Our Voice: Near and far, we're proud of our Mid-Columbia roots

Principal retires

Vickiy Van Beek is retiring after 35 years as an educator. She has worked in all three Tri-City school districts. She has been in the classroom and in the administration office.

It's a long career -- one that has touched many lives.

Kids remember the really good teachers and, unfortunately, the really bad ones long after their school years. As an adult you probably can think of one or two standout influences from your childhood.

One measure of success for a teacher is test scores. But a far more important and lasting measure is the long-term effects and motivation a teacher leaves with a student.

Her legacy will last for years to come, either with her students or with other teachers she has inspired.

Van Beek has earned the respect of students and parents. Now that is saying something.

New chancellor

In the Mid-Columbia, we have educators coming and going. Both are exciting events.

H. Keith Moo-Young is the new chancellor at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

His role in our education process will be much different than teaching third-graders to read, but still vital to the community.

We have a cradle-to-grave educational agenda in the Mid-Columbia. It's never too early or too late to learn.

The editorial board is meeting with Moo-Young later this month and we look forward to getting to know him better. For now let's just say, "Welcome to the Mid-Columbia. Great things await you here!"

Local talent

Keith Ramsay made it to the finals of the televised talent search Showville. He didn't win.

But that just goes to prove something we already knew: Tri-Citians got talent.

Ramsay is a popular magician and ventriloquist at regional events. His family friendly show entertains the old and young. We're not surprised that he was selected for the show.

We're sure that lots of talented folks live in places other than Los Angeles or New York City. Ramsay confirms that theory.

Tony nominee

One talented former Bomber, however, actually does live in New York -- and performs on Broadway. Congratulations to Santino Fontana for his success on Broadway.

He was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as the Prince in Cinderella.

Even without winning the award, we're impressed.

Good Samaritan

Sometimes people are hesitant to get involved. But we're grateful to the passers-by who rescued a Kennewick woman from her burning car on Interstate 84 this week.

And went the extra mile to do so.

One man broke out the window and cut a seat belt to free the unconscious driver. Others helped roll the car over.

It seems like more and more people are brave enough to hurl insults at each other on the internet behind the anonymity of an assumed name.

But it takes real courage to rush toward a burning vehicle.