Marion City Council Members recognized Sandra Ayers as Citizen of the Month for March 2023.
Mayor Pro Tem Ayers stated that the Citizen of the month he had selected was someone he should have chosen a long time ago. He stated that in a time when public school, and our teachers, nationwide, are undervalued, he felt that it was important to recognize those that dedicated their lives to better others.
Mayor Pro Tem Ayers stated that he loved the quote “teaching is a profession that teaches all other professions.”
Mr. Ayers, then recognized his mother, Sandra Ayers, as Citizen of the Month. He stated that Ms. Ayers was born in Asheville and later moved to Pleasant Gardens.
Mayor Pro Tem Ayers stated that his mother graduated from Western Carolina University in 1968 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. He stated that she taught at Tuscola High School before moving to Louisiana to be with his father after he came home from Vietnam.
Mayor Pro Tem Ayers stated that his family moved back to Marion in 1971. He stated that upon her return home, Ms. Ayers decided to stay at home with her three children until 1980, when she was hired and went to work at McDowell Technical Community College.
Mr. Ayers stated that his mother taught math for every curriculum at the college. He stated that it was common for his mother to work morning, noon and night, and to even have strangers over to the Ayers’ home to tutor.
Mayor Pro Tem Ayers stated that he was amazed at all his parents were able to do, including sending 4 children to college. He stated that Ms. Ayers treated everyone equally and with respect, which made him think of another quote.
“A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything.”
Mr. Ayers stated that for 25 years, his mother had helped with Project Christmas through First Presbyterian Church’s Matthew 7:7 Club. He stated that Matthew 7:7 referred to the following scripture “Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you shall find. Know and it shall be opened unto you.”
Mayor Pro Tem Ayers stated that his mother had also served on the Board of Deacons and Elders at First Presbyterian Church.
Mayor Little thanked Ms. Ayers for her dedication to the people of McDowell County. He said that recognizing her was an honor, because of the impact she had on the lives of so many.
Council Member Ramsey thanked Ms. Ayers for her service to the community and McDowell Technical Community College. He thanked her on behalf of MTCC’s Board of Trustees, which he serves on.
Council Member Martin stated that the word that came to mind when he heard Ms. Ayer’s name was grace. He stated that she had done a marvelous job and raised a beautiful family.
City Manager Bob Boyette stated that this recognition was long overdue. He said that Ms. Ayers was the perfect candidate for the Citizen of the Month honor.
Council Member Harkey said that she thanked God for the Ayers coming back to McDowell County. She said that as a former educator herself she admired Ms. Ayers for teaching so many different types of math at the college level.
Council Member Effler said that Ms. Ayers was a great example of what an educator should be. He said that Ms. Ayers was a teacher and so was Jesus. He stated that Ms. Ayer’s contribution to McDowell County could be seen for many generations. He then thanked Ms. Ayers and her husband, Robert Ayers, for five decades of serving McDowell County.
Judy Hartman, a longtime friend of Ms. Ayers, thanked her for always encouraging people to reach for the stars. She stated that Ms. Ayers had encouraged her to go back to school, which was something she probably never would have done without her encouragement.
Robert Ayers, Ms. Ayer’s husband, stated that he was so glad he married his high school sweetheart 56 years ago. He stated that she was still his sweetheart.
Ms. Ayers stated that she was humbled by the award. She said that she had always tried to be a good and supportive citizen.
Ms. Ayers stated that when she and her husband came back to Marion, they had no idea they would become so civically involved. She said she appreciated City Council Members and City Manager Bob Boyette for all that they did.
Mr. Boyette shared that it had been exactly 25 years since the Citizen of the Month recognition had begun.