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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Mertice Ringer – Reading, writing, and righting

Mertice Ringer taught English, history, and reading at Chipola College.  In life, she taught that a smile, a kind word or deed, and a few minutes of your time shared with someone is free.  Mrs. Ringer met no strangers throughout her adult life, she befriended everyone.  

Mertice Ringer graduated from Clanton High School in Alabama and wrote their alma mater.  She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree at Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi.  She became as attached to Blue Mountain College as she did friends she met throughout her life.  Long after leaving Blue Mountain College, her husband established the Mertice Baker Ringer Scholarship, something she was so very proud to have established to help others receive an education.  

After her marriage to Dr. Robert E. Ringer, they had their only son Robert David Ringer, who was truly the light of his mom’s eyes.  She could often be heard talking of the many visits he made to see them once he was married and living in Mississippi.  Mrs. Ringer talked of her four grandchildren often, and took trips, including a trip to Europe with her granddaughter Amanda.  

She taught at Chipola College from 1961 until 1992 when she retired.  She touched countless lives during that time.  Recently at her funeral services, Johnnie Mae (Gibson) Bright summed up Mrs. Ringer’s compassion briefly.  Bright said she was a student of Mrs. Ringer’s at Chipola College, rode the bus from Caryville to Chipola.  Bright was very clear that she and her brothers owed Mertice Ringer everything for their success in life.  She told of an incident when she was in Mrs. Ringer’s class at Chipola and had on a very tattered green sweater.  She said Mrs. Ringer asked to see her after class and she was a little nervous, certain she had not done anything wrong.  After class, Mrs. Ringer said to her, “Johnnie that sweater is rather tattered.”  Bright said she agreed but that was all she had.  Not for long – soon she was ‘hired’ to do odd jobs at the Ringer home, saying somethings it was nothing more than washing a couple of cups. Bright said the money she made doing those jobs went far to help her and her family, but the advice and knowledge she gained through her friendship with the Ringers far surpassed any monetary gain.  

Julie Shores had the pleasure of having Mrs. Ringer for English, not one but two semesters, for two different classes.  She says, “I remember students walking in her class and she would say good morning to them and ask them how they were doing.  Repeatedly, they would say they were doing good, to which Mrs. Ringer would reply, ‘No, you are not, you are doing well.’  By the end of the first couple of weeks of class, everyone knew the correct response.  Forty plus years later, I still find myself mentally correcting someone when I hear them respond with I’m doing good.   Mrs. Ringer was probably the most consistent teacher I ever had through high school and college.  I can’t remember her wavering on anything for anyone.  That was probably my favorite thing about her because she didn’t seem impressed by anyone’s status in the community.  

We had several students who were children of professors at Chipola in the two classes I had with her and sometimes they would offer different excuses for why their assignments were not ready.  I remember once someone told her that she could ask her dad ‘right down the hall’ and Mrs. Ringer told her, ‘But your dad isn’t in my class, you are and it’s your assignment that is due.  So you see me after class and we will talk consequences.’  I don’t know what was said in that conversation but I feel pretty sure Mrs. Ringer didn’t budge because that student didn’t return to our class.  That told me I was going to be just fine in there.  And I didn’t get an A because her A’s were hard to come by, but I learned how to write, how to dissect a story, and that I was doing well.”  

This writer never had Mrs. Ringer as a professor at Chipola when I was there but I was honored to have the privilege to take care of them in their later years, myself being a very seasoned adult at the time.  I learned so much in those few years about loyalty, friendship, giving to those not as fortunate, to speak to everyone you meet, whether you know them or not, that a kind look, a kind word may be all someone needs that day.  Mrs. Ringer truly never met a stranger, never met a person who wasn’t worthy of her help, and never had anything but kind words to say about anyone or anything.  

She cherished her husband, and her friends, especially Josephine Story and Bob McLendon, told countless stories of their ventures through the years and years of their friendship.  She talked daily of her grandchildren, saw them all in different lights, saw good in all of them, just as she did with everyone she met.  She loved her ‘Red’ dog, often chided by her husband, that she’d choose Red over him if there was a choice to be made, and she would quickly respond, “You can take care of yourself, 

Red needs me.”  She loved her weekend visits her son David would make to Marianna, the Saturday night dinner at their home with his favorites being served, and she thought of David’s wife, not as his wife but as her daughter.  She talked of the many things Susan had done for her through the years with a gleam in her eye that let you know she was indeed her daughter in her eyes.  

Mrs. Ringer passed away July 7 this year and would have been 89 years old November 28.  She and her husband would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary August 6, 2017. 

Sinkholes at K-8 proposed building site

The Jackson County School Board has what they are hopeful is a minor hurdle with the location of the new proposed K-8 school in Jackson County.  

Superintendent of Schools Larry Moore acknowledged that there is a sinkhole on the proposed site, “It’s what we think is a minor hurdle.  We have 90 acres of land in which to build the school that will take less than 10 acres to build.  We are awaiting reports before we make any decisions but again we do not consider this a major setback.”  

Director of Facilities and Maintenance Stuart Wiggins, “We are still waiting on a report back from the Geo Tech service to help us figure out how bad it is and we don’t think it’s bad at all.”  This service is being conducted by Nova Engineering out of Panama City.  Wiggins continued, “In all fairness, it’s a lot smaller than the sinkhole Chipola had to deal with and they put a nice beautiful building (The Arts Center) on there and they’ve not had any issues so far.   We have several options we can pursue.  One is flowable fill, that is a concrete surface below the foundation, kind of like a double foundation.  Sometimes you roof over a roof and this would be the same as that from the foundation level.  We can also shift the school to the east because we have another 75-100 feet we can move the school over.  It’s kind of like we have a lot of choices.  Plus, right now we don’t have anything concrete saying we have to do anything.  We will evaluate all of our choices once we get reports back.”  

Groundbreaking has not been rescheduled as of now and is set for October.  

Back to school Prayer event huge success

Local churches, youth groups, and administrators converged on the grounds of Citizen’s Bank Lodge Sunday night to offer blessings and thanksgiving for the new school year.  Over 100 attended the community wide event.  

Merian Shack Milton had some awesome words to offer returning students, parents, and administrators for the coming year.  Milton said we (Jackson County) come together as a community when tragedy strikes and she wanted the community to come together for something good.  With the start of the new school year, church leaders and administrators joined in prayer for faculty, staff, students, parents, and caregivers for a safe year, a learning year, and a year of peace within our school system.  

The area churches were well represented with Jeff Powell from First Baptist Church, Linda Ellis from St. Joseph AME Church, Nathan Atwood from First Methodist Church, David Green from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, John Wamsley from the first Presbyterian Church, and Steven Subel from Welcome Assembly of God Church all in attendance.  School administrators were scattered throughout the grounds, praying with students and parents, music from the always-popular Royce Reagan and Ben Crowson and First Baptist Church.   Alisa Garlo gave the closing devotion before Royce and Ben closed out the evening with music. 

Monday morning, in an interview with the TIMES, Milton deemed the event a success, “It was great!  The community responded and everyone seemed to enjoy it.”

Emily Glover headed to Southern Union

  • Published in Sports

Emily Glover knew at the end of last season she was not ready to hang up her softball cleats.  This week she made it official – she will be playing another year of softball at Southern Union.  

Emily is a 2016 graduate of Sneads High School and excelled not only in the classroom but on the softball field and volleyball court.  Under coaches Kelvin Johnson and Sheila Roberts, the choice was hers when she left as a Pirate and she chose softball with no regrets.  

After one year at Chipola, she is moving on to Southern Union in just a few short weeks.  About Johnson, Glover says, “I liked how coach Johnson thought, that we should have fun but the big picture was we should win.  He’s a good coach and knows the game and knows what he’s talking about.”  As far as Roberts on the volleyball court, Glover says she can’t be topped, “I love Coach Roberts.  She has helped me a lot from seventh grade through all sports I played and she’s been a big influence in my life as an athlete and as the person I am too.”  

About her move to Southern Union, Emily says, “I’m excited and blessed to have an opportunity to further my education while playing.”

Emily thanked her family for supporting her through all the hard work and for encouraging her to go after her dreams, for telling her she could do anything as long as she put her mind to it.  

At Sneads, Glover batter .371, had 33 hits, 29 runs scored, 22 RBIs, 27 singles, five doubles and a triple her senior year.

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