FCA recognizes longtime city educator

Published 12:35 am Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chiles awarded lifetime achievement award

A longtime Warren County educator was recognized for her service to the community Saturday by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Annie Chiles, a Vicksburg native who spent more than 40 years in the Municipal Vicksburg and Vicksburg Warren school districts, was awarded the FCA Central Area Lifetime Achievement Award for integrity, service, teamwork and excellence.
“This was a big surprise,” Chiles wrote on an iPad. “I feel great.”
The longtime educator was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and recently lost the ability to speak. She wrote she retired in June, adding Bible study and her church now occupy her time.
About 50 people, including her children, sons Mark and Keith Chiles, and her daughter, Trina Lassiter, were at the ceremony held Saturday afternoon at Mount Elem M.B. Church.
Alonzo Stevens, a school district board member and state FCA representative said Chiles has been a mother to the children of their neighborhood, Douglas Park.
“I saw her feed kids and clothe kids, and just be a mom for those kids, She just lets her light shine.”
Stevens, who met Chiles when she was a secretary at Bowmar Avenue Elementary, said she helped him grow as a coach and educator.
“She taught me that you just have to have a love for the kids,” he said.
Last year, Bennie and Margaret Neal received the award.
“People like Annie Chiles and the Neals, they do it out of love,” Stevens said.
Chiles wrote her time as secretary at Bowmar, where she was for 17 years, and Sherman Avenue schools were her fondest memories.
“All the children do remember me,” she said.
According to the proclamation, “Annie has a deep abiding love and dedication to serve the Lord no matter what “storm” may come her way.”
“She always believed in faith, family, and her commitment to her church and to the community. She was giving back to the community and helping children,” her son, Mark Chiles said. “Her faith was the biggest thing for her.”
“I love my family, my friends and my church family and my (12) grandchildren (and three great-grandchildren),” she wrote.