Gra­sonville cen­ter fete hon­ors Good­win, Pauls

Record Observer - - Community - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­

GRA­SONVILLE — Gra­sonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter held its an­nual ap­pre­ci­a­tion ban­quet Sat­ur­day evening, Oct. 15, rec­og­niz­ing two lead­ers in the com­mu­nity — Queen Anne’s County His­to­rian Mary Mar­garet Rev­ell Good­win and long­time ed­u­ca­tor Janet E. Pauls.

Deb­o­rah Lawrence served as mis­tress of cer­e­monies for the oc­ca­sion. Fol­low­ing prayer to open the fes­tiv­i­ties, Lawrence called on Paulette Mid­dle­ton to honor Good­win and Pauls will a song. Mid­dle­ton sang “The Bat­tle Hymn of the Repub­lic” a cap­pella, with the au­di­ence join­ing in for the last verse. Din­ner was then served.

Fol­low­ing din­ner, be­fore the awards were pre­sented, Bowie State Univer­sity stu­dent Maya Robin­son, a Queen Anne’s County High School grad­u­ate, per­formed a praise dance to the mu­sic, “Want to be Where You Are.” Then peo­ple of­fered words of praise about each hon­oree.

Ken­nard High School As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Clay­ton Wash­ing­ton, who could not at­tend, ad­dressed the hon­orees by a phone that was patched into the speaker sys­tem in the com­mu­nity cen­ter. Wash­ing­ton called both “cham­pi­ons of the com­mu­nity” for their ser­vice, Good­win for her out­stand­ing ef­forts in gath­er­ing his­tor­i­cal in­for­ma­tion about the en­tire county and all its peo­ple and Pauls, who he de­scribed as “our home­grown role model in ed­u­ca­tion.” Oth­ers fol­lowed adding sim­i­lar com­pli­ments.

Each award re­cip­i­ent re­ceived a plaque from the com­mu­nity cen­ter, pre­sented by Queen Anne’s County NAACP Pres­i­dent L.C. Lawrence, a former school board mem­ber who was stand­ing in for Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Pres­i­dent Deon­dra Jones, who was not able to at­tend as she is re­cov­er­ing for an ill­ness. L.C. Lawrence read the out­stand­ing back­ground of in­for­ma­tion about each hon­oree be­fore their pre­sen­ta­tions.

Among the high­lights for Good­win, she moved to Cen­tre­ville in 1988 fol­low­ing stag­ger­ing ath­letic ac­com­plish­ments as a long dis­tance swim­mer, set­ting records for women and Amer­i­cans in long dis­tance swim­ming and mega-dis­tance runs. She be­came the first wo­man and Amer­i­can to do dou­ble swim the Straits

of Messina, so sig­nif­i­cant Time mag­a­zine did a story about it. She later ran 3,000 miles from In­dia to Nepal and back to In­dia, cross­ing the Hi­malayan Moun­tains, a world record. Prior to that, she also ran 2,000 miles across Ja­pan in 62 days.

Be­fore re­tir­ing, she served 13 years on the Staff of the Sec­re­tary of the Navy at the Pen­tagon. By 1999, Good­win be­came fully in­volved in gath­er­ing facts about the histories of Cen­tre­ville and Queen Anne’s County. She has made ma­jor con­tri­bu­tions to­ward the cel­e­bra­tion of the Bi­cen­ten­nial of the War of 1812 and also gath­er­ing facts about the Civil War, in­clud­ing rec­og­niz­ing former slaves of Queen Anne’s County who served in the Unites States Col­ored Troops. Good­win is cur­rently as­sist­ing with the de­vel­op­ment of the Ken­nard Mu­seum which will be lo­cated in­side the former seg­re­gated Ken­nard High School in Cen­tre­ville, which has been re­stored as a com­mu­nity and cul­tural cen­ter.

Pauls, a Queen Anne’s County na­tive, at­tended Ken­nard El­e­men­tary School be­fore in­te­gra­tion. She grad­u­ated from Queen Anne’s County High School in 1973, go­ing on to Univer­sity of Mary­land Eastern Shore, Univer­sity of Mary­land Col­lege Park and Sal­is­bury State Univer­sity, re­ceiv­ing de­grees at each lo­ca­tion. She be­gan her teach­ing ca­reer in Queen Anne’s County in 1977 and was a class­room teacher for 18 years. Among her many recog­ni­tions, Pauls was named Queen Anne’s County Teacher of the Year, then Queen Anne’s County Schools Ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Year, and she was a fi­nal­ist for the Rotary Club’s Cit­i­zen of the Year award,

Among many pro­fes­sional con­fer­ences she has at­tended, Pauls has been in the pres­ence of Maya An­gelou, Oprah Win­frey, Colin Pow­ell and Marva Collins.

She said she has two fa­vorite quotes she strives to live by: “Ed­u­ca­tion is the most pow­er­ful weapon which you can use to change the world” by Nelson Man­della, and “Try to be a rain­bow in some­one’s cloud” by Maya An­gelou.

Both Good­win and Pauls spoke briefly fol­low­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of their awards, say­ing they were hon­ored.

Good­win said, “You can’t imag­ine how much this award means to me. You are the first or­ga­ni­za­tion, out­side of the county govern­ment, to honor me in this way.”

Pauls said, “Hon­ored to serve the com­mu­nity where I was raised. The ed­u­ca­tion I re­ceived when a stu­dent at Ken­nard El­e­men­tary School gave the foun­da­tion to be­lieve I could be­come what­ever I want to be.”

She added, “Our chil­dren need our help.”

Deb­o­rah Lawrence wrapped up re­marks, say­ing “I’m so proud of Janet Pauls, not only be­cause she is my friend, but she is cur­rently serv­ing as in­terim as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent of Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, the first African Amer­i­can to hold such a po­si­tion.”


From the left, L.C. Lawrence, rep­re­sent­ing the Gra­sonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, presents Mary Mar­garet Rev­ell Good­win and Janet E. Pauls awards for dis­tin­guished ser­vice to Queen Anne’s County, Sat­ur­day evening, Oct. 15. Lawrence was fill­ing in for Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Pres­i­dent Deon­dra Jones.


Maya Robin­son per­forms a praise dance dur­ing the an­nual Gra­sonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Ban­quet, Sat­ur­day evening, Oct. 15.


Long­time friends Janet E. Pauls, left, and Deb­o­rah Lawrence, both Queen Anne’s County Public Schools ad­min­is­tra­tors, fol­low­ing Pauls be­ing hon­ored at the an­nual Gra­sonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter’s Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Ban­quet.

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