• As an artist, Mary Kinney has always been drawn to the unusual, the experimental, the core of the matter, the beginnings and the endings.

    She has spent many years in the arts and crafts world developing her style, finding, then mastering, her own way of doing things.

  • The holidays are a time to spend with loved ones and be thankful for what we have. The Era featured two remarkable people in recent weeks, and we are grateful to have shared their stories with our readers. As 2011 draws to a close, here’s an update on Craig Merimee and Hayli Nobles — two people in very different situations this holiday season. Craig, a 33-year-old father of three, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost 15 months ago.

  • Emily Reed’s second grade class

    Locust Grove Elementary School


    Dear Santa,

    What I would like for you to get me is a dog, DS 3D and a Dippin Dots machine. I want a dog because she or he would play with me when I’m bord. I should get it because I’ve done a great job in math.

    Next, I want a DS 3D. I want it because you can take pictures with it and it makes it 3D. I should get it because I help out with Aubrey.

  • Locust Grove Elementary

    Sherri Eldridge's second-grade class


    Dear Santa

    Im witeing this letter because I belicve in you santa. some people bo not belicve in you, but I belicve in you. you are a nice man in life. you are special to me and my family I love you santa. I really want the Lego Death Star from you because you are special to me. do you want hot chocolate ☐ or coffee ☐.

  • Crestwood Elementary

    Donna Van Nostrand's second-grade class


    Dear Santa,

  • Elizabeth Shephard’s second grade class

    Locust Grove Elementary

    Dear Santa,

    How are you doing? How are Mrs. Claus and the elves? I hope you are all doing good. I am giving you some cookies and milk and candy. Oh, and how is your favorite elf, Santa? I hope Rudolph is good.

  • Dear Santa,
    I am a very blessed boy
    with lots of toys to play with. I however just want one thing that you nor
    really anyone can give me. When I was born I was picked up on the newborn
    screening for a rare genetic disorder called glutaric acidemia type one. The
    doctors can only find one gene mutation in my blood work so they did a skin
    biopsy in October. We are still waiting in the results to see if I have it or
    if I'm a carrier. So here is my wish; for my parents to get my results before
    Christmas. Thanks

  • Locust Grove Elementary teacher Tricia Chalfant said she hopes all of her first-graders' Christmas wishes come true.

    Chalfant said her favorite holiday tradition is decorating the Christmas tree and making cookies for Santa.

    This year, her students have learned to help others.

    "They know how to be fill someone's bucket with kindness by inviting a friend to play or helping others when they are sad," she said.

  • Centerfield Elementary teacher Tamera Wright said her wish for her kindergartners in 2012 is to continue hard "and amazing me each day with their fabulous work."

    Wright said her favorite holiday tradition is opening presents with her extended family on Christmas Eve.

    Wright said she has a wonderful bunch of kindergartners who have provided toys and clothes for needy families.


    Dear Santa,

    Ho are you due? Can you bcn me kiklel can dsome sor.

  • Amanda Feigel's second-grade class

    Locust Grove Elementary


    Dear Santa,

    How are you? I’m feeling happy because it is a new weeck! I would like a Monster hive ds game, because you can be a monster! I would also like a ipod shuffle because it is fun to play with! I would like a Barbe i can be! I would like a teety bear! That is all I have!

    How are you doing good or bad? Santa you are my favorite! Merry Christmas Santa! How are your elfs?

  • Ann Cannon's second-grade class

    La Grange Elementary


    Dear Santa,

    I want a iPod-touch for Christmas. And I need it so I won’t have to play with my mom’s phone. And I want a campus bag cup and hoody. They are pink with a blue paw print with UK. And last but not least Cookie my walking and talking dog that has a purple dog toy.

    Love, Allie H.


    Dear Santa,

  • Traci Nethery's First Grade Class
    Locust Grove Elementary

    Dear Santa,
    Are the elves working really hard to make the toys? You are the boss, Santa Claus! I like you because you give toys to little kids. This year for Christmas I want an iPad, army men, a helicopter, a stuffed animal dragon, and a jet. I have been good this year.
    Have a safe flight,
    Kyle Cooper

    Dear Santa,
    For Christmas I want an iPade, iPode toch and an iphon and an elf on the shelf girl that has the book to and a DSI. How is your day going today? I hope it is a good day. I love you Santa Clase.

  • Harmony Elementary teacher Kasey Anderson said her wish for her first-graders is simple.

    "Today and everyday, I wish my students happiness.  I wish them health," she said. " And I wish that all their dreams come true!"

    Anderson said her favorite holiday tradition is going to her grandfather's house on Christmas Eve to celebrate with family.

    This year, Anderson is expecting a special Christmas gift.

  • Crestwood Elementary teacher Bobbie Stoess said she hopes her students have a wonderful Merry Christmas and a happy 2012. 

    Stoess said her favorite holiday tradition is hosting lunch on Christmas Day with all of her family gathered together in the dining room and using her colorful Christmas china.

    Stoess said her students have been very nice this year.

  • Crestwood Elementary teacher Kelly Eaton said her wish for her first-graders is that they are safe and know love.

    Her favorite holiday tradition is attending Christmas Eve service with family.

    Eaton's students have been nice by helping others.

    "We have had several students out sick, and when these students return, they all help the returning students finish their crafts," she said.

  • Camden Station Elementary teacher Candy Tackett said her wish for her kindergartners is that they know they are each special in their very own way!

    Tackett said her favorite holiday tradition is selecting a Christmas tree with her family.

    During winter break, she plans to "spend lots of time with my precious family!"

  • La Grange Elementary teacher Debbie Teague said she hopes her first-graders continue the impressive learning taking place in their classroom.

    Her favorite holiday tradition is baking cookies and leaving them for Santa.

    This season, her students have shown a caring attitude, put forth their best effort,  owned their own behavior and  treated others with civility.

    During winter break, Teague said she plans to rest, relax, rejeuvenate.

  • Locust Grove Elementary teacher Erin Wilson said her wish for her kindergartners in 2012 is for them to be the best they can be.

    Her favorite holiday tradition is spending time with family and friends.

    She's sure her students are included on Santa's nice list. Her students have focused on the reason for the season and giving to others in need.


  • Centerfield Elementary teacher Kristie Perkins said her wish for her fourth-graders in 2012 is to take charge of their own learning and complete a successful year in fourth

    Perkins said her favorite holiday traditions include decorating the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music and visiting Santa.

  • Centerfield Elementary teacher Amanda Tezel said her wish for her first-graders is that each of them continue sharing, growing, and learning throughout the holidays.

    She is excited about celebrating her son's first Christmas.

    "My favorite holidaytradition is waking up Christmas morning and making a nice, hot cup of hot chocolate," she said.