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Lawrence County chamber honors distinguished citizens

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

TOWN CREEK — The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce honored distinguished citizens and a business Monday evening at its annual awards banquet at Doublehead Resort in Town Creek.

The chamber awarded Stanley Johnson, a cross-country and basketball coach and teacher at Lawrence County High School, the Teacher of the Year Award for his dedication to his students.

LCHS Principal Joe Lang said in his nomination of Johnson that the coach wasn't just about sports.

"Through his coaching and motivation skills, he tries to reach kids, not just win games," he said.

Former Chamber of Commerce President Kenneth Brackins presented the Student Citizen of the Year Award to three students for their "courage and leadership."

Brackins said Tyler Parker, a freshman at Speake High School; Michaela Prescott, a junior at Lawrence County High School; and Zack Tippett, a junior at Mount Hope High School took a stand when others didn't agree.

"(These students) stood tall, openly expressing their support for realignment and reorganization, sometimes in the face of opposition," he said.

The Lawrence County Board of Education voted in December to pursue a plan to consolidate the county's seven high schools into one to three schools. The effort has met stiff opposition from residents.

One of the chamber's 2007 initiatives is to work with the school board to realign the schools to improve educational opportunities for county students.

"These students recognize the importance of education, and they realize that leadership is a choice and that leadership makes a difference," said Brackins.

The Citizen of the Year Award went to Tommie Hol-lingsworth, who served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for more than 15 years.

"Ms. Tommie Hollingsworth has made major contributions to Law-rence County as a volunteer with many organizations," said present-
er Kathy
Graham. "It has also been said that she is a person that people want to emulate."

Hollingsworth was humble when accepting her award.

"I love each and every one of you and think a lot of people are more deserving of this than I am," she said.

Courtland Mayor Ted Letson presented the Business of the Year Award to George Terry, owner of BranShaw Mechanical in Courtland.

BranShaw Mechanical was the first corporation to locate at the Lawrence County Industrial Air Park.

Letson praised the company for hiring employees from the county.

BranShaw Mechanical employs more than 50 full-time workers.

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