Ken Caylor was chosen as this year’s Citizen of the Year. He will honored during a banquet Feb. 22. Submitted photo.
The nominations are in, conferred over by a committee until the group was sure they made the sure the best of the best were honored at the annual Greater Othello Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Feb. 22. The banquet will begin at 6 p.m. at the former Othello Church of the Nazarene Gathering Place, 905 E. Ash St. Tickets are on sale now at the chamber office at The Old Hotel, Re/Max and Basin Insurance for the event, which will carry with it the theme Pathways from the Past to the Future. There will be four people and one business honored at the banquet, which features a silent auction and a program. They include the citizen of the year, a teacher of the year from kindergarten to fifth grade and one from sixth through 12th, civil servant of the year and the business of the year. This year's citizen of the year is Ken Caylor. He was surprised to win. "There are a lot of people who do a lot of things around this town," he said. He in his eighth year on city council and is involved in many other groups, like the Adams County Development Council, the Coulee Corridor board, the Othello Beautification committee, the museum board and more. He first moved to Othello in 1950, moved away in 1966. Then, he came back in 1992 and has been in Othello ever since. He really enjoys Othello, he said, the small-town feel of it. There is a lot of friendship in town, he said, a lot of nice people around. He ran for city council because he thought he could help out a little bit. He has a construction background and knowledge base that could go to helping with making decision and working on city projects, he said. Othello is an important part of the county as a whole, he said, so he hopes to continue to work with groups who are tying Othello to the rest of the county, everyone working together. "I'm here to help the city," he said. Currently, he and his wife live here. He has a son in Marysville, a son in Mukilteo and a daughter in Puerto Vallarta. This year's civil servant of the year is Sue Long, a dispatcher with the Othello Police Department. "There are so many people who are so deserving," she said. "I am very honored." Long started as a dispatcher, part time, in May of 2001. In January of the following year, she moved to full-time and has been there ever since. She loves the job, she says, and loves helping people. In addition to be a dispatcher, she puts on the department's Citizen Academy each year. She also works with the fair and rodeo. Born and raised in Othello, she has a connection to the area. Her parents both live here and her children are close. She loves how friendly people are and the small-town feel of the place, she said. "She faithfully does her job very professionally and is an asset to our community," a nominator wrote. This year's elementary school teacher of the year is fourth-grade teacher at Hiawatha Elementary Terry Crow. He is in his eighth year at Hiawatha. Raised in Moses Lake, he joined the Army. After the Gulf War, he wanted to do something else and always wanted to be a teacher. His wife is a teacher, too, in Warden. The best thing about being a teacher is seeing a child's face when the lightbulb goes off. When they grasp a new concept, you can see it and know you can make a big difference in their lives, he said. The hardest challenge is reaching all students. Some are easy to get to know and teach but others you have to realy work hard with, he said. Crow was shocked to hear he won. "It was quite an honor," he said. The teacher honored for the upper grades was McFarland's Dan Allbery, reading. Allbery was born and raised in Spokane before moving to Port Angeles. He came to work in Othello because he wanted to be back on the east side of the state. He loves living in a small town, he said, because he gets to know not only his students but their families. He's one of those people who have always wanted to be a teacher, he said. He sees the honor of being a teacher of the year as a group effort, he said. It's a strong reflection of the people around him. The business of the year for 2012 went to Columbia Colstor Inc. The cold storage facility in Othello has been here since August of 2000 and is one of six in the region. When they opened, they had 40 employees. Now, they have more than doubled in size, employing between 85 and 90 people, general manager John Miller said. Representatives from Colstor are involved with the Juvenile Detentional Alternative Initiative, Rotary, Lions Club and more. The company contributes to the Fiesta Amistad and other local events and organizations. Recently, they donated $5,000 to The Old Hotel. They also gave money to the police department for a drunk driving simulator. The company is very dedicated to community and helping out and supporting when they can, Miller said.