Hundreds gather at CBC for annual bell-ringing ceremony

<p>Bell Ringing Ceremony</p>

Bell Ringing Ceremony

Hundreds of people braved a little snowfall this afternoon to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Pasco.

People from the Mid-Columbia gathered at Columbia Basin College for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Bell-Ringing Ceremony.

The college held the short ceremony outside in front of the school's Martin Luther King Jr. statue.

After ringing the bells, educators read some inspirational quotes from Dr. King.

Then everyone went inside to honor this year's spirit award winner: Susan Sparks.

Sparks is the principal at Ruth Livingston Elementary School in Pasco.

She says she's been coming to this event for many years and she's proud to be honored today.

"It's such a huge day, being Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, and then President Barack Obama's inauguration. And then to be here, it's just overwhelming, but I'm excited" said Sparks.

Sparks has been the principal of Ruth Livingston Elementary for the past 13 years.

The school has been recognized as a Washington State Distinguished School for academic achievement.

Sparks has also been named a regional principal of the year.

Sparks knew she was being honored today, but she didn't know so many people were coming to support her.

Many of her family members from across the state surprised her by coming to see today's presentation.

This is the 22nd year the school has held the event.

Sparks says her motivation to teach comes from her students.