Mary Alice Reporting –

Businesses and individuals were recognized Wednesday evening for notable work within the community.

The annual Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce awards eight after written nominations are received by their membership in November.

For 2022, taking home the Educator of the Year Award is Strasburg-Franklin High School Intervention Specialist Jim Morris, who has been in education for 35 years.

“Very honored that they thought enough of me to nominate me and even more so that they thought I was a good candidate to receive the award. That just really shocked me. I wasn’t anticipating it and it’s just such a great deal to me.”

For 36 years, Don Kemp, current New Philadelphia Council President, has owned a local insurance agency and he was recognized as the Hall of Fame awardee.

“It’s quite an honor to be nominated and the chamber has been good part of my business ever since I started in 1986 so it’s nice to be recognized for all the service given back. Still active in Quaker Club, the 4-H, announcing for girls basketball, volleyball, wrestling.”

Large Business of the Year went to Buckeye Career Center, with Superintendent Bob Alspet noting the number of employees, from janitors to instructors, office staff, and administrators.

“It’s a nice recognition and we wanted to make sure people knew of all the services we have that can help them discover their passion, prepare for their future, and awards like this tell you that you’re on the right track but it just makes you work harder.”

Receiving the Citizen of the Year award was Starlight Enterprises Inc. CEO Cassie Elvin.

“Getting something individually is very, just humbling. I think that it has taken a village for everybody to do some of the accomplishments we’ve done for the community and we’re very proud of that.”

Other awardees were Custom Needle – Print LLC as the Small Business and Rae-Lin Jones was selected as the Volunteer of the Year.

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