Editorial: Hats off to area achievers

From a respectful airman to champion spellers to a sports team that made a big turnaround, we note their achievements and offer our congratulations.

In recent days, achievements of several sorts have appeared in the news pages of Sauk Valley Media. We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge them.

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Airman First Class Alex Moore earned the community’s respect, first of all, by serving his country in the Air Force. He is assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron.

Recently, Moore, of Amboy, earned the community’s respect anew by the act of respect that he showed to a deceased fellow airman.

Moore and several colleagues volunteered to take on the responsibility of restoring an overseas memorial for Elizabeth Jacobson. In 2005, she became the first female airman killed in the line of duty during the Iraq war.

Moore’s parents, Matt and Dawn, assisted by sending him a set of assorted paints in a care package before Christmas. The paint arrived safely, and Moore and his friends finished the project on time.

We congratulate Airman First Class Moore for the extra work he put in while off duty to honor a fallen comrade.

Well done.

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What do Audrey Melton, of Rock Falls, and Anna Snider, of Forreston, have in common?

They are both eighth-graders. They are both 14. And they are both county spelling bee champions.

Anna, who attends Forreston Junior High School, won last Thursday’s Lee/Ogle Regional Spelling Bee in Dixon.

Audrey, who attends St. Andrew School in Rock Falls, won Monday’s Whiteside County Regional Spelling Bee in Morrison.

The girls will advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the greater Washington, D.C., area at the end of May.

Audrey’s accomplishment is all the more impressive because she wasn’t supposed to compete in the first place. However, the champion student at her school fell ill and was not able to compete, so Audrey, the alternate, was sent. And she delivered.

We extend our congratulations to both champions. Good luck at the national bee.

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The Dixon High School boys basketball team reached a lofty plateau Tuesday night. The Dukes traveled to Sandwich and won their 20th game of the season.

Not since the 1966-67 season have the Dixon boys reached the 20-win milestone. And the accomplishment was done only once before, in 1955-56.

So, to say that the 2013-14 Dukes, with their 20-6 record, have made history is hardly an understatement.

We congratulate Dixon coach Jason Mead and his squad for their hard work in turning around a program that went 3-25 last year.