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Polk County News - Breakout

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE

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DistinguishedService

Members of the Polk County Historical Commission were recognized for receiving the Texas Historical Commission Distinguished Service Award for 2021, an award given each year to his-torical commissions across the state that demonstrate outstanding projects and programs en-couraging preservation and community partnerships. The Court was to present a distinguished service award to Member J.D. Coogler, 99, for his contributions to the commission, the state and the nation. Although Coogler was unable to be present to accept the award, other mem-bers of the commission accepted it on his behalf. (l-r) Roy Newport, Precinct 1 Commissioner Guylene Robertson, Betsy Deiterman, Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet, Mona Rae Marsh, Kathy Lott, Judge Sydney Murphy, Patricia Snook, Joanne Westmoreland, Nita Battise, Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent and Precinct 3 Commissioner Milt Purvis. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

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DISTINGUISHED SERVICE

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9 25 historical commission

Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy recently presented the Texas Historical Commission Distinguished Service Award for 2021 to the Polk County Historical Commission. This award is given each year to historical commissions across the state that demonstrate outstanding projects and programs encouraging preservation and community partnerships. Members of the Polk County Historical Commission are appointed for two-year terms by the Polk County Commissioners Court and represent all areas of the county. (l-r) Joanne Westmoreland, J.D. Coogler, Patricia Snook, Betsy Deiterman, Joyce Johnston, Murphy, Kathryn Richardson, Kathy Lott and Kathy Prescott. Courtesy photo

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Great Beginnings program presented to Rotary

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By Emily Banks Wooten
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Glenda RiffeGlenda RiffeGlenda Riffe, director of Great Beginnings Day Care which is associated with First United Methodist Church of Livingston, recently presented a program to the Rotary Club of Livingston.

Riffe said she grew up in Huntington and first went to church when she was two weeks old at the same church where her mother played organ. She said that during her teenage years she started working in the church nursery and at Vacation Bible School and babysat for people in her neighborhood, gaining lots of experience in childcare.

Riffe has been in childcare for 46 years and has been with Great Beginnings for 15 years.

“We were initially licensed for 64 children. Through the years we have expanded. We closed in the pavilion area and added some rooms and then became licensed for 250 children,” Riffe said.

She said the program implemented at Great Beginnings includes puzzles, Play-Doh, developmental strategies, blocks, an art center, music activities and reading because “Children learn best through play.

“We have invested a lot of money and time into implementing a program to help children learn. I’m a very hands-on director. I like being there when they come in. I like being there when they leave,” she said.

“We recently built a gym off of our playground. We are now licensed for 414 children and we have five buses. Great Beginnings has gone from this small facility to a large building with 35 teachers including me,” she said.

Riffe said that Covid was a scary time for them because Great Beginnings is like a family and they struggled like everyone else, trying to keep teachers and trying to keep everyone happy.

“There’s been a shift. I’m seeing more grandparents and great grandparents raising children than ever before. Parents have more needs now. We are seeing our parents struggling more and more and all we can do is just keep on keeping on,” Riffe said.

“I think Great Beginnings is just terrific. We couldn’t do it without our teachers, our parents, the Methodist Church. I get to minister to these people all the time and that is the biggest blessing for me,” Riffe said, adding that the school is affiliated with the Methodist Church and that the students read Bible verses and attend chapel.

“I just want to make sure these positive seeds about the Lord are being planted. Livingston, to me, is blessed to have all the childcare facilities it has, not just Great Beginnings, but all of them. I can stand here and describe what goes on at Great Beginnings everyday but it doesn’t come close to seeing it,” she said.

“We’re open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We serve a hot breakfast, a hot lunch and an afternoon snack. When our students leave Great Beginnings to go to kindergarten, they are speaking Spanish and they are reading on a second grade level,” she said.

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Musical donation to LISD Choir

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MusicalDonation

Dr. Jerry Maze donated sheet music, orchestral scores, Broadway scores, and other music materials to the Livingston High School Choir program.  The materials belonged to his brother, Dr. Gregory Maze, who passed away in September.  Dr. Greg Maze was an LHS alumnus, class of 1980.  He excelled in music and began playing piano at age six. He was the church pianist at Central Baptist Church during his high school and college years.  He earned a BA in Music in 1984 from Sam Houston State University and continued to be a part of the LHS Choir as the pianist during the choir’s annual musical stage productions that were presented to the community.  He excelled in classical piano and violin training, and while studying at SHSU, Greg traveled with an orchestra touring Europe in the mid-1980s.  Dr. Jerry Maze is pictured with LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins and LHS Principal Dr. Derrick James. LHS Choir members Paola Barron, Mackenzie Gober, Aisley Garrett, and LHS Registrar Jami Alexander. Courtesy photo

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College, career fair open to public

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From Enterprise Staff

A College & Career Fair is open to the public from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 3 in the small gym on the Livingston High School campus located at 400 FM 350 South.

“This college and career fair is designed to provide LISD students and members of Livingston and the surrounding communities access to information concerning college, job training and employment opportunities. Our goal is to equip the community with information and access to a variety of services,” LISD Career & Technical Education Coordinator Blake Thornton said.

Any employer wishing to participate may contact Thornton or Judy Porter via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling the high school at 936-328-8600.

This event is sponsored by the LISD Career & Technical Education Department, the LHS advising team and GEAR UP.

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