By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
RAINSVILLE, Ala. — On Tuesday, the Rainsville Chamber of Commerce board of directors named Bill and Judy Ayers its Rainsville Persons of the Year for 2017. The award will be presented at the Chamber’s annual meeting on January 19, 2017.
The Chamber has named a Person of the Year each year since 1990. Nominations were accepted from the public through December 5, and the Chamber’s board members confirmed the choice at their regular monthly meeting on December 13. This will be the first time the award has been presented to a husband and wife team.
Both long-time educators, the Ayers have been dedicated to Plainview School and its activities for many decades. To many people in the Rainsville community, perhaps they are best known for working at most Plainview sporting events for decades.
Judy Ayers currently serves as the high school librarian, keeps school inventory, and organizes senior activities including baccalaureate and graduation. She also previously served many years as an English teacher, cheerleader coach and much more.
Bill Ayers retired a few years ago after nearly three decades as a teacher. He continues to voluntarily keep the stats for most of the Plainview sports teams. He also continues to help the school when computer problems arise, and he operates the PHS Bears sports website, 2muchblue.com. Currently, he also serves as the chairperson of the Rainsville Public Library board.
The nomination was submitted by faculty from Plainview School, where they made clear just how important this couple is to the school and community.
“Mr. and Mrs. Ayers embody the true definition of an educator - they teach, they mentor, and they serve unfailingly with compassion and integrity,” the nomination letter read. “Who better to choose than two extraordinary people who have helped educate so many of Rainsville’s citizen’s?”
The nomination letter included three pages of signatures from faculty at Plainview School.
“I have had the pleasure of working with these two precious people for 23 years. Everyone who knows them knows they are a team. Please consider both of these great people in your selection,” one teacher wrote.
"The phone call from Tim Eberhart and Sandy Goff telling us of the honor came as a total surprise,” Bill Ayers said when asked how they felt about this honor.
“After the shock wore off, we were both humble and appreciative to know someone had thought us deserving of such an award,” Ayers said. “We have been truly blessed to have spent our lives doing what we enjoy with the support of our families and so many friends. Rainsville is our home and we love it."
For details about the award or the Chamber’s annual meeting on January 19, contact Tim Eberhart, Executive Director, Rainsville Chamber of Commerce at 256-638-7800, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.rainsville.info.