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Guests read Dr. Seuss to D-B students: Community figures take part in annual event

DEERING — Monday marked the birthday of author Theodor Geisel, better known as children’s favorite Dr. Seuss, and schools throughout the country are celebrating with Read Across America Week.

On Friday, Dawson-Bryant Elementary took part in the event, with children and teachers dressed up as Seuss characters such as the Cat in the Hat and the Whos.

And the morning kicked off with special guests from throughout the community, who read one of Seuss’ works in each of the school’s classrooms.

It was the fourth year for the guest readers, who principal Angie Lafon described as “local celebrities.”

They included officials such as Lawrence County commissioners DeAnna Holliday and Colton Copley, county auditor Paul David Knipp, Ironton Municipal judge Kevin Waldo and Ironton fire chief Mike “Moose” Mahlmeister and candidates for office such as Vallery Dyer.

Two cheerleaders from Marshall University, Kennedy Riley and Sam Jones, were among the readers, as well as Austen Pleasants, a Coal Grove and Ohio University football star, country music singer and Coal Grove native Jamie Baxter, Ironton Tribune general manager Sarah Simmons, youth pastor Derek Withrow and local Santa Claus look-a-like Jim Kearns.

And there were several familiar faces from the school system as well, including superintendent Steve Easterling and school board members Jamie Murphy, Jessica Bryant and Debbie Drummond.

Altogether, Lafon said there were 31 readers this year.

“It’s always good to get out and be with the kids,” Copley said of his experience. “They’re the future of our county and it shows that the leaders here care about them.”