Montevallo honors best of the city

Volunteerism, service above self and dedication to Montevallo were common themes March 11 as the city held its 2010 Citizens’ Night Award Banquet.

During the event, officials from the city’s government, schools, civic organizations and the University of Montevallo honored more than a dozen people and businesses for their service to the city.

The night’s top honors went to former Shelby County commissioner Earl Cunningham and Montevallo resident Jim Edwards, who were awarded the city’s Civic Leader of the Year and Citizen of the Year, respectively.

“Our honorees tonight are joining a very elite group of Montevallo Citizens,” said Mary Lou Williams, president of the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce. “Montevallo has given some outstanding individuals their start.”

Over the past several years, Cunningham has served with the Montevallo Civitan Club, the Parnell Library Foundation Board, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Positive Image Outreach Ministry and several other local and county organizations.

Edwards regularly volunteers at American Village, delivers meals through the Meals on Wheels program, supports the city’s arts and is involved in many other community programs, Williams said.

Although he received one of the city’s top honors, Edwards spoke modestly of his award.

“I was totally surprised. I thought they called me here tonight to support someone else,” Edwards said. “I certainly don’t think I deserve it. There are plenty of others who are more deserving than I am.”

City school officials also named their students, teachers and support staff members.

Third-grade teacher Karen Brooks and student Elizabeth Clark were named the Montevallo Elementary School Teacher of the Year and Student of the Year, respectively. Joanne Butcke was named the school’s Support Staff Member of the Year.

Zachary Tutwiler was named the Montevallo Middle School Student of the Year, Cindy Smith was named the school’s Support Staff Member of the Year and Shelia Jett was the school’s Teacher of the Year.

For Montevallo High School, Rose D’Alessio was the Teacher of the Year and Lorenza Croom was named the Student of the Year.

Montevallo First Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Terry Sutton was named the city’s Rotarian of the Year, Don Whitten received the Civitan Club Award and Mary Jo Buff received the American Association of University Women Pathfinder Award.

Doug Morris was named the Shelby Emergency Assistance Volunteer of the Year, and Xan Shivers and Steven Gilbert were awarded the Boys and Girls Club of Montevallo Gold President’s Award.

Montevallo Arbor Day Board Chairman Herschel Hale received the Friend of Montevallo Award and the Shelby County Reporter received the city’s Good Neighbor Award.