THUMBS UP: To the teachers of the year in the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school systems -- Shenell Collier from Valdosta High School and Melanie Mares from Lowndes Middle School. We commend these teachers for their honor, but we also take this moment to recognize all teachers as we begin the new school year. Public education is possibly the only key to improving America, so there is much that rests on the shoulders of teachers.



THUMBS DOWN: To the board of assessors in Chatham County whose plan to make museums justify their tax-free status might be copied by other Georgia counties. Statewide leaders of arts and museum groups worry it has set a bad precedent, and we agree. Nothing in the law exempts museums, but most of them operate with barely enough private and public funding to keep their doors open. Elected leaders should be doing all they can to support cultural institutions, not threatening them.



THUMBS UP: To Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk for being chosen first vice president of the Georgia Sheriff's Association during the group's recent summer training conference. The Association is comprised of 159 elected sheriffs with the support of 45,000 honorary members throughout the state.



THUMBS DOWN: To Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens for his unsportsmanlike behavior at a youth baseball game involving his son. Clemens was asked to leave the game after arguing a close call that went against his son's team, according to the Associated Press. He spit sunflower seeds at an umpire's leg. Now that's model behavior, don't you think?

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