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EDITORIAL: Thumbs up to 911 workers, social-issues advocate and commencement speakers

York Dispatch
York County 911 dispatcher Katie Flynn (at right) was named the county's telecommunicator of the year at a ceremony on April 18, 2019. At left, York County Commissioner Susan Byrnes talks about Flynn's accomplishments.
  • Three York County 911 Center employees were recently honored.
  • Rev. Ramona Kinard will receive an award given to social-issues advocates.
  • A retired Air Force general and an ex-NFL player will give commencement talks.

Thumbs up: There may be no tougher job than working in a 911 center.

The stress is high and the pay is low.

The deep-rooted troubles at the York County 911 Center have been well-documented in recent years. Keeping the center fully staffed has been an ongoing problem.

That's why we should applaud the three York County 911 Center employees who were honored by the county at an April 18 ceremony for their hard work, dedication and loyalty.

Three York County 911 employees honored for outstanding work

Katheryn "Katie" Flynn was named telecommunicator of the year, which simply means 911 dispatcher of the year. York County 911 supervisor Amy Smith was named supervisor of the year. Jason Witz, who works in the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) area, was named administrative support staffer of the year.

Those three folks have thrived in their jobs under difficult circumstances. They deserve the thanks of every York County resident.

At some point, nearly all of us will have the need to call 911. It's good to know that people such as Flynn, Smith and Witz are working hard to make sure those calls are handled with professionalism and kindness.

Pastor Ramona Kinard, who is vice president of York Black Ministers Association, speaks as organizers hold a press conference to introduce 10,000 Acts of Kindness, a year-long collaborative effort to spread kindness and goodwill, outside of the York County Administrative Center in York City, Friday, June 29, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Thumbs up: The Rev. Ramona Kinard has dedicated her life to making York County a more inviting place to live.

That why the YWCA York will deservedly honor Kinard with an annual award given to women advocates for work on social issues. 

Kinard was chosen as the Dorrie Leader Advocacy honoree for 2019 and will be recognized at the "Lessons from My Daughter" luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 7, at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort.

YWCA York to honor local pastor for advocacy

Kinard is the pastor at the Wheatfield Church of the Living God. She's also known for her advocacy in the community. She is vice president of the Black Ministers Association and is part of a group of clergy members who meet with police to discuss police relations. Kinard also co-founded Celebrating York's Unity Through 10,000 Acts of Kindness. 

York County is not always the most open-minded region. That's why Kinard's work is absolutely vital in making us more united and more welcoming community.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson will give the May 18, 2019 spring commencement address at York College.

Thumbs up: It's always interesting to find out who will speak at the area colleges during commencement season.

This year, two of the selections caught our eye.

York College students will hear from a leader who served two presidents, achieved a number of firsts as a woman and excelled in both sports and military roles throughout her career.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson will give the 2019 spring commencement address, on the campus lawn at 10:15 a.m. May 18. She broke barriers by becoming the first woman to hold the position of Air Force Academy superintendent.

York College commencement speaker a leader in military and basketball

John Kuhn

Meanwhile, Dover High School graduate John Kuhn will give the commencement speech at his alma mater — Shippensburg University — on Saturday, May 11.

Kuhn was an academic All-American in football for the Raiders and went on to a Pro Bowl career in the NFL, mostly with the Green Bay Packers. He's now embarking on a pro football media career.

Dover grad Kuhn starts new career as analyst

Both Johnson and Kuhn have already enjoyed hugely successful careers and both undoubtedly have much more to yet contribute.

They are both excellent commencement picks and both should have plenty of sage advice for our next generation of leaders.