Eagle, by the late Vergil Shamberger, for being one of those quiet heroes who leaves a lasting legacy on his community.
Shamberger, who passed away last month after battling ALS, was one of those rare Moore County natives who, having made a name for himself as a student at North Moore High School, came back there after college. He spent the next 32 years there as a teacher, coach and passionate advocate for Special Olympics. From the classroom and the field, Shamberger imbued his many young charges with positivity and family values.
“The biggest thing about Vergil was that he was always positive. Always laughing, always something positive to lift you up. He always had a smile on his face and was very encouraging. But he believed in hard work,” said North Moore Principal Jenny Purvis.
The Special Olympics athletes, said longtime advocate Melinda Ransdell, loved Shamberger for his time with them. “Coach Vergil earned that love from everybody,” she said, “because he showed so much love and respect for his athletes.”
The football stadium in which Shamberger made his reputation, first as player then as coach, bears his name and will stand as a small representation of the giant legacy that lives on through others in the community.
Birdie, by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, for moving rapidly to work with Moore County Schools to develop a coronavirus vaccination schedule for hundreds of teachers and staff.
From the beginning of the mass COVID-19 vaccination effort earlier this year, FirstHealth and its partners have been quick to respond to changing dosage supply and develop efficient delivery to qualifying patients.
The plan for the school staff came together in just a few days. At the end of the first day last Friday, almost 400 staff had their vaccinations, and the appointments continued this week.
The rapid accommodation is our single best chance to bestow protection on the adult staff and reopen all public schools to five-day in-person instruction under the state’s “Plan A” guidelines.
Bogey, by Pinehurst Village Council member Kevin Drum, for taking to social media late at night to spill the beans — by three days — on a tentative deal that had been worked out for the village to take over management of the Given Memorial Library.
The agreement, officially announced in a Monday afternoon news conference, brings some clarity to the future of library services in Moore County’s largest municipality.
It was the long, hard work of a number of people, but it was Drum, well after midnight on Facebook last Friday, who — notwithstanding the borderline incoherent spelling, syntax and grammar — announced the deal.
Then, when we called him later Friday to elaborate, Drum refused to comment. Instead, he went back to Facebook on Sunday to rant about how he was stifled by Mayor John Strickland to remove his original posting. “Transparency isn’t as important to some as protocol and control,” he wrote.
“If transparency ruffles some feathers,” he wrote on his Facebook page, “I’m okay with that and I’m sorry your feathers got ruffled, but I do not apologize for being a champion for the Given Library/Tufts Archives, and being transparent to the public, and I never will.”
We share Drum’s enthusiasm for transparency and, frankly, laud his forthrightness, though we must say that Facebook after midnight is an odd place and time to break news. There’s just not a lot of good that can happen on social media late at night.
At the same time, Drum is one of five on an elected board. The work between the village and the Given Library board was not Drum’s news alone to announce, and it disrespects his colleagues’ efforts to jump the gun. And it calls into question whether his fellow council members will continue to trust him.