Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 26, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Paul Blazer always was pro-education

With Paul Blazer’s father, father’s brother and father’s sister having been teachers, Mr. Blazer never lost sight of his emphasis on education. He began his 1962 high school dedication remarks with “I am greatly honored both by the (dedication) occasion and by the fact that the beautiful high school has been named for me. I can think of no greater honor than to have my name associated with education.”

He died in 1966. With Mrs. Georgia Blazer’s — the University of Kentucky’s first woman trustee (1939) — participation and support, Mr. Blazer was a 19-year provider of interest-free loans and scholarships for Ashland and Catlettsburg area students to attend the Ashland Junior College (records for 130-plus from November 1938 -1957 still exist), an advocate for special local taxation for increased teachers pay and modern facilities (1936 on), represented the Ashland School Board of Education before the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees to create the 1957 UK Community College association with Ashland (one extension existed in Covington for nine years prior), and an advocate of the importance of up-to-date technology and communication systems in Ashland’s Independent School District.

Having declined the naming idea when first approached by Claude Fannin in 1957, in all likelihood and if alive today, Mr. Blazer would support any name the Ashland School Board would choose for its high school and would be honored by the 50 years of recognition for Georgia’s and his contributions to education. 

He would further encourage the name change if his name on a building was causing a distraction from the work of educating our children or the community felt the continued recognition as being for anything other than for a private citizen championing the role of Ashland’s teachers and the education of Ashland’s youth.

Stuart Webb. Ashland

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