‘Proud Panthers’ celebrated by MT


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — Miami Trace staff gathered at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting to celebrate the contributions of outgoing board members, Charlie Andrews and Bruce Kirkpatrick, and welcome two incoming school board members, Lindsey Worley and Bryan McCoy.

Prior to the board meeting, a special reception on campus was open to the community to congratulate Andrews and Kirkpatrick, who both described themselves as proud, lifelong Panthers. Both men graduated from the Miami Trace High School Class of 1966.

At the meeting, they were awarded with a medal of appreciation for their service and many years of dedication to Miami Trace Local Schools. Superintendent Kim Pittser shook both their hands in front of the board meeting attendees, before speaking on the administration’s behalf about the impact both Andrews and Kirkpatrick had on the board and the entire district during their time as members.

“We just cannot thank either of you enough for your service to this district, Mr. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Andrews,” said Pittser. “We’ve been through a lot over the years and the administration just really appreciates all of the guidance, input, love and support from you both.”

Following Pittser’s heartfelt comments, Andrews and Kirkpatrick were asked to give words of wisdom.

“I just want to thank everyone,” said Andrews, who also taught for many years at Miami Trace. “I was telling Bryan (McCoy) how we have been so blessed with good people at Miami Trace.”

Andrews continued, “Of course, I’ve been a Panther for a long time with 31 years in the system. Bruce (Kirkpatrick) and I graduated together in 1966, but I still will be driving through the campus when it’s peaceful and quiet, just appreciating these beautiful facilities that our community has allowed us to have. I’m just so grateful to have been a part of such a good group of people who make life here so interesting. I’m always going to be a Panther, but I’m excited to see what these new young members can do for the board.”

Kirkpatrick explained that he and Andrews had not planned to leave the school board the same year, but with all of their years combined, they both felt it was time. He also commented on the pride he felt to have been a part of the district.

“There’s an overall good feeling about the whole campus,” explained Kirkpatrick. “The academic effort from the students is tremendous. There are just really good kids here.”

Andrews agreed with Kirkpatrick, adding, “the staff too — they are fantastic role models for the kids, and very hardworking.”

Both agreed the accomplishments they are most proud of as board members include helping to centralize the campus and building a positive culture within the district.

When asked about their plans after their board tenures comes to an end at the conclusion of this year, Kirkpatrick and Andrews both said they are excited to have more time to spend with loved ones.

“I’m going to spend my time with my family,” said Kirkpatrick, “and I’m going to be doing some traveling, too.”

Andrews said, “I have 10 grandchildren now and a house down in Florida that the family will stay in. I’ll be glad to get more time than just a week to spend down there with family.”

District officials and the board members returning to the school board in 2024 — David Miller, Jacklyn Farrens and Rob Dawson — thanked Kirkpatrick and Andrews for their leadership and contributions to the district.

Andrews and Kirkpatrick decided not to run for reelection at the Nov. 7 general election, opening the door for two newcomers who were elected — Worley and McCoy. Both will join the board in January.

McCoy and Worley, also Miami Trace graduates, said they are honored to have an opportunity to be a part of the school district. When asked why they chose to dedicate their time to the district, both new members seemed to be bursting at the seams with excitement.

“I just feel like it was important to give back to the community,” said Worley. “I am a proud Panther and I really do love this school district.”

The 2000 Miami Trace High School graduate explained that she was more than happy to get herself re-involved with the school district.

“I graduated from Trace in 1994,” said McCoy, “and I have kids who also graduated from here, as well as a younger son who’s currently in the Miami Trace Elementary. My wife is in her 28th year as a teacher here as well, so I just want to be able to give back to the community like Lindsey said, and make this school district as great as it can be.”

When asked about their goals as new board members, both Worley and McCoy agreed that everything they help accomplish from here on out is “all about the kids.”

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