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Espy Award: DHS principal earns Citizen of the Year honor

Dr. Isaac Espy was named the 2008 Citizen of the Year by the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce at its banquet on Monday. While it wasn’t a total surprise, he is still stunned by the honor, and feels almost undeserving.

“I’m humbled,” the Demopolis High School principal said. “There are really no words to describe it. I have a very important responsibility to this high school, and the people in this town obviously value education greatly. That is easily seen in the history of this town.”

Espy guided DHS to become a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School, one of only three high schools in Alabama and 53 nationwide to earn the honor. He also bolstered the school’s dual enrollment program with Alabama Southern Community College and advanced the school’s status with the ACT test by promoting ACT camps at the school and making Demopolis an ACT test site.

“I have always been my greatest critic,” he said. “There is no one more critical of me than myself, so I’ve been able to weather criticism. To go from that to an honor that expressed not only appreciation for me personally, but I believe a value and appreciation for leadership in education. It is an incredibly high honor, and I think it speaks volumes for this town and this community in how they value this school system.”

Espy received the 2008 Citizen of the Year Award from last year’s recipient, Dan Wilson. George Spence won the Chamber’s first Citizen of the Year Award in 1981.