Beloved principal wins Lifetime Achievement

Published 6:16 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Betty Warren has a deep love for Atmore and its people, and she isn't afraid to show it.
Her signature phrase, "I love ya baby" can be heard from her office at Huxford Elementary School, where she serves as principal; from her moneybox at the Atmore city pool and even at a red light as she sits on her yellow scooter.
Monday night, Atmore showed their love for Warren after she was named the recipient of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award during the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's 61st annual banquet.
This honor is given to an individual who has made contributions to this community over his or her lifetime.
In 1972 Warren was given the position of tennis and swimming director of Atmore and she still holds that position. In 1988 she was elected Teacher of the Year and in 1992 she was named Principal at Huxford Elementary School.
Since Warren became the principal at Huxford, the school was named a Torchbearer school, and is now being recognized as a National Distinguished Title I School. However, Warren feels that her greatest award is her "commitment to God."
Warren is a member of the Atmore Area United Fund, American Cancer Society Relay for Life Team, American Red Cross Instructor (CPR and swimming), Poarch Creek Indians Education Committee, Poarch Creek Indians Child Protection Team and Public School Education Representative for Poarch Creek Indians from 1994 until 1997.
"Betty has touched the lives of countless residents within the city of Atmore," said Emilie Mims, executive director of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce. "Anybody who knows how to swim in this community knows how because of Betty. She is a leader as well as a teacher."
Mims said that Huxford Elementary School would not be where it is if it were not for Warren.
"Betty's leadership has made Huxford Elementary School what it is today," Mims said.
Kary Lassitter at Huxford Elementary School is proud of Warren's achievements.
"We think it's wonderful," Lassitter said. "She's well deserving of this award."
There were many nomination letters written in support of Warren receiving this award.
"It is not often in life we meet someone who has a profound and immediate impact on us; it is rarer still to have that person remain a fixture in our lives," one of the letter reads. "Betty Warren is one of those people."
"Atmore has a gem in Betty Warren," another letter reads. "Betty has a sincere love for children and it shows in all she does as well as a sincere love for the citizens of Atmore."
"Betty loves Atmore and more specifically, the people in it," even another letter reads. "She loves making a positive difference in people's lives, and I can assure you she has done that for thousands of students and their parents who have been fortunate enough to cross her path."
Warren could not actually attend the Chamber banquet because she was in Long Beach, Calif., accepting the award of National Distinguished Title I School. Members of her faculty at Huxford accepted the award on her behalf.
There will be a reception in honor of Warren Friday afternoon from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the lobby of United Bank.

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