Chamber honors Jim and Marlene DePriest as Citizens of the Year
MOUNT PLEASANT—The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday honored music teachers Jim and Marlene Depriest of Mount Pleasant as 2012 Citizens of the Year.
The award, given at the 72nd Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Meeting of the Membership held at Mount Pleasant Golf & Country Club recognized the DePriests for their commitment to area youth and tireless effort to share the joy of music by directing and often performing in concerts, theater productions, church services and other events.
Jim DePriest serves as high school band instructor. He joined the school district in 1992. Marlene DePriest, the middle school vocal music instructor, was hired one year later. Their volunteer activities include:
- Band and choral concerts honoring veterans
- Old Threshers musical performances
- Mount Pleasant Community Theatre
- Mount Pleasant Community Band, caroling during the Main Street Holiday Stroll, and small group performances
- First Presbyterian Church confirmation mentors and music programs
- Coordinating two annual music invitational contests
- Coordinating annual trips for music students
The DePriests accepted the Citizen of the Year Award from Mrs. Deb Sinclair of Farm Credit Services of America, a Chamber of Commerce board member and long-time supporter of the school district’s music booster program. The couple’s children and Jim DePriest’s 92-year-old father slipped into the room unseen just before the award was announced.
“Are we about to get fired?” Jim DePriest joked upon receiving the award. “People always receive these sorts of things just before getting fired.”
The line drew a big laugh, but the crowd really let go when DePriest looked at one of his daughter’s and asked, “Aren’t you supposed to be at show choir practice?”
The moment exemplified both the DePriests’ sense of humor and the high expectations they have for all students, not just their own children. In preparing her introduction, Sinclair asked some former students to offer some lessons learned from their music teachers. The responses ranged from “Take pride in your work and community,” to “A kind word or compliment goes a long way,” and, “Practice can make perfect.”
The 2012 Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award went to outgoing Chamber President Kathy Nellor, who recently retired from Two Rivers Bank & Trust. In addition to her duties as president, Nellor was a driving force behind the Look Local First local shopping campaign and an eager volunteer for business workshops, the Rock Around the Block concert series, and countless other Chamber efforts. Most importantly, she was recognized for mentoring and encouraging young professionals in the community.
Other Awards and Honors:
Ambassador Appreciation—Nathan Milks, Community First Credit Union
Board Member Appreciation—Kathy Nellor, Two Rivers Bank & Trust and Troy Spence, Edward Jones
Business Plan Competition Winners—Francy Precision, Salem; Ray’s Specialty Meats, Mount Pleasant; and Maid-Rite Diner, Mount Pleasant
Business Expansion—Mount Pleasant Electrical Contractors and Main Street Cinemas
Chamber Trustees—Henry County Health Center, Hearth & Home Technologies, Shottenkirk Automotive, SunnyBrook Assisted Living, Veyance Technologies and Walmart Supercenter