ROCK CAVE – The first Wednesday of March ushered in the Southern Upshur Business Association’s Annual Dinner, where SUBA members gathered to honor their citizen and business of the year – longtime teacher Beverly Davis and the Upshur County Public Library.
SUBA and community members came together March 4 at the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department where they raised money for the Christmas Store and listened to an address from their keynote speaker Rick Simon, CEO of Community Care of West Virginia.
“The idea among this community was that they were willing to build a place where their local citizens could receive good, quality healthcare,” Simon said. “Everything that occurred out there at that time was because the community thought it was good for their neighbors and their friends and their family.”
He said Community Care now has patients in 26 counties and locations in nine counties.
“Largely, if you think back in the spirit of those people who were building the building, you understand why we expanded because other folks learned what you all had created, what this unity had created and we continue to grow,” Simon said.
He said they have about 350 staff members and had 47,000 patients last year who logged 240,000 visits.
“You wonder if the folks who were building a clinic could ever dream that they would be providing services to that many of, not only their friends and neighbors in southern Upshur County, but throughout Central West Virginia,” Simon said, “Last year, we had 13,791 children who were our patients and we had 11,235 seniors who are patients.”
He said Community Care is working on new programs for behavioral health.
“We currently have a staff of about 36 or 38 behavioral health folks,” Simon said. “We have two full time psychiatrists and we also have a full-time psychologist with a doctorate and we anticipate and have offers out to other psychiatrists and anticipate recruiting one or two more in the next year.”
Simon said he’s met a lot of superheroes in Upshur County.
“There are superheroes here in Upshur County, here in southern Upshur County and here in Rock Cave,” Simon said. “I met a lot of them when I first came and there are still a few of them sitting here in this room – they were your grandparents, brothers, sisters and maybe some of your kids.”
James Powell with Loudin Insurance introduced the SUBA Citizen of the Year, Beverly Davis.
“This year’s recipient has spent 30 years teaching and developing the youth of Upshur County,” Powell said. “She has been listed in the journals ‘Who’s Who Among Teachers’ and named Rock Cave Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year.”
He said she started with the Upshur County Board of Education in 1990 and has spent 30 years teaching at Rock Cave Elementary School.
“She was a special education teacher for the first five years and subsequently worked as the first-grade teacher while also coaching the B-U Middle School cheerleaders for seven years,” Powell said. “A person known in our community as Frosty, Beverly Davis has continually throughout her career exhibited every quality of a superior teacher by demonstrating and inspiring hope, igniting imaginations and instilling a lasting love of learning. As a result, several of her first-grade students have gone on to become schoolteachers serving right here in Upshur County.”
Davis expressed her gratitude to SUBA, saying how much she’s enjoyed her job over the years.
“I’ve really enjoyed my last 30 years of teaching,” Davis said. “It makes me proud when students come back and say that I was their favorite teacher and they are going on to do things. It just makes me very proud, and I would just like to thank everyone.”
SUBA President Kevin Campbell said SUBA decided to honor the Upshur County Public Library as their Business or Organization of the Year.
“On Aug. 25, 1979, the library finally opened its doors in a spacious beautiful building in the present location,” Campbell said. “It was called the Stonewall Jackson Regional Library and still provided bookmobile service to Upshur and Lewis counties. In 1981, Lewis County dropped out of the region and because of lack of funding, bookmobile service had to be stopped. At that time the library’s name changed to the Upshur County Library.”
Campbell discussed the services the library offers the community.
“The library has been automated, circulation has increased tremendously and services have been expanded to include e-books, audiobooks, DVDs, wireless internet, preschool story time, summer reading programs, scanning, photocopying, faxing, laminating, free notary public services and public meeting rooms,” Campbell said. “The regular book collection offers books for all ages and includes large print local history and genealogy and books that help [individuals] study for exams such as WV Contractor’s license, ACT, GRE, civil service, GED ASVAP, CDL, nursing and a few others. Please take the time to stop by and check out what your library has to offer.”
Director of the Upshur County Public Library Paul Norko thanked everyone for the honor.
“I haven’t been here for 30 years like our Citizen of the Year, but I hope to be,” Norko said. “I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart and my staff too.”