
So, knowing the number of schools would be reduced by one, the county didn’t want to hire a new principal and then face the possibility of having to try to transfer or demote him or her next year. Instead, they brought in Wanda Golosky to run the school in its final stanza.
Before Bel Air, Golosky has been all over the county, helping out as needed since her “retirement” as principal of Euchee Creek Elementary. She helped out at Greenbrier High School after its former principal abruptly retired under fire, and she helped run the county’s Transportation Department when its director, Dwayne Porter, was hospitalized. For all I know she’s probably pitched in to serve chicken nuggets at some school’s lunchroom.
That kind of willingness to work wherever needed is pretty valuable. Besides: She also deserves credit for being an English teacher and school newspaper sponsor at Harlem High School back in 1978-79, when yours truly was the co-editor of the Harlem High paper.
The county recently named a library for retired longtime principal Brenda Jones. I’m thinking one day they’ll need to name a utility room for Wanda Golosky, because she’s the ultimate utility player.
A footnote (pun intended): I’ve started a blog about running, geared mostly toward those new to the sport. I hope to encourage other runners, and to help promote the many charity footraces in the area.
To read it, scroll down on The Chronicle’s Web site, and you’ll find “Paschal’s Pace” in the staff blogs.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimes online.com, or call 706-868-1222, ext. 106. Follow at www.twitter.com/