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‘Dr. Jean’ named Harris winner

A local educator was awarded on Thursday with the highest honor the Rotary Club gives.

Dr. Jean Thompson was named the Paul Harris Fellow Award winner for 2009 by the Greenville Rotary Club.

Thompson, a 21-year Rotarian and a member of the local club for 15 years, said she was “totally surprised” by the recognition.

“I didn’t expect it, which made it even more wonderful,” she said.

“I received recognition from the district in 1997, when I served as president of Greenville Rotary and we were named one of the seven most outstanding clubs in the district, but this is my first honor directly from our local club.”

Thompson was the second female member of the Greenville Rotary, its first female VP and has held every office in the local chapter.

She has served on the scholarship committee for six years, and as its chairman for three years.

In order to nominate a candidate for the award, named for the found of Rotary International, $1,000 must be contributed to the Rotary Foundation.

“These monies go for a variety of good causes, from working to end world hunger and eradicate polio, to providing pure water in African villages and wheelchairs to disabled people in South America,” Thompson said.

She is also proud of what Rotarians do for the local community.

“We give 20 $100 scholarships to high school students who are in our dual enrollment program at LBW,” Thompson said.

According to Thompson, other monetary gifts from Rotarians support student attendance at GAAC performances, the public library, Safe Harbor, Boys and Girls Scouts and Camp ASCAA, along with dictionaries for all third graders in the county.