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Outstanding Iowa Parkans honored by chamber
(02/02/17)

By Sherrie Williams
Iowa Park Chamber of Commerce held it’s annual banquet Saturday evening at First Family Center.
Jeff Rhoades, the 2016 COC president asked COC members to vote on changes of the by-laws. He explained that recently they have had a problem getting a quorum of board members together for a meeting to take care of business and the by-law changes.
The by-law changes approved by members of the COC include lowering the number of board members from 11 to a minimum of five.
The new by-laws also allows for meetings to be held by phone, email or other electronic methods.
A group of COC board members were proposed and approved.
They include: Ken Via, Glena Via, Jeff Rhoades, Steve Moody, Mike Price, David Owen, Kendall Graves, Lynn Dutton, Dana Ross, Jonathan Clubb, and Ouida Vian.
Iowa Park City Manager Jerry Flemming presented the program.
He named several things he and his family like about Iowa Park such as the small community, parks, events, businesses, schools, but most of all the people.
Following the program the award winners were announced.
S5! Manufacturing was recognized as Business of the Year, owned by Harry Carner and Rob Haddock.
Award presenter Rhoades said, “The 2016 Iowa Park Business of the year is a terrific example how a small north texas town can work together to attract a business that is truly world class. When this business moved its operation to Iowa park they started with 17 employees and in just 5 and a half years they have grown to 41employees with an annual payroll well over a million dollars.”
Their products not only sold in the United States but also the European market, Australia and other countries. They are currently in the process of entering other emerging global markets as well. Their facility is being remodeled and improved for future growth.
“I have had the pleasure of touring their facilities two times and both times I left feeling that there was no limit to the growth of this business and its importance to Iowa Park in the future,” said Rhoades.
Glena Via was named Citizen of the Year.
Glena is a life long resident of Iowa Park and a 1971 graduate of Iowa Park High School. She attended Texas Women’s University until moving back home to get married and completing her college education at Midwestern State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in library science. She has a passion for reading and promoting reading.
She taught many years in the Wichita Falls school system until she had the opportunity to purchase the R.W. Hill Insurance Agency which she operated until she sold the business in 2001.
She served as the First Baptist Church treasurer until the church secretary resumed those duties. She is now secretary/treasurer of Parkway True Value Hardware with her husband Ken.
She served as president of the Iowa Park Lioness Club until the club combined with the Iowa Park Noon Lions’ Club. She is now serving as the club’s secretary. She is very involved in the Iowa Park Chamber of Commerce and has served on the board of directors since becoming a business woman. She also serves on the City of Iowa Park’s Economic Development (4A) board.
She has been the organist for First Baptist Church for the past 40 years, as well as teaching in the children’s division of the church. She coordinates the Meals on Wheels delivery of her church during the month of February and fills in numerous times throughout the year to deliver meals.
Senior Citizen of the Year honors went to Jimmy Walker.
Walker was born in Oklahoma City, OK. He is a veteran, serving and retiring from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service. He and his wife Linda were married Nov. 26, 1965, at First Baptist Church of Kamay, near Kadane Corner where she was raised.
After retiring from the Air Force in the early 80’s, he and his wife settled in Iowa Park. They are members of Pacific Avenue Baptist Church where Walker is often seen doing yard work.
He enjoys traveling and has visited every state including Alaska and Hawaii, and recently took a special trip to Michigan and Minnesota when he realized he had not been to those two states.
He serves on the Iowa Park Friendly Door Senior Citizen’s Center’s board of directors and he and Linda run the concession stand during kids basketball games.
“He also plays Cupid and delivers roses, heart balloons, and candies for Valentine’s all over the area for his daughter Karen’s flower shop,” said presenter Lynn Dutton. “Perhaps what I am the most familiar with is his hard work and dedication shown as he works as a member of the Dutton Funeral Home family, where he assists families during their most difficult times of their lives.”
He is often spotted cleaning the funeral home cars, without being asked.
Student of the Year went to Iowa Park High School senior Kadie Haswell.
She also recently received the honors of Rotary Club Student of the Month for January.
A few of Kadie’s highlights through her high school career have been that she was a member of the Hawk Band all four years. While in band, she served as first assistant drum major her junior year and head drum major her senior year.
She has been a two year member of the Spanish Club, FFA and a two year member of the band council. She also earned the distinction of being inducted into the National Honor Society.
Her honors and community service involvement consist of receiving a scholarship from the Masonic Lodge 7B, being named best band student in 2015-2016, and she has volunteered with the Wichita County Humane Society and has worked with children at the Kids Central Learning Center.
She will graduate on the distinguished plan.
Presently she has 21 dual credit hours and will graduate with 27. Her plans after graduation are to attend college to study in the field of Child Development and to be a teacher at Kids Central Learning Center.
Jayla Ingersoll was named Outstanding Educator of the Year (secondary) .
She is a graduate of Iowa Park and worked her way through college at Midwestern State University. She accomplished both while overcoming learning obstacles, which takes hard work, and determination. Jayla did her student teaching at W.F. George before accepting a teaching and coaching position at Northside ISD. After a year, she returned to Iowa Park, where she has taught math for the past three years.
Jayla is married to Jeff Ingersoll and is mother to son Easton, three years-old and daughter Rylee who is eight.
Jayla approaches teaching with the same passion and commitment that she does being a wife and mother.
For the past two years, she has been a member of the Region 9 Math Collaborative which requires her to earn 100 hours of continuing education in addition to the 18 hours required by all teachers each summer. Through the Math Collaborative, she has served as a teaching mentor to other math teachers not only in Iowa Park, but throughout Region 9, which serves 40 school districts.
In addition to her mentoring, she serves on the W.F. George Site Based decision making committee. The planning committee is responsible for everything from what school schedule will enable students to get the most from their classes and extracurricular activities to what technology is best suited for our school.
Jayla has been a technology pioneer by creating a flipped classroom, which enables her to spend her class time helping students. Creating a flipped classroom requires her to create math lesson videos, format them to a deliverable media file and publish them for students; allowing them more time in the classroom for one on one assistance. This particularly benefits students who may not have assistance at home with math instruction.
Michelle Turner was named Educator of the Year (elementary.) She is the P.E. teacher at Kidwell Elementary.
She graduated from MSU and began teaching at Kidwell soon after. This is her 18th year teaching PE at Kidwell.
She is married and has three children that are very active in church and sports. The family stays very busy.
We enjoy sports in our family, so the PE job was perfect.
“I really enjoy teaching these young kids about health and the importance of activity,” said Turner.