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Thanks to Wilma Lemons, the history of Nichols can be accessed via technology.
She invested countless hours scanning documents and images to a digital format and converting files from 100 old 3½ inch floppy disks and old-format CD’s to modern format.
Computer users can visit Ridgway Memorial Library or the Bullitt County History Museum in Shepherdsville to download her exhaustive efforts.
During a ceremony at Nichols Elementary School last month, Lemons was awarded a special honor.
She became the latest citizen to be designated an official Kentucky Colonel.
“Thank you all for this award,” Lemons told an audience of students, staff and special guests, “I’m proud to be honored. However, this project wouldn’t have come about without some help from June Dawson and Phyl Breuer,” (Nichols retired library media specialist).
Lemons took the photo books, loose pictures and events covered over the years by reporters for The Pioneer News, Bullitt County’s community newspaper.
“I put them in binders of Nichols Elementary events from 1970 to 2011 along with CD’s,” she explained. “I call these the Nichols Elementary Memories Books and there were 31 of these of all events and awards to the children of Nichols.”
She also had words of praise for a lifelong resident of the area.
“I would like to thank Dennis Mitchell for his excellent work in finding the information for Nichols 50th year anniversary,” she said. “This school is full of history.”
The entire project took Lemons three months. David Strange, Executive Director of the Bullitt County History Museum, said she scanned 3,866 items and over 9,000 individual images.
“Much of the hard-copy stuff was in homemade scrapbooks created by past students and parents of newspaper clippings and family photos,” Strange said. “Wilma’s work now preserves all of that and makes it more easily available on computer and preserved for the future.”
“Wilma started volunteering at the history museum in January 2010,” Strange said. “Last year alone, she ‘worked’ 636 volunteer hours.”
Lemons is tickled that the history of Nichols is now preserved for future generations.
“It is a seed of history planted to where the children can look back and see themselves and continue to grow with Nichols, for this is an old school but proud with history,” she said.
Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,200 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.