Thursday, May 24, 2018

Northside Elementary plants a tree to honor Ambrose Wilson IV of Midway, 26 years a school board member

Left to right: Nolan Asher, Charlie Twehues, Payten Asher, Ambrose
Wilson IV and Cindy Smithers, Wilson's daughter. (Photo by Sarah Ladd)
By Sarah Ladd
University of Ky. School of Journalism and Media

Northside Elementary School staff and students met on the school’s grounds Wednesday morning to plant a tree honoring long-time Woodford County Board of Education member Ambrose Wilson IV of Midway.

The tree, a small Japanese maple, was chosen for its distinctive color and was dedicated to Wilson for his 26 years of service on the board, part of it as chair. Wilson said the school board surprised him at its April 23 board meeting by announcing the gesture in front of his family, grandchildren and many others. 

Wilson said he felt honored by the gesture and by the continued support he receives from the voters at each election. “The school was always so important to me,” he said. “Now a piece of me will always be here.”

The tree (Photo by Sarah Ladd)
The three students who helped dig the hole for the tree decided to use the original shovel used to break ground for the school in 1991, which Wilson had given to the school. Payten Asher, Nolan Asher and Charlie Twehues said they didn’t realize how significant their decision was at first, but when they realized, they were excited.

“Well, at first they were just going to use old garden tools!” said Nolan, who had the idea to use the shovel.

The school plans to provide a plaque for the tree. The students will care for and water it as a way to give back to Wilson. The children were all smiles and said they were eager to take care of the tree.

Shelby Ison, curriculum and instruction coach at Northside, said she has been with the school since its beginning and has been with Wilson all the way. She said his work for the school has contributed greatly to the school’s vibe and has made Northside competitive with other schools. “We have the best of everything!” she said.

Ison said Wilson frequently visits class activities and is highly involved around the school. “He’s highly visible, but it’s a sincere visibility,” she said.

Wilson got the school's walkway covered. (Photo by Sarah Ladd)
One of Wilson’s accomplishments, Ison said, is the shelter that covers the walkway leading up to the door. “Before this, students stood out in the rain.”

Ison said Wilson has been an influential advocate for students, and has actively worked to provide the best programs possible for students, such as the robotics program and the reading program. “Sometimes, the decisions he makes are not always popular with the adults,” she said, “but it’s all about the students!”

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