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Douglas County ‘Citizen of the Year’ has focus on helping young people
by Tom Spigolon
February 20, 2013 02:45 PM | 2221 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye<br>John Stone, a longtime educator and community leader, recently received the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ award for 2012.
Staff / Katherine Frye
John Stone, a longtime educator and community leader, recently received the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ award for 2012.
John Stone did not let retirement after four decades in education stop him from working for a better future for area youth.

The former, longtime Douglas County School System administrator recently was named the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Citizen of the Year “for service in the community.”

Stone is in his 38th year as a member of the Douglas County Kiwanis Club and serves on a number of other organizations — from the Douglas County Retired Educators Association to United Way and the Douglas County Community Organizing Resources for Excellence group.

“I feel it’s important to put something back in the community where you live and earn a living,” Stone said. “It’s very easy for people to sit around and not do anything.”

Stone, 71, is a native of Arab, Ala., where he was, among other things, the first Eagle Scout in the town’s history. Eagle is the Boy Scouts’ highest rank.

After serving in the Air Force from 1960 to 1964, Stone graduated from Jacksonville State University and began a career in education. He rose from classroom teacher to junior high administrator in Columbus before landing the job of principal of Douglas County High School in 1975.

Stone served as principal for 11 years and was promoted to the school system’s director of purchasing in 1986, where his job included overseeing the safety and security of the school system. He remained in the post until his retirement in 1995.

He later worked for more than eight years as a juvenile investigator for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

“After I retired, I put some effort into Douglasville and the Douglas County community — especially the young people,” he said.

Stone will help coordinate the Special Olympics April 5 at New Manchester High School. He also is active in the Sweetwater District of the Boy Scouts, and serves on its nominating committee.

He joined the Douglas County Kiwanis Club in 1976. While serving as Douglas County High School principal, Stone sponsored a chapter of Key Club — a Kiwanis-backed youth service group — that grew from three to 76 members.

Stone subsequently founded seven Key Clubs at all five Douglas public high schools, Harvester Christian Academy and Hiram High School.

He noted Kiwanis drew his interest because of its emphasis on “service to youth in the community.”

“That’s where I think the need is,” Stone said.

“Youth just need a lot of direction,” he said. “A lot of youth don’t have the direction that they need.”

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