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Dougherty honored for distinguished life

June 30, 2006|by RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Correspondent

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A Charles Town, W.Va., woman, too modest in life to accept accolades for years of community service, was named Jefferson County's Distinguished Citizen of the Year, posthumously.

The honor was presented Wednesday on behalf of Sandra Dougherty to her husband, Peter H. Dougherty, and their three children, Megen, Beth and Bryan Dougherty, at the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce's 47th annual banquet.

More than 100 Chamber members and guests attended the banquet at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown.

Sandra Dougherty, who died in April at the age of 53, taught at Jefferson High School.

She was a board member of the Old Charles Town Library, Jefferson Memorial Hospital, United Way of Jefferson County and Jefferson County Memorial Park, and was a sponsor of the Jefferson High School Key Club.

Sandy Dougherty's husband said Thursday he had spoken with his wife about setting up an endowment for the Jefferson County Teacher of the Year in conjunction with the Chamber's Leadership Jefferson program, and she agreed with the idea.

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"I told her, 'You came here as a teacher, but you are more well known for your community activities,'" Peter Dougherty said.

The family's endowment - $2,500 to start for the first three years - will pay the teacher to participate in the Chamber's Leadership Jefferson program throughout the year.

Dougherty gave as an example Mary Duke, who was named Teacher of the Year for Jefferson County. Duke, the wife of Berkeley County Del. Walter Duke, will go to Charleston to learn firsthand how the state Legislature works. The endowment money will pay for her expenses to the State Capitol, as well as expenses for other programs Leadership Jefferson offers throughout the year.

"It's a way for the teacher to connect with people," he said.

It also was announced Wednesday that her family has established an endowment in her memory through the Chamber's Leadership Jefferson County program.

The Chamber awarded the annual George E. Vickers Major Industry Award for 2006 to the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center. The 25-acre complex, which houses the federal Office of Personnel Management's Eastern Management Development Center, opened in 1998, said Kenneth Lowe Jr., president of the center.

Lowe, who accepted the award, said he shares ownership of the center with Erwin Asam, owner of the Bavarian Inn and Lodge in Shepherdstown, and the estate of the late Hagerstown developer Michael Callas.

Federal employees coming to the center for training programs occupied 24,000 room nights last year, Lowe said.

The Clarion has 168 business rooms, 163 employees, covers 155,000 square feet under roof and paid $213,000 in local property taxes last year.

The Chamber also honored 53 area businesses for expanding operations.

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