Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


June 15, 2013

Top Father

Both of his kids nominate Matt Spade for the award

ASHLAND — In the Spade family, the vote was unanimous. Both 12-year-old Emma Spade, who will be a seventh-grader at  Verity Middle School this fall, and Emma’s 11-year-old brother Will, who attends Hagar Elementary, both thought so highly of their dad — Ponderosa Elementary School principal Matt Spade — that they both wrote essays nominating him for the Ashland Breakfast Kiwanis Club’s annual Father of the Year award, presented annually on the Tuesday before Father’s Day.

The two essays combined convinced the club to name Matt Spade Father of the Year. The only challenge was deciding which of the two essays deserved first place. In what they described as a photo finish, the judges deemed Emma’s essay about her dad as slightly better than her brother’s laudatory words on his father.

 “I was surprised but happy that I won,” said Emma. “He’s a great dad.”

Her brother Will agreed. “I feel like Dad is someone who is always going to be there for me,” Will said. “He’s one of a kind.”

Needless to say, Matt Spade was elated. “What a great honor,” he said of being presented the award at Tuesday morning’s Kiwanis Club meeting. “Obviously it’s more a celebration of the essays that these two have written. I see some familiar faces in here so you know me. If they can make me look good, it had to be some tremendous writing. These little ones here are certainly the reason I get up in the morning.”

Spade’s wife, Jennifer, was proud of her husband, too. She dabbed at tears as the essays were being read to club members. “It’s nice to see how they perceive him,” Jennifer said.

 “He really deserves it after all he has done for everybody in his life,” wrote Emma. “His personality has earned him the spot of the best father in the world.”

Despite the time commitment it takes to be the principal at an elementary school, Spade always makes time for his children’s activities, according to the essays.

“My dad always goes the extra mile for everything,” wrote Emma. “Whether it’s mowing the lawn or vacuuming the basement carpet, he always does his very best. He is a hard worker at his job and all of the students at his school love him. They say he is the nicest and coolest principal they’ve ever had.”

Will said he took his time writing the essay because he was pondering what exactly to say about his father.

“He will tell me things that happened to him as a kid in funny ways and when we watch ‘The Brady Bunch,’ he always talks like he’s from the ’60s. It just always makes me happy.”

Will ended his essay by saying, “I really hope that he wins because, to me, he’s not just my dad. He’s my hero.”

For his award, Spade received framed plaque of Emma’s essay, a plaque recognizing him as Father of the Year, movie and restaurant gift certificates and a copy of “Tragedy and Triumph,” a book about the 1967 Ashland state football championship.

But we are certain he would say that his greatest award was just having his children think he deserved the award.

Matt Spade was not the only winning father Tuesday. Every child who took the time to write an essay nominating his or her dad for Father of the Year has made those fathers winners in the eyes of the people who really matter in their lives — their children.

Text Only
  • By a thread

    It took some last-minute political maneuvering by State Rep. Tanya Pullin, D-South Shore and some skilled wheeling and dealing to prevent a bill important to AK Steel in Ashland from ending up on the scrapheap of the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly.

    April 23, 2014

  • Along the river

    Here’s hoping the weather will be as close to perfect as possible on the evening of May 30, as members of the Paul G. Blazer High School class of 2014 gather on the banks of Ohio River for the school’s first graduation on the river that has helped fuel this community’s economy since the time when it was known as known as Poage’s Landing.

    April 22, 2014

  • Good opportunity

    Morehead State University is using a highly successful program for outstanding high school juniors and seniors at Western Kentucky University to launch a similar program beginning in the fall of 2015 on the MSU campus.

    April 20, 2014

  • What's next?

    While virtually all cities in northeastern Kentucky provide their residents with some utility services — water and sewer, mainly, and sometimes natural gas — to the best of our knowledge, Olive Hill is the only town in the FIVCO‚Äąregion with its own electrical company.

    April 13, 2014

  • 'Waited too long'

    Lt. Garlin Murl Conner left the U.S. Army as the second-most decorated soldier during World War II, earning four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during 28 straight months in combat.

    April 12, 2014

  • Enact HB 3

    The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is under way hundreds of miles from eastern Kentucky in Orlando, Fla., but the three-day conference which runs through Thursday, was organized by Operation UNITE, the eastern Kentucky anti-drug group that knows all too well the devastating impact the prescription drug epidemic continues to have on this region.

    April 11, 2014

  • State officials cease efforts to stop advance of ash borer

    Kentucky’s war against the tiny emerald ash borer responsible for already killing more than 25 million ash trees in the eastern United States has ended in surrender — by state officials, not the tiny insect.

    April 8, 2014

  • Demise of apparel industry in Kentucky continues

    The steady demise of the once thriving clothing industry in small Kentucky towns continues with the latest factory to announce it is shutting down being one of the largest: Fruit of the Loom has announced it is closing its last remaining plant in Jamestown, a move that eventually will see the elimination of more than 600 jobs in the small town near Lake Cumberland.

    April 7, 2014

  • None on ballot

    The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly considered an unusually high number of proposed amendments to the Kentucky Constitution on such issues as casino gambling, the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons and the elimination of state and local elected offices.

    April 4, 2014

  • Time runs out

    Two bills proposed by House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins and designed to boost the economy of this region have apparently died in the Kentucky Senate after being approved by the House of Representatives. Despite easily being approved by the Democratic-controlled House, neither bill was even brought up for a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    April 2, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone