VALDOSTA — Valdosta and Lowndes County School Systems recently celebrated their top community partners for 2019 in a small ceremony.

The two school systems teamed up to give out the annual awards honoring businesses, individuals and organizations that have volunteered for and partnered with the community’s schools.

The two big winners went to the Small Business of the Year, Hester and Morris Orthodontics, and Large Business of the Year, Colony Bank.

Hester and Morris Orthodontics was nominated by Sallas Mahone Elementary School, J.L. Newbern Middle School, Pine Grove Middle School and Valdosta Middle School because of money donations, sponsoring events and even hosting spirit nights.

“We are very appreciative of all that Hester and Morris Orthodontics has done for us this year,” said Sallas Mahone counselor Tracy Cannister, who personally nominated the business.

Colony Bank representatives were present to accept their big award that evening. The business was nominated by Moulton-Branch Elementary School for sending out gift cards and donating supplies.

“Colony Bank always fulfills our needs and supplies our school teachers’ wish lists,” said Shirley Young and Dwan Broomberg, nominators. “They are truly a blessing.”

Other winners include Partner at Large of the Year Texas Roadhouse, Volunteer of the Year Kristin Montgomery Rothrock of Pine Grove Elementary School PTO and Coordinator of the Year Stephanie Southall Peterson of Westside Elementary School.

The event was held at the Valdosta State University STEAM Center with Jennifer Steedley, city schools director of public relations, and LaVerne Rome, county schools director of public relations, serving as masters of ceremony. 

Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter with the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256.

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