The Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce honored three local residents with its annual chamber awards during the organization’s banquet Thursday night at C.A. Gray Junior High School.
Board of Education member and former chairman Roy Reeves was named Man of the Year, Moultrie City Councilwoman Angela Castellow was named Woman of the Year, and Ralph Underwood, one of the founders of the Moultrie Young Farmers program, was named Agri-Businessman of the Year.
Man of the Year
A member of the Colquitt County Board of Education since 1995, Reeves has served as its chairman four times, and it was the school board that nominated him to be the chamber’s Man of the Year.
“Mr. Roy Reeves is indeed very deserving of the prestigious honor of being recognized as the Colquitt County Man of the Year,” wrote school board member Jerry Meister in the board’s nomination letter. “He is the epitome of what all citizens should strive to be. His dedication to our community in all facets of his life is paving a road of possibilities for future generations of Colquitt County.”
The letter says Reeves has been instrumental in the passage of three Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes to benefit the school system and in the system’s reorganization of curriculum and facilities. During his tenure, the graduation rate has increased to 82 percent in 2010 from less than 50 percent in 2002, and students’ scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Georgia High School Graduation Tests have shown significant increases.
Reeves deserves much of the credit for the better graduation rate, nomination materials say, because of an effort by the Archway Project — of which he is also the local chairman.
The University of Georgia began the Archway Project in Colquitt County in 2005. It was a pilot program planned for two years to show how UGA’s resources could be used to benefit smaller communities across the state. Five years later it has become a fixture in Colquitt County’s landscape, helping local leaders to address a variety of community problems. Reeves was and still is chairman of the executive committee in charge of the project.
One of the first goals identified for Archway’s effort was to achieve an 85 percent graduation rate, and Reeves encouraged the project to address that issue through mentoring, parenting and after-school programs while the school system pursued in-school efforts.
Reeves’ community activities have included the Kiwanis Club, of which he was president in 1990; the United Way, of which he was campaign chair in 1994; the chamber of commerce board of directors, of which he was president in 1993; past chairman of the Foster Care Review Panel; vice president of Communities in Schools; member of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library Board of Directors; and others.
He was one of the founding members of Heritage Church, and his pastor, the Rev. Brad Bowen, wrote one of three letters supporting his nomination for Man of the Year. The others were written by Jimmy Jeter, a colleague on the Archway Project Executive Committee, and Dennis Epps, the original facilitator for Archway in Colquitt County.