Hometown Heroes Nominees

Dorchester Banner
Posted 1/22/15

The following Dorchester County residents are our nominees for this year's Hometown Heroes awards: Jake Coleman Nominator: Carmela & Charlie Bono Educator-Mentor Coach He loves what he does, …

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Hometown Heroes Nominees


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The following Dorchester County residents are our nominees for this year's Hometown Heroes awards:

Jake Coleman

Nominator: Carmela & Charlie Bono

Educator-Mentor Coach

He loves what he does, coach the kids. He takes his time with them and teaches them football, baseball and most of all about life itself. Keeps the kids busy so they stay out of trouble. Talks to them. He makes time for them because teaching is important to him. It comes from home and school. He just whole heartedly loves what he does and when you do that it comes natural. It’s not like work. Spend time with kids to teach them.

Jake Coleman

Nominator: JoAnn Lee

I would like to nominate Jake Coleman for Hometown Hero. He is a father, husband, leader, educator, coach and mentor. He has never wanted to just get by in life, he wanted to make a difference. Jake has been involved with sports all of his life and wanted to share those possibilities by helping others. Jake Coleman is not just the Varsity head coach, he is also an educator and mentor to his players. Jake started a tutoring program for his players with a 98% graduation rate. He is a positive role model and a father figure to many of his players. He also started the North-South Senior bowl which brings all local seniors to play football together in front of college scouts. Not only does Jake go the extra mile for his students he is also involved with the Y as a youth basketball coach with his son. His dedication to helping others and his positive attitude set him at the top of the class and is considered a Hometown Hero to me.

Lesley Jackson

Nominator: Rev. Dedra Martin

Faith/Spiritual Leader

She is a minister at New Life Christian Church and Ministries where Bishop Weldon Johnson is the pastor. She works with the youth in the church and outside the church. She is a single mother raising two teenage boys. She often visits the schools where her children attend. She attends the sports her children participate in an sometimes has even stepped in as a coach. The youth like her and respect her. She always has words of encouragement for young people and always has a listening ear.

Gina Slacum

Nominator: Larry Michael Bradley

Gina’s just one in a million type person who goes out of what most people would consider “their way”. She helps a lot of people a lot of times day in and day out. Her smile is always sincere and heart warming, yet she never seems to even know how far her kindness goes.

Phillip Spedden Sr.

Nominator: Charlotte Spedden

He has been a member of Beckwith Church on Hudson Road for 74 years. Attending Sunday school as a young boy and continue into adult. Being a youth leader with the young people in his church. Performing in church overseeing the church and parsonage maintenance. Welcoming new people in our community to worship in our three churches. Member of Men of Faith. Helping anyone in need of repairs or added ramps to their homes, the men are there to help.

Phillip has been a member of the Neck District Fire Company for over fifty years, being the president two times. As a member he is now in charge of preparing the hams for their dinners and other activities in the company.

Phillip is known to help anyone who needs help. In the winter he sees that the elderly have their lanes clear after we have snow, wood for their stoves and food supplies as needed, also straw haul and place around their homes to keep cold air out. Phillip doesn’t say no to anyone.

He is known to help anyone in need, even removing a snake from their homes or a wild animal that might need removing from their property.

As a family man, a wife of 52 years, three children and seven grandchildren. Phillip has been a volunteer in 4-H club, volunteering in horse clubs. Coaching Little League baseball and many years as an umpire when his son and grandsons played. He has taught young people in safe gun and hunting practices in 4-H programs. Working with his children and grandchildren teaching them to always respect and be there to help your friends and families. As his wife I am proud to nominate him as an outstanding community hero.

Emily Collins

Nominator: Joan J. Johnson

Mrs. Collins is one of the kindess people that I’ve ever known besides my Mom. She is always helping someone in the community. Visiting the sick and taking them her delicious soup and her famous pies. She volunteers at the schools and is very involved in her church. Ms. Emily is 82 and has no plans of stopping anything she does and she also has a beauty parlor that is up and running and she greets everyone with a smile. I’m glad I have had Emily Collins in my life for the past 12 years and hope I have her as my friend for many more.

Pat Wilcox

Nominator: Sandra Wyatt

Emergency Responder

Pat unselfishly feeds and takes care of homeless cats. She pays for spaying and neutering hundreds of cats to keep them from having thousands of kittens every year. She feeds the cats of people who can’t afford to keep their cats just so the owner won’t have to give them up and the cats can stay in their homes. She is not crazy, she is an emergency responder for our cat community that is out of control. We need her. We love her. She needs help and needs to be recognized! Her organization is Kitty City Rescue.

Nancy Synder

Nominator: Terry L. White

I nominated Nancy Snyder because she is the motivating force behind the Wednesday Morning Artists. She denies any claim to leadership, but likens the experience to herding cats. Nancy takes care of all the details. She produces a newsletter, befriends lonely artists, supports local charities and encourages local thrift shopping. Nancy welcomes every new member with love, draws out the best in the members of the WMA, and then she tells the world through aggressive advertising campaigns. Nancy is easy to laugh and to offer an encouraging word. She is one of the best people I have ever known.

Emanuel Johnson

Nominator: Cindy Smith

Pastor Johnson is bringing the community together. He has a vision that we as a community will “sit at the table together.” He has recruited an amazing group of citizens to create a community garden on the church property. This location is so perfect because it sits at the racial divide of our community. There are representatives from the BOE, the County government, the Health Department, DCS, Master Gardeners, ESHS, the library and others. The goal is to teach, commune, create, grow and serve together. The motto is “Planting Seeds of Hope to grow Food for Change.” We will celebrate at harvest time and sit at the table together and break bread.

Steve Bloodsworth

Nominator: Alison Bromwell

I would like to nominate Steve Bloodsworth as a hometown hero. He is a teacher, preacher and in charge of the summer program at Open Bible Academy. Mr. Steve, as the kids know him, goes above and beyond with each child. He takes them in as if they were his own. He guides them and teaches them the right things to do and how they should behave. The children love him and look up to him. I went to school there all 12 years as well as attending the summer program and now my son attends the summer program and Mr. Steve hasn’t changed one bit. Still the wonderful Mr. Steve. Very caring and very giving.

Nancy Shockley

Nominator: Cindy Smith

I have only known Nancy for 2 ½ years but in that time I have learned she is all about this community and especially the kids in this community. She has been a teacher, a social worker and currently is the director of the County’s Partnership for Children and Families (aka Local Management Board). She is also on the board of CASA. The programs she manages assists at-risk kids to stay out of the justice system. She orchestrates and navigates wrap around services for families and children in need. She spends countless hours in the community just to make sure one kid gets the support they need to stay in school, have a healthy home and enough food to eat. She manages a dozen programs on a shoestring budget and she is the only employee in the department that had 4 people in 2007. She is committed to this community and its success and the success of the children. She has touched the lives of countless people over a 25 year career and all in Dorchester County.

Steve Garvin

Nominator: Cindy Smith

Steve is our emergency management planner. He is not a traditional emergency responder in the way we normally think of our fireman and law enforcement officers. But he is key to the safety of all of the county’s citizens. The county’s emergency management response to natural and man-made disasters depends on Steve to be on top of everything. Dorchester County is subject to hurricanes, floods, tornados, other crazy weather events like derechos and we are even in the path of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant “affect area”. He is on-call 24/7 and is a one-man show. He recruits volunteers, runs training programs, does public outreach and meets with emergency planners and directors all over the state and the country to stay updated on all the new laws and opportunities. You may say “Well it’s his job to do all these things.” And that is true. But he does it quietly and efficiently and very little cost to the county and the taxpayers, yet we all are safe.

Pastor Jack Diehl

Nominator: Hubert Eugene Harper

I would like to take the time to nominate Pastor Jack Diehl of the Cambridge Wesleyan Church as a Hometown Hero for his service as a Faith/Spiritual Leader for the surrounding areas of Cambridge and beyond. Pastor Jack has been preaching the word of God faithfully at the Cambridge Wesleyan Church for the past four years. Not only does he preach God’s Word but he truly lives and serves in all capacities as a witness of Jesus Christ. Pastor Jack’s service spans beyond the church walls into the greater community. Pastor Jack is truly devoted to having the church body cultivate the community in service and bridging barriers. He is a character Counts volunteer/mentor at the Maple Elementary School every week and also serves in various community wide activities. Through the leadership of Pastor Jack, the Cambridge Wesleyan Church has served as the Cambridge Cold Weather Shelter serving hundreds of homeless men, women and children. In addition Pastor Jack has lead the church in becoming involved in Cambridge Clean Street initiatives, Walk of the Cross, CWC Annual Coat Drive, Vacation Bible School, Trunk ofTreat, Kids Space Children’s Program, Lent Community luncheons, Operation Christmas Child, CWC Helping Committee, visitation/Outreach Ministry, clown Ministry, serving on Missionary teams and so many more too numerous to mention. Pastor Jack serves as part of the community as he is truly an advocate for change, unity and peace among all sectors of the community regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age or diversity. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of being recognized as a Hometown Hero Faith/Spiritual Leader.

Dr. Oluwole Olusola

Nominator: Susan Banks

Dr. O has spent several weeks teaching the community about a better/natural way of eating and how it affects your health. The health seminars were free and open to anyone. He has completed two free seminars, one at St. Luke’s Methodist Church and one at the Cambridge Seventh Day Adventist Church. Both seminars (6-8 weeks each) had many community members attend. This type of free health education is invaluable and life changing. The health of our community is important and he has gone above and beyond to help change lives in Dorchester County.

Miss Winnie White

Nominated by: Melody LaChappelle

Spiritual Hero

I would like to nominate Miss Winnie White as my Spiritual Hero. Winnie has been in my life since I started Sunday school, including when I was only old enough to be in the nursery. She has taught me so much about life, spirituality, friendship, mentorship and love. I can only imagine the number of lives that she has impacted both with her personal interactions and with her writing. Today, she is again my Sunday school instructor. I find her part in my life to be as strong and uplifting as it ever was, and she will always be a Hero in my life, in my heart and in my walk with God. Thank you, Winnie!

Ken Malik

East New Market

Nominated by: Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr., Superintendent of Schools

Emergency Responder

  • Recently retired 40 year veteran of the Cambridge Police Department
  • 20 years service as Chief of Police
  • Charter member of my Superintendent’s Advisory Council
  • Strong supporter of Safe Schools initiatives, including the Safe Schools Committee, DARE Program, and emergency crisis assistance
  • Promoter of positive community values

Pastor George Ames


Nominated by: Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr., Superintendent of Schools

  • Prominent positive spiritual role model in Dorchester community
  • Character Counts Coach at Sandy Hill Elementary School
  • Charter member of my Superintendent’s Advisory Council
  • Orphan’s Court Judge
  • Chamber of Commerce executive
  • Regular spiritual guidance in the Dorchester Banner

Steve Rideout

Nominated by: Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr., Superintendent of Schools

  • Helped establish a reading program with DCPS
  • Founder of Sandy Hill Elementary volunteer tutorial program
  • Volunteer reader at Sandy Hill and Maple Elementary Schools
  • Charter member of my Superintendent’s Advisory Council
  • A Member and current chair of the Cambridge Ethics Commission (3 years)
  • Over past two years has been a leader of the community initiative to establish a city manager form of government for Cambridge, which resulted in charter changes being passed by City Council in December, 2014 to effectuate that change (It is still subject to the possibility of a public referendum)
  • A Board Member and Board Secretary of Cambridge Community Radio, Inc. (scheduled to begin operations in July 2015) and has reached out to the school system about possible programming to support reading improvement efforts for pre-school children through innovative radio programming
  • CASA volunteer for Dorchester County
  • Member of the Quality Assurance Committee of Delmarva Community Services in Cambridge
  • President and Acting Board Chair for Foster Care Alumni of America


Nominated by: Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr., Superintendent of Schools

Business Volunteer

Dorchester County Public Schools students have a wonderful opportunity as they participate in a paid internship with a new company in Dorchester. Quevera is an information technology firm dedicated to exceeding expectations of its customers, partners and employees. Quevera has a commitment to make a difference in the community, especially with high school and college students interested in careers within the information technology industry. Quevera means discovering the truth behind the question. (Quevera, 2014)

The partnership between DCPS and Quevera has allowed Dorchester Career and Technology Center students to transfer their school skills into the work setting. During a recent visit, students shared their experiences, which included working on a rack card for a local senate candidate and preparing other websites. Quevera has provided the students with financial literacy information, training on office protocols, and tips on how to effectively communicate in a business setting. The students represent both Cambridge-South Dorchester and North Dorchester High Schools. These community partnerships are essential for preparing students to be college and career ready.

Lorraine Henry

Nominated by: Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr., Superintendent of Schools


Volunteer - Lifetime Achievement

Lorraine T. Henry was born in Fork Neck (Dorchester County) to the proud parents of the late Louis Thompson and Ollie Thompson Molock. The family moved to Cambridge when she was in the 4th grade – Pine Street Elementary School. She was always fond of school and decided at an early age that she wanted to be a teacher.

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