Staron named 2017 Tuckineer

The Inter-Mountain photo by Brooke Binns Veronica Staron expresses excitement as she accepts the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Tuckineer award during the TCCC’s 39th annual awards banquet on Thursday.

CANAAN VALLEY — Members of the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce gathered at Canaan Valley Resort Thursday evening to recognize individuals in the community.

Starting in 1979, the Tucker County Chamber has recognized one individual each year who goes above and beyond to be named as a Tuckineer.

This year’s Tuckineer, Veronica Staron, a native of Tucker County, has devoted numerous hours volunteering to meet the needs of the community.

Staron graduated as valedictorian from Davis High School and went on to receive a nursing degree from Saint Mary’s School of Nursing and her BSN from Wayne State University.

In addition, this year’s Tuckineer is a retired captain of the West Virginia Army National Guard.

Currently, Staron is the director of Blackwater Ministerial Food Pantry and a member of the Tucker County Emergency Planning Committee, the Tucker County Veteran’s Honor Guard, the Canaan Valley Volunteer Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary and Friends of Cortland Acres. She also is a Mountain Hospice board member.

Debbie Ritter of Citizens Bank said, “She is always willing to assist others with no expectation or desire for personal recognition.”

The Tuckineer award was sponsored by Citizens Bank.

• The 2017 Educator of the Year award was presented to Bobbi Quattro.

In 1973, Quattro began teaching in Tucker County, where she worked under a Title I program that allowed her to work year round – making home visits during summer months.

In 2001, she was hired as a special education aide for James Wardwell, who graduated last year.

The Educator of the Year award was sponsored by Mountain Hospice.

• Elizabeth Nichols, a student at Tucker County High School, was the recipient of the 2017 Student of the Year award.

Nichols is a member of the TCHS basketball team, track team, the National Honor Society, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and spirit club. The student-athlete has a 4.1 GPA and is currently ranked second in her class.

Outside of school, Nichols has participated in Dance by Farrah for 10 years and has completed nearly 100 hours of community service.

Nichols will be attending West Virginia Wesleyan College in the fall.

The Student of the Year Award was sponsored by Performance Motors.

• The Employee of the Year award was sponsored by Blackwater Falls State Park and awarded to Karen Hockman.

Hockman, a native of Parsons, first began working for Betty and Ren Adkins at Parsons Hardware in 1977. Soon after, in 1981, stores combined into what is now Adkins Home Center, where Hockman continued to work for the Adkins family.

In October, Hockman will celebrate her 40th anniversary serving Adkins Home Center.

“She is noted as not only an employee who quickly caught on to all of the skills needed to run a hardware store, but also an employee who treats all of her customers and her co-workers like family,” announcer Matt Baker said.

• The 2017 Business Person of the Year award was presented to Joyce and John Bowers.

In 2004, the pair signed a lease for an 8-acre tract of land where they began construction for an RV park.

Since relocating to Tucker County, they have been able to purchase additional tracts of land. With this, they have been able to create growth for Five River Campground as well as the Pickin’ in Parsons festival – what is now a five-day bluegrass destination.

This award was sponsored by Best of Canaan.

• David Cooper received the honor of being named Community Person of the Year.

Within the Tucker community, Cooper has been active for many years in numerous capacities. After completing his education, he began working with Camp Horseshoe, where he was a district director for 12 years. Cooper has also served as board president of the Tucker County Community Foundation, has been active in the Tucker County Rotary Club and is a part of the Alpine Festival Board.

This award was sponsored by Monongalia General Hospital