To The Editor:

As WINGS honors Judy and Bill Verdine, it has caused me to reflect on their record of community service.

What a difference Judy and Bill Verdine have made in the school district of Washington!

While many others have made generous contributions, very few have made so many and varied contributions to the school district. Outside the public school district, Bill and Judy have also been very active with the medical community, the hospitals, parochial schools, the Town and Country Fair, civic pride and volunteer projects throughout Washington.

They have been model parents and now proud grandparents. Judy and Bill have always found time to attend and support their church. In fact, they have served on most committees of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, including the church council.

Bill served as a member of the board of education and Judy is a former teacher at Washington High School.

Bill and Judy have diligently worked for the causes of the school district, putting in long hours and huge efforts on behalf of Washington High School. The WHS Marching Band was a special passion for them as they assisted with fund-raisers and the proud tradition of the Washington Band Festivals. They and Gene Hunt were ahead of their times!

Bill and Judy energized the Brain Bowl contests and other academic organizations and activities at Washington High School. They led by example, promoting the National Honor Society, Trivia Nights and other academic events. They still found time for WHS athletic events as well and helped develop the concept of “Scholar Athlete” at WHS, a designation which is now important in most major school districts.

Judy was a charter member of the board of directors for the school district of Washington’s “Foundation for Educational Excellence” as it was named for several years, prior to being renamed the WINGS Foundation. Judy was among the first names on our list and among the first we asked.

As superintendent, I described to her how I would love to see certain things accomplished for the students and staff of the school district. She was inquisitive and asked what were some ideas. After hearing our description of the new foundation’s mission and goals and why we wanted her to serve, Judy generously accepted. She commented, “It sounds so exciting! How can I say no?”

Judy was immediately a proactive director. She was the second chairman of the board of directors of the Foundation. She led the Foundation when we awarded many of the teacher grants and recognized outstanding teachers. She also teamed with others for innovative projects such as the Picnic in the Park which has become an annual event. She helped excite parents about support for the fledgling Foundation.

Judy and Bill Verdine have tirelessly given their time and talent to WINGS, to our schools, to their church, and to the community.