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Thanks to the benevolence of the late Nancy Goodin, a former LaRue County school teacher and director of pupil personnel, a $2,000 annual scholarship is available for LaRue County High School graduates majoring in teaching or education at a college or university.
The reported $720,000 endowment is one of the largest ever received by the school system, according to Sam Sanders, the district’s superintendent.
Goodin began her career at Hodgenville High School in 1943 and retired from LaRue County Schools in 1981.
She named the scholarship after her uncle and aunt, the late Johnny and Carrie Edwards.
“When Carrie and Johnny died, they had no children, and Nancy, being their only niece, inherited their estate,” said Goodin’s cousin, Dr. William Handley. “She had her teacher’s retirement, so she invested what she inherited from them and decided to use it to fund the scholarship.”
Handley believes Goodin’s love for children and education is the reason the scholarship stipulates that the recipient must plan to enter the education field.
“Though she had no children of her own, she was always thinking of others,” said Handley. “She chose not to have her name mentioned in the scholarship title (J.R. and Carrie Lee Edwards Scholarship).”
Former LaRue school superintendent E.G. Sanders recalled his long friendship with Goodin.
“When I started coaching at Buffalo in 1950, Nancy was teaching social studies,” he said. “Mr. (Ova) Haney, superintendent, promoted her to director of pupil personnel (1953), and she and I worked together at the central office for years.”
Sanders remembers Goodin as a “true professional.”
“She was always a perfectionist,” he recalled. “She did her very best at whatever she attempted and was very well respected.”
Her father Leblonde (Blond) Handley served as circuit judge. Goodin was a first cousin to Dr. J.D. Handley, who practiced medicine in LaRue County for many years. Her uncle ran a successful cattle ranch in Florida.
“Johnny operated a sawmill, I believe in Nelson County, before he bought some land near Okeechobee, Fla.,” Sanders said. “He drained the swamp land there and raised cattle which made a lot of money for him.”
Handley said that Edwards, in his 90s, died about 10 years ago in Louisville. Goodin, who resided in Hodgenville before moving to a nursing facility, died in February 2007.
Students seeking the scholarship must have satisfactorily completed 15 units of college-bound core curriculum and must have attended LaRue County High School for at least two consecutive years prior to graduation.
The scholarship is renewable each year for four years so long as the recipient remains in good academic standing and maintains at least a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale while seeking a degree as a teacher or other position in the education field.
Gail Sanders, operations and compliance manager with The Community Foundation of Louisville that manages the scholarship fund, said the Foundation names all members of the selection committee who will make recommendations for grants.
The initial selection committee included the high school principal, guidance counselor, and a principal-appointed representative of the school’s National Honor Society faculty council.
“We try to honor the donor’s request,” she said. “This endowment, with all the money designated for scholarships, is to be perpetual. Students who have already graduated from LaRue County High School and who are education majors or have changed their majors to education can also apply.”
Andrew “Drew” Tucker, who graduated from LCHS this year, is the scholarship’s first recipient.