Late Deputy Pettway honored at BOE recognition gala

Published 11:44 am Friday, May 19, 2017

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

Late Lowndes County Deputy and School Resource Officer Levy Pettway received a special honor from the Lowndes County Board of Education at its 11th Annual Recognition Gala held at Central High School in Mosses, Thursday night.

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Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd said that for the past six years an Excellence in Service Award has been presented to a community partner who is not employees of the school system.

“In order to get this award, a person has to go beyond the call of duty,” a somber, soft spoken Boyd said. “This particular award was truly difficult for us to move forward with. By January, we knew who would receive this award. And then an accident occurred that took this person away from us.”

He said a decision had to be made to go forward with the award as planned or choose someone else. However, he said, “While the person was on earth serving our school system and did it in such a wonderful way, we decided he actually earned this.”

Boyd said, “So, with a heavy heart. I’m here to share with our Excellence in Service Award is to Officer Levy Pettway.” He said the school board will make sure Pettway’s family members receive the award.

Boyd said, “I truly know that he is up there. He was one of the most outstanding individuals I’ve met… I know now that he’s in heaven. I know that he is looking down on us smiling — he always smiled — to earn this award he truly, truly deserved.”

Top Award winners of the year presented included: Teacher of the Year Nickles Rankins of Lowndes County Middle School, Principal of the Year Bessie Morgan of Jackson-Steele Elementary; Administrator of the Year Yolanda Williams-Reid, chief school finance officer; Parent of the Year Sheila Davidson, Lowndes County Middle School; and Student of the Year Jahkena Ray, The Calhoun School; Volunteer of the Year Sarah Stallworth, Central High; and Support Personnel of the Year Sheila Brown.

Retired Teachers recognized were Mary Peoples, 12 years, Adriene Butler, 14 years, and Wanda Russell, 13 years.

Annie Hayes, center, receives the service award from Kimberly Washington, director of human resources, and Boyd.

Guest Speaker and Lowndes County Board of Education Vice-President Steve Foster was recognized by Boyd and Lowndes County School Board President Ben Davis.

In his address, Foster told a story about a woman who planted a magnificent garden of daffodils that spilled down a mountainside in swirls of color over a period of 50 years.

Foster said, “This unknown woman had changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of indescribable beauty, magnificence and inspiration.”

He said the principle her garden taught is one of the greatest in life. “And that is, “he said,” learning to move toward our goals, toward our desires one step at a time… and if we learn to love the doing, if we learn to use the accumulation of time, we can accomplish great things… We can change the world.”

Also recognized were Student of the Year nominees Devon Banks of Hayneville Middle School, Chyanna Bennett, The Calhoun School, and Roquanna Nelson, Central High;

Parent of the Year nominees Nikki Smith, Central High; Tracey Gordon, Jackson-Steele Elementary; and Chiquita Johnson, Hayneville Middle School;

Volunteer of the Year nominees Gary White, Central High; Victoria Kelley, Fort Deposit Elementary; and Shalanda Whiting, The Calhoun School;

Support Personnel of the Year nominees Victoria Tolliver, Fort Deposit Elementary; Gloria Brown, The Calhoun School; and James McCall, operations department;

Teacher of the Year nominees Eva Little, Fort Deposit Elementary; Shemekn-McMeans Hester, Jackson-Steele Elementary; and Anterio Thomas, Central High;

Principal of the Year nominees Toriano Baker, Nicholas Townsend, The Calhoun School; and Archie Curtis, Lowndes County Middle School;

Administrator of the Year nominees Samita Jeter, director of Head Start; Yvette Patterson, assistant to the superintendent; and Dr. Benitha Matthews, director of Technology.