AAHRA
Alabama Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities

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Piedmont Housing Authority


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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COMMENTS
GOODBYE MESSAGE


It is with much regret and sadness that I officially let our residents know of my upcoming “Retirement” effective January 31, 2013. This retirement is based on my being placed on medical leave since July 25, 2011 and now retiring with difficult breathing problems. These problems will require me to be on Oxygen and Coumadin blood thinner probably for the rest of my life.

I want to personally thank every resident, all our children, and all our youth for your continued support and kindness these past 23 ½ years. I have had the pleasure to work with some of the finest people in our housing communities. I have enjoyed each of our children and youth in each of the honor roll parties, field trips to the variety of places, and the other enjoyable events that has occurred in all our lives the past ten years.

For all our children and youth who are students, I want to leave each of you with one thought that I hope you will remember for the rest of your life: “ALWAYS KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND AND DON’T EVER, EVER, EVER QUIT REACHING FOR THE STARS”. To all my residents, families, senior citizens, I want each of you to know that each time you reached out to shake my hand, hug my neck, or pat me on the back, “YOU TOUCHED MY HEART IN WAYS THAT I WILL NEVER EVER FORGET”.

Five of six of our students have received scholarships from the Alabama Housing Association; Two of our students received their black belts in ATF Taekwondo karate with three students receiving their brown belts and two more students receiving their red belts. This took very hard work and dedication to make it to those levels. And during the past 25+ years, PHA employees were recognized as the best administrative or maintenance employees of the year statewide and one of our Commissioners (Board Members) was also recognized as the best of the best in the state. Five of our students had the opportunity to attend the Mobile School of Math and Science and one of our students had the opportunity to obtain his GED through duel enrollment with Gadsden State Community College. I am so very proud of each of these individuals who have been recognized over these years.

I have had the pleasure to have a truly wonderful Housing Authority Staff and Board of Commissioners. I would like to personally thank Mrs. Sheila Hill for all her hard work during my absence. Mrs. Hill has been my Deputy Director for the past twenty one and a half years and will be promoted to the Executive Director on February 1, 2013. Sheila has been the strongest right arm that any Executive Director could ever want. I would also like to thank my Maintenance Supervisor Johnny Minton who has been with me for over twenty one years. Johnny has been the strongest left arm that any Executive Director could ever want to have. With these two individuals and their staff, we have always been a very successful local Housing Authority in every manner. I would also like to personally thank each of my five Board members who have always supported me especially during this past eighteen months: Mr. Walter Prater my Board Chairman, Mrs. Lori Ray my Board Vice-Chairperson, Mrs. Patty Glover, Commissioner, Mrs. Kelly Rampy, Commissioner, and Mr. Terry Kiser, Commissioner who had to resign on October 31, 2012 due to being elected to the Piedmont City Council and being replaced with Mr. Mac Singleton who will also do a great job for our local agency. Each of these wonderful individual have fully supported me during my medical leave always keeping a check on me. I would also like to thank all the residents who have sent get well cards, called my wife to check on me, called my home and left a message hoping that I would get well soon, and those who either said a prayer or said very kind words of encouragement while I have been on medical leave.

It has been a sincere pleasure to serve as Executive Director of the Piedmont Housing Authority. It has been a wonderful journey that I could not have done without all our partners like the Piedmont Police Department, Piedmont Fire Department, Piedmont Rescue Squad, City of Piedmont employees and Department Heads, all my Mayors and City Council members, our local business groups, and all our partners in Calhoun County as well as Piedmont. I will truly miss each of my residents, children and youth so much. I would ask each of you to please keep me in your thoughts and prayers with my health issues and illness and I will truly miss all of you. The only thing that will be changing at the Piedmont Housing Authority will be Mrs. Sheila Hill as Executive Director instead of Mr. Keith Word.

I ask God to bless each of you richly and to hold both you and your family in the palm of his hands until we all come to the end of this life that we call our journey. I leave my least thought with you: IF YOU TOOK YOUR ENTIRE LIFE AND COMPRESSED IT INTO ONE SINGLE HOUR, HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD YOU HAVE HELPED ALONG THE WAY”!

Thanks again.

Very truly yours,

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PIEDMONT, ALABAMA

J. KEITH WORD, PHM, EDEP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
RETIRING JANUARY 31, 2013

“One night in a dream, God told me to go out to build a better world and I said the world is such a very large and vast place and I am only one person. So what can I do?, and God in all his infinite wisdom looked at me and said, You just go out and build a better you”.

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PHA and Stitts Receive Statewide Recognition


The Piedmont Housing Authority and a recent graduate received statewide recognition at the 72nd Annual Conference of the Alabama Association of Housing & Redevelopment Authorities.
    
The Piedmont Housing Authority was recognized by the Alabama Association of Housing Risk Management (AHARM) by receiving the Silver Award for 2011. This award was for five consecutive years of loss prevention between 10% and 20%. Keith Word, Executive Director for the local agency and currently on medical leave, said that he and his Board of Commissioners were very proud of their maintenance department and their hard work to always do things right. The maintenance employees are Johnny Minton, Maintenance Supervisor, Eddie Farmer, Maintenance Mechanic. Joey Turner, Maintenance Mechanic, and Nick Williams, Assistant Maintenance Mechanic. Word said these guys were the "Best of the Best" in Alabama's 143 Housing Authorities.
 
Piedmont Housing student Matthew Stitts was recognized by the Alabama Housing Authorities Education and Enrichment Fund with a $2,500 scholarship. Matthew was one of eleven (11) students recognized with a statewide scholarship. Word said that he and his Board members were so very proud of Matthew for keeping his grades up so he could be nominated for the award. Word said that he was so thankful to Mrs. Sandra Akin "who filled out the scholarship online who has always supported our students from the Piedmont Housing Authority."
 
Pictured from left to right are Piedmont Housing Authority Board Member Mrs. Patty Glover, Scholarship recipient Matthew Stitts, Mrs. Judy Stitts Matthew's mom, and Mr. Walter Prater, Chairman of the Board. He is also holding the AHARM Silver Award for the Maintenance Department.

The facsimile check being held by Matthew was prepared by the Alabama Power Company. Word says he is truly thankful for the Alabama Power Company's support of our statewide scholarship winners.

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Alabama Housing Association Selects PHS Senior for Scholarship


The Alabama State Housing Association has selected a Piedmont High Senior for a twenty five hundred ( $2,500.00) scholarship award.

Keith Word, Executive Director of the Piedmont Housing Authority said he was so very proud of Mr. Matthew Stitts who has been on the local agency’s honor roll for a number of years. The Alabama Housing Association Education Enrichment Fund was created in 2002 for outstanding students who reside in low income housing communities giving them the same opportunities as other students. This makes the tenth year of the program and Word advised that five of the six the Piedmont Housing Authority students who had submitted; had been selected for AHAEEF Scholarship awards. Matthew Stitts and his mom Mrs. Judy Stitts will be the guest of the Piedmont Housing Authority and the State Housing Convention later this year in August for the presentation of the actual scholarship and large facsimile check.

Word reported that Matthew had also won several other awards and scholarships including the Gadsden State Community College Honors Scholarship; the Freed Hardeman University /Academic Scholarship; the University of Alabama Hubert & Flora Borden Scholarship; JSU Gamecock Scholarship; the James M. Hoffman Scholarship; Hershel E. Prater Scholarship; Dr. John R. Kirkpatrick Scholarship; the PHA Class of 1968 Scholarship, and now the Alabama Housing Association Education Enrichment Program Scholarship Award.

Word stated at the Piedmont High School Awards Program that he had told Mrs. Sandra Akin when Matthew started the ninth grade that he was going to push, prod, and encourage Matthew in every way he could, since he knew then that Matthew was a very special and very intelligent student. Word told the awards audience that he, his staff, and his board were so very proud of Matthew and they would all continue to encourage Matthew in his future educational goals.

Word was present for the Piedmont High School awards program along with Mr. Walter Prater, the current Board Chairperson for the Piedmont Housing Authority. Pictured are Mr. Walter Prater, Mr. Matthew Stitts, and Mr. Keith Word.

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Piedmont Housing Authority Celebrates 60th Anniversary

A group of concerned businessmen got together in 1950 and discussed the need for low income Federal Housing for the City of Piedmont. They decided and starting the very lengthy process to purchase the property and get ready to build Piedmont’s first public housing apartments. The Housing Authority was chartered and started in March of 1952. This month makes the local agency’s 60th anniversary in our city and community.

Keith Word, the third Executive Director of the local agency said he was proud to represent the Piedmont Housing Authority as the Executive Director. "Our agency is so proud of the outstanding accomplishments we have made in both our city and community this past 22 ½ years. Some of the most outstanding achievements are: all four housing developments have been remodeled to bring them up to date with current building codes; all the basketball courts and parking bays have been resurfaced; completed an office addition to the old administrative office at 154 Craig Avenue and the Maintenance Shop at 702 Oak Street; made many, many contributions to several area non-profit groups like the Piedmont Police Department, Piedmont Fire Department, Piedmont Public Library, Piedmont City Schools, Spring Garden School, Piedmont Public Library, Piedmont Community Chest, Piedmont Boy Scout Troop and Girl Scout troop, Piedmont Police Crime Prevention Fund; Piedmont Police Drug Dog contribution, all from the management fee from Piedmont Manor Homes; Installed new playground equipment in all developments; Fenced in all basketball courts that were near any road; Landscaped all developments; Installed new property signs in all developments; Replaced all old window screens with new .28 gauge steel security screens on the 211 apartments.

Our agency has been involved with most all City of Piedmont, PARD, Piedmont Business Council, Piedmont Ministerial Association, and Piedmont Disabled American Veterans like the Annual Freedom Celebration, Piedmont Annual Christmas Parade, Piedmont Halloween Safety Program, and the Clyde H. Pike dedication ceremony at the civic center; Our agency has partnerships with the City of Piedmont, Piedmont Community Chest, Piedmont Community Action Agency, Calhoun County DHR, Calhoun County East Alabama Regional Office, Calhoun County Extension Office of Auburn University, Piedmont Police Department, Piedmont area churches, and many other agencies in Calhoun County; Started the Piedmont Police Substation on Cook Street, the Piedmont office of the Calhoun County Community Action Agency and the Calhoun County DHR Satellite Office; Our local agency has won many, many state, regional, and national awards for the dedication to the city and community in many areas; Our local agency has had five of our employees and one Board member recognized as the best in Alabama by the Alabama Association of Housing and Redevelopment Association; Our local agency has had four out of five Piedmont High School students receive academic scholarships from the Alabama Housing Association Education Enrichment Program; Our local agency created and started The A-Team (Academic Team) honor roll and perfect attendance program that has grown every single year since 2002; Our local agency has purchased the corner lot at the corner of Craig Avenue and Ladiga Street and cleaned it up and planted grass since that corner lot adjoined our property on Craig Avenue and purchased the old Kimberly-Clarke Property that consist of six acres of property and a twenty four hundred square foot building; and our local agency has built a new 5,704 square foot administrative office with our ribbon cutting ceremony held in August 2009 with our United States Congressman Mike Rogers conducting the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Our local Housing Authority has retired four employees with twenty or more years of service with two of them twenty five years of service. Our current operation now consists of eight full time employees with a total of 110 years of combined service to our agency. They are truly the best of the best in our state housing association.

Some of our future plans are to go back into Project One (Property behind Piedmont Cemetery) and completely remodel that property where the old paneling still remains and replace with sheetrock and update both the plumbing and electrical to meet state building code. We also want to remodel the old administrative office at 154 Craig Avenue into a Piedmont Community Center when funding becomes available. One last project we would like to see done is to convert the old Kimberly-Clarke building into a Boys/Girls Club again when funding becomes available since we are like the school system having to deal with proration of funding every single year.

The Piedmont Housing Authority Staff and Board of Commissioners are very proud of the many rewards and accomplishments that has been completed this past 22 ½ years. Keith Word, Executive Director said that he hoped that the Piedmont Housing Authority could have just as many accomplishments during the next twenty two and half years. Our local Housing Authority truly does make an impact on the lives of many, many families along with all the senior citizens, handicapped and disabled citizens. It is so nice to have a job that you get to see the impact and improvement in the quality of life of people we assist and that truly is very rewarding to all our Staff and Board members said Word.

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Keith Word Named 2012 Citizen of the Year
By Eddie Burkhalter
 
The civic life of a community is a precious thing. Towns can suffer when residents no longer feel tied to one another. For that reason and many others,
The Piedmont Journal chooses a resident each year that helps tie citizens together. Keith Word has been chosen as the 2012 Citizen of The Year.

A 1975 graduate of Piedmont High School, Word is the executive director of the Piedmont Housing Authority and a co-owner and funeral director of Folsom Funeral Home.

“I don’t think you could give this award to anyone more deserving,” said Piedmont Public Library director Tessa Anderson. “It would be very difficult to find anyone who works harder and loves the city more than Keith. He does an incredible job with the Housing Authority, especially with the kids there.”

Word began working at the Piedmont Housing Authority in 1989, becoming its third executive director in 1991. In 2002, he began a program to help encourage the children living in the housing authority to stay in school and to excel. That first year only one student in the program made his school’s honor roll. By 2009, that number had grown to 10 children, and the next year to 16. Last year, 19 children made their honor rolls all year long, and, at one point during the school year, 44 made a single, nine-week honor roll.

“Keith makes sure the children of the Piedmont Housing Authority are recognized for their achievements,” said Piedmont Mayor Brian Young.
As part of their rewards, kids on the A-Team (Academic Team) have in the past received limousine rides and autographed photos of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, and they each receive a medallion engraved with their name.

“Keith Word is great asset to the police department, to the City of Piedmont, and especially to the public housing tenants he serves,” said Piedmont Police Chief Steven Tidwell. “Keith goes above and beyond in supporting all of the entities mentioned and is well deserving of this recognition.”  

The list of awards won by the housing authority since Word became director is enormous. In August of 2009, the housing authority moved into its new 5,700 square-foot administrative offices, a building which came with no payments. Word and his staff saved for years in order to construct the new facility without having to apply for loans.

Without ever charging for his services, Word acts as emcee at all sorts of local events, from DAV meetings to Christmas parades to Fourth of July celebrations. Mayor Young said that Keith always could be counted on to lead a civic event.

Ben Singleton, Communications Director for the City of Piedmont, said he’s worked with Word on numerous civic events and that Keith always gives his all to make each event a success.

“It is a pleasure working with Keith on all of these projects,” Singleton said. “He cares very much for Piedmont, and it shows in everything he does.”

Due to health problems, Word was unable last year to organize many of the events. The Piedmont Ministerial Association took up the cause, and, along with Singleton and the Piedmont Parks and Recreation Department, the Association helped organize last year’s Downtown Halloween Trick or Treat and Annual Piedmont Christmas Parade.

“You could call on him day or night,” said Folsom Funeral Home’s Brian Folsom about Word. “He’s always had an open heart and been willing to do anything he could for the city or for anybody.

“That's Keith in a nutshell, dedication and a willing heart.”
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Mayor Young Recognizes Piedmont Housing’s Best


July 2011

Each time a major accomplishment occurs, Mayor Brian Young has the chance to recognize those groups at the Piedmont City Council meetings with congratulations or honors.

Recently the Mayor had the chance to opportunity Keith Word, Executive Director of the Piedmont Housing Authority, in recognizing twelve students who made either the honor roll or perfect attendance or both for the 2010-11 school year. Word gave a little history of the A-Team (Academic Team) program in that it was started in 2002 to promote academic excellence to inspire students to stay in school for graduation, which would better prepare them for life’s lessons. Word reported that 2002 that only one student made the honor roll all year but by 2009 it had grown to 10; by 2010 it had grown to 16; and for 2011 it had grown to 19. Word said that his staff and board were very pleased that the program was working and the largest nine week group recognized was 44 students.

Word also advised that four out of five students that had been submitted to the Alabama Housing Association had received statewide scholarships including this year’s Emily Jones; that two students had received their Black Belts in ATF Taekwondo Karate when the local agency had the local karate program funded by the previous “Drug Elimination Grant Award”; and that four of the students who resided in housing had attended the Mobile of Math and Science. Word said that his students were indeed some of the best of the best over the past ten years alone.

Recognized with McDonalds gift coupons, an autographed picture to each student by Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban, and medallions with the student’s name engraved on them were: Christopher Dyson, Tra’Shawn Swain, Jaidyn Young, Silas Thompson, Cassius Fairs-Thompson, Makala Murphy, Deanna Davis, Jaylon Sherrill, Ruben Burns, Courtney Burns, Celeste Wilson, and Marcelous Wilson. Also recognized after the meeting was concluded was Jayden Stubbs by Word. Word reported that six other students not in attendance at the Piedmont City Council who made the honor roll or perfect attendance were Taffanie Ningsanont, Emily Bruce, Jessica DeVoe, Emily Jones, Haley Parris, and Tamiya Spears.

The twelve students were taken to the Piedmont City Council meeting by Word in Folsom Funeral Home’s Limousine compliments Bryan and Shari Folsom. Word was accompanied in the picture of the students with Mayor Brian Young, Housing Authority Board Chairman Walter Prater, and Housing Board Member Terry Kiser.

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Piedmont Housing Students Enjoy Huntsville Trip

July 2011

The Huntsville Marshall Space Flight & Rocket Center is a truly wonderful sight for anyone at any age especially if you are a child or youth.

Recently, the Piedmont Housing Authority sponsored a field trip to Huntsville for the Year End Honor Roll & Perfect Attendance students for the 2010-11 school year. Keith Word, Executive Director of the Piedmont Housing Authority reported that thirteen of the nineteen year end winners made the trip along with three resident mothers who served as chaperons with Keith Word and his wife Kathy.

Word said the day started with the students meeting at the PHA office at 7:30 A.M. in their bright safety orange tee shirts and a once a quick stop at the Piedmont McDonalds for breakfast, the students were off to Huntsville. The students and chaperons enjoyed most of the outside activities that morning; had lunch together as a group; enjoyed the special dinosaur museum/exhibit on display for a short time; the group enjoyed the indoor activities during the afternoon that included the rides, climbing wall, the IMAX Theater showing the “History of Flight” and finally a quick stop at the gift shop for a souvenir. On the road home, the group was treated to the buffet at Ryan’s Steak House in Boaz, Alabama before being delivered home that afternoon by Word and the chaperon mothers.

Pictured with Keith Word are Ms. Angela Thompson, Ms. Dina Burns, Ms. Jayme Davis, and students Christopher Dyson, Celeste Wilson, Cassius Fairs-Thompson, Taffanie Ningsanont, Silas Thompson, Makala Murphy, Jaidyn Young, Tra’Shawn Swain, Jaylon Sherrill, Marcelous Wilson, Ruben Burns, Courtney Burns, and Deanna Davis. Pictures taken by Kathy Word.

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Annual Convention Success


July 2011


At the 71st Annual Convention of the Alabama Association of Housing & Redevelopment Authorities the Piedmont Housing Authority walked away with two major areas of state-wide recognition.

First, Miss Emily Jones was awarded an “Alabama Housing Association Education Enrichment Fund” Scholarship in the amount of twenty five hundred dollars ($ 2,500.00). This was to further her education since she just graduated Piedmont High School fifth in her 2011 class. Jones has already been accepted for her high ACT of twenty six by Jacksonville State University so she can pursue her dream of becoming an educator to teach and help children and youth. Miss Jones attended the scholarship luncheon with her mom, Ms. Jennifer Jones along with Keith Word, Executive Director of the Piedmont Housing Authority and Board members Mr. Walter Prater, Mrs. Lori Ray, Mrs. Patty Glover and Mr. Terry Kiser.

Second, the Piedmont Housing Authority was awarded the “Best Practices” Award for the state in the area of public relations for their continuous public relations coverage of their stories and news media events. Word said the only reason the Piedmont Housing Authority received this award was due to the very kind news media i.e. newspapers & radio station websites coverage of their events especially any programs that recognized their children or youth. Word said that his Board of Commissioners, his Staff, and he was very grateful and thankful for our local news media for their continuous coverage and for supporting the Piedmont Housing Authority in all the good things the local agency was trying to do for the city and community of Piedmont.

Word said that agency has had so much successful due to the support of our Mayor, City Clerk, City Council, and Department Heads who work with us on a regular basis. Word also said that we have a truly great HUD office that we partner with who has always been helpful in giving advice, guidance, and assistance at anytime our local agency needed it. Word said that the Alabama Housing Association was very lucky since we had the best HUD Field Office statewide.

Pictured with Miss Emily Jones is her mother Ms. Jennifer Jones along with Word, Mr. Walter Prater, Board Chairman, Mrs. Lori Ray, Vice-Chairperson, Mrs. Patty Glover, and Mr. Terry Kiser. The Board members are also present with Word for the Agency Best Practices Award for AAHRA for 2011.

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Housing Authority Families Hosted by Pro-South Wrestling
July 2011

At some point in time, every child, youth, or adult has attended some type of wrestling event whether WWE, WCW, TNA, or even NWA Pro South located right here in Piedmont, Alabama.

Recently on a Friday night, Mr. Terry Batey, his family, and his staff opened their doors and their hearts to all the Piedmont Housing Authority resident families to attend the wrestling and entertainment provided that night. Most of the children and youth got to meet several of the wrestlers and some got to shake their hands while they were there. The wrestlers who were on the ticket for the evening were: Ace Haven; Brandon Collum; Bulldog Raines; Scott Spade; Damon TAZ; J. D. Rush; Curry Kid; Chip Day; Tyler Gage; Joey Sartain; Johnny Slaughter; Stinger; Brian Alexander; Epic Grant Mitchell; and the Southern Stud Waylon Rhodes.

Keith Word, Executive Director of the Piedmont Housing Authority was introduced as one of the special guest and Word said that he was very appreciative to Terry Batey for opening his door to all the housing families especially free of charge. The children and youth who attended had a truly wonderful time and I know that several got to meet some of the wrestlers and shake their hands. Word said that it was not just the Housing Authority families who were invited as special guest but all children who were twelve years of age and under as well. The place was full of kids and they all seemed to have a really great time.

Wrestler Bulldog Raines had some of his pictures for sale for $ 1.00 each and Mr. Jerry Baggett provided the money for those children who wanted an autographed picture of Bulldog who did not have the money. Everyone in attendance at this event was truly thankful to Mr. Baggett for his generosity in providing the children who wanted a picture but simply did not have the money. Word also wanted to say special thanks to Mr. Rickey Freeman for attending the fourth nine weeks honor roll party on Thursday, June 16, where he gave out the free tickets to the Friday night wrestling event. Word said the Piedmont Housing Authority families were truly thankful for the opportunity to attend the special event and they too wanted to thank Pro South Wrestling and the Batey Family for opening their doors to them and treating them like part of their family that night.

Pictured with the children are Terry Batey, Owner of NWA Pro South Wrestling; Wrestler Bulldog Raines; Mr. Rickey Freeman; and Mr. Keith Word of the Piedmont Housing Authority.
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Fourth Quarter Extremely Strong for Housing Students
June 2011


Each nine week period in Piedmont City School System and Spring Garden School System students who reside in the Piedmont Housing Authority are recognized for honor roll or perfect attendance. This program has been in place since 2002 according to Keith Word, the Executive Director of the Piedmont Housing Authority where he has served for almost twenty two years.

Word said that it took many, many trips to resident’s homes about things like lack of attendance, lice, and behavior problems that made him decide that something needed to be done to keep these students in school. Word decided to create the A-TEAM (Academic Team), a program that would recognize each student who resided in Piedmont’s low income public housing for either honor roll or perfect attendance since according to Word both programs were important. Not every student can always make the honor roll but there are those who can make perfect attendance so Word did not want those students left out of the program. The program has grown more and more each year with what started with four or five each six weeks back then to around thirty five to forty now each nine weeks. We very rarely have that lack of attendance, behavior problems, or lice problems anymore since we have such a truly wonderful partnership with both our local school systems.

Word reported that the fourth nine weeks produced thirty eight (38) housing students who made either the honor roll or perfect attendance (with some of them making both). Those making the party at the Piedmont McDonalds treated to chicken McNuggets by Manager Mrs. Pam Traywick and Assistant Manager Lisa Evans were: Pictured with Executive Director Keith Word were Michael Bickerstaff, Courtney Burns, Ruben Burns, Marcelous Wilson, Cassandra DeVoe, Celeste Wilson, Jayme Davis, Taffanie Ningsanant, Silas Thompson, Jaidyn Young, Carl Myers, Gqenazia Wilson, Christopher Dyson, Jessica DeVoe, Trevaughn Carpenter, Dustin Cromer, Treavius Carpenter, and Joseph Nails. Word recognized the ones could not attend even though he knew some were at school workouts; church camp; vacation bible school; and visits with family members already for the first part of the summer but the other students who were recognized by Word were: Jayden Stubbs, Cassius Fairs Thompson, Haley Parris, Tamiya Spears, Emily Jones, Ella Harrell, Candace Patterson, Jaylon Sherrill, Emily Bruce, Makala Murphy, Tateona Patterson, Tra’Shawn Swain, Jordeen Crow, Matthew Snyder, Matthew Stitts, Quadree Woods, Tyler Warren, Faith Helms, Jaden Amberson, and Tashera Carpenter.

Word said the partnership with the Piedmont McDonalds and the owners David & Merry Neisler, and Managers Pam Traywick and Lisa Evans have been one of the best things that have ever happened to our local Housing Authority. Word also reported that Rickey Freeman was in attendance at the party promoting the wrestling match (TNA) that would be put on Friday night and each child, youth, and adult who resided in the Piedmont Housing Authority would be the special guest of Mr. Terry Batey, the promoter of the Pro South Wresting of Piedmont and the wrestlers who would be in attendance for the matches scheduled for that Friday night. Word thanked Freeman for the special invitation and told all the children and youth that he planned to attend himself to make sure that they told their neighbors about the open event.

When then fourth nine weeks honor roll party concluded Word announced that nineteen (19) students had made either the honor roll or perfect attendance for the entire 2010-2011 school year and they were: Marcelous Wilson, Jayme Davis, Cassius Fairs Thompson, Celeste Wilson, Ruben Burns, Courtney Burns, Jayden Stubbs, Haley Parris, Tamiya Spears, Jaylon Sherrill, Emily Bruce, Makala Murphy, Tra’Shawn Swain, Taffanie Ningsanont, Silas Thompson, Jaidyn Young, Christopher Dyson, Jessica DeVoe, and Emily Jones. Word said this year exceeded last year’s sixteen (16) students who made the honor roll or perfect attendance all year since this year nineteen (19) students made the grade for true academic excellence. Word and that his McDonald’s friends; his Housing Authority employees, his Board of Commissioner Members, and his residents families were all truly proud of our students since they were each the truly “BEST OF THE BEST” in Piedmont!!!

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Local Housing Director Wears Many Hats
December 2010

For Keith Word, Executive Director of the Piedmont Housing Authority, quiet days are few and far between. In addition to serving as Executive Director, Word also serves as a community servant in many different roles. He is the Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies for most all City of Piedmont; Piedmont Business Council; Piedmont Ministerial Association; Piedmont Throttle Kings Classic Car Club; and the Piedmont Disabled American Veterans Chapter #21 events. And during December you can also find Word playing Santa Claus to most groups like Piedmont Head Start, the Piedmont Public Library, the Jaycees, Piedmont Healthcare Authority, other local business groups and the local school system.

In his spare time, Word works on the annual Freedom Celebration during the first few months of the year while the last few months of the year are spent working on the annual Christmas Parade and Christmas week festivity. This does not count the other things that Word does like attending most all the Piedmont City Council meetings; speaking to community groups and organizations when he is asked to; working closely with the Piedmont Benevolence Center; working with the Piedmont Ministerial Association; working with the City of Piedmont in writing letters and assisting the Mayor, City Clerk, or City Council on special projects; or working with the local Piedmont City School System in a variety of school groups or councils.

Word also holds a very important county role; that of Calhoun County Chairman of the Board for Calhoun County Department of Human Resources. Word has not been serving on the county board now for over eight years and was recently re-appointed by Calhoun County Commissioner Rudy Abbott for his hard work and dedication to the county DHR office. Word not only chairs the quarterly board meetings but also serves as the DHR Job’s Program Chairman and chairs those quarterly meetings as week for the county DHR office.

Word currently serves as the registration chairman for the Alabama Association of Housing & Redevelopment Authorities as well as Board Member for the Alabama Public Housing Director’s Association and Past State President of APHADA.

Pictured from left to right is: Janice Howard, Board Member; Alabama State Commissioner Nancy T. Buckner; Keith Word, Board Chairman; Alabama State Deputy Director James Slaughter; and Calhoun County DHR Director Doug Heath. Word recently attended the statewide Board meeting held in Montgomery, Alabama.