A retired music teacher who has mentored thousands of pupils and a substitute teacher who devotes her spare time to outfitting hundreds of ballet dancers were honored Monday for their dedication to the arts in Columbia County.
Musician and retired Brookwood Elementary School music teacher Johnny Carr was named the Columbia County Arts Council's Outstanding Artist of the Year, and Connie Moffatt, the costume coordinator for the Columbia County Ballet, was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.
Carr, who is a former systemwide teacher of the year, directed more than 15,000 children in his 32-year career, including 19 at Brookwood Elementary, he said. Though officially retired, he continues to work part time, directing children in school musicals that have won the school acclaim for many years.
"I enjoy what I'm doing and this is just the best of both worlds," Carr said of part-time work. He called the award humbling and said he was shocked to receive it.
The Choral Society previewed a Christmas concert featuring music co-written by Carr.
Moffatt, whose daughter performs with the ballet, has volunteered for several years as costume coordinator.
"It was an honor to be recognized as volunteer of the year," she said. "Though I think it is teamwork, it is a privilege to have this honor."
Stephanie Angelo, a fellow ballet volunteer, said Moffatt is an inspiration to others to serve.
"Connie Moffatt has made life a little bit better for everyone in the Columbia County Ballet," Angelo said.
Moffatt coordinates wardrobe for dancers aged 4 to 60, through as many as 500 costume fittings.
Also honored for their work to the council were Dr. Jeff Hardin and Philip Hedgecoth.
Hardin is the former library board chairman who led the effort to build the Evans library and Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center, where the awards were held.
Hedgecoth was honored for his dedication to the council, for which he has served as president, director, treasurer and consultant.
"As a member of the arts council board, this represents the best of Columbia County," Bobby Christine said of the honorees.
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