Hundreds of citizens converged on the square for the official start of the holiday season in Newton County Thursday night and to see T.K. and Louise Adams granted the honor of lighting the courthouse.
Every year a person or organization is chosen from a group of nominees to activate the courthouse lights and kick off the season, and according to High School Bank Director Alan Fowler, who nominated them, there could be no better choice then the Adamses for the honor.
"What they are and what they mean to our community is beyond comparison," said Fowler. "I am thrilled the committee chose them to receive this honor and I am so glad that I get to be there. When I was selected to light the courthouse bank in 2005 I felt so undeserving, in large part, because I knew that T.K. and Mrs. Adams were far more worthy than I."
Both T.K. and Louise have been active in the community, starting out as educators. T.K. taught band at Cousins Middle School where he was named Teacher of the Year on four separate occasions. He spends the summer months as director of woodwinds in summer camps throughout the state. Among his many other accomplishments, Adams also founded the Newton County Community Band in 1993.
Louise Adams retired as principal of Ficquett Elementary School, but she spent many years teaching in Newton County Schools. She taught at Cousins Middle, both old and new Porterdale Elementary and was the assistant principal at Ficquett before becoming principal in 1981.
She was named Teacher of the Year at Cousins and the Newton County Association of Educators Teacher of the Year. She has also spent many years working in a volunteer capacity for various organizations in the community.
The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August. They have one son, Timothy K. Adams Jr., who is a timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and head of the percussion program at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also on the faculty at Brevard Music Center.
"Not only have Mr. and Mrs. Adams inspired numerous students in the classroom, but they have also made a major impact on our community," said Abigail Morgan Coggin, program director for the Arts Association in Newton County. "Since their retirement they both have been active community volunteers, spending hours of their time and money on making our home a better place for everyone, all without expecting anything in return. I have learned many life lessons just by watching and listening to them. They are great role models for any person of any age to follow and I know many people will continue to be influenced by their actions for many generations to come."