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Tribute To Beverly D. Clyburn

Rep. James E. Clyburn

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a tremendous public servant, a passionate educator, and a dear friend and relative. Beverly Clyburn is being honored on March 23, 2012 for her service on Aiken City Council. She retired in November 2011 after 22 years of dedicated service to the City of Aiken.

Beverly LaVerne Dozier was born in Georgetown, South Carolina to Maggie and William Dozier. She was the fifth of eight children and one of seven girls. From an early age, Beverly loved to learn and she graduated in 1961 as Salutatorian of Howard High School.

She went on to attend Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, and graduated with honors in 1965, with a degree in Chemistry and Mathematics. It was there that she met her husband, and my cousin, William ``Bill'' Clyburn. In 1978, Beverly earned a Masters Degree in Secondary Guidance from the University of South Carolina.

Beverly's first love is education, and she spent 42 years as an educator in both Aiken and Allendale counties. She served as a guidance counselor at Midland Valley High School and guidance director at South Aiken High School, a position she retired from in 1999. Following retirement she was drawn back into education to help improve the Allendale County schools after a State take-over. Today she continues to work in education at the Aiken Performing Arts Academy as a part-time assistant director and guidance counselor.

In 1988, Beverly was urged by members of the community to run for Aiken City Council. She took on the challenge, and won the District 1 seat. She is known for her thoroughness on council, diligently studying every issue and visiting the sites that would be impacted before she cast her vote.

During her tenure on council, she has participated in numerous development projects including the 10-year renewal plan for Aiken's Northside, the Crosland Park redevelopment project, the Center for African American History, Art and Culture, and the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum. She served as Mayor Pro Tem from 2002 2004, and has been honored for her work in chairing the first four NLC Diversity Breakfasts. She has also served as the chair of the Aiken County DSS Board.

In 2001, the South Carolina General Assembly honored Beverly for her work in Aiken and Allendale counties and the State of South Carolina. The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce named her the 2009 Woman of the Year for her commitment to the Aiken area. She has also earned the honor of Woman of Distinction from her church, Cumberland African Methodist Episcopal.

Beverly and Bill have been married for 47 years, and are the parents of three adult children--William, Jr., Wilson, and Courtney. They also served as foster parents to daughter, Carmen. Today they have three grandchildren, and spending more time with her beloved family was the impetus for her retirement from Aiken City Council.

Mr. Speaker, I ask you and our colleagues to join me in congratulating Beverly Dozier Clyburn on a job well done. She has spent her entire career in public service whether as an educator or an elected official. Her efforts have made Aiken County a better place, and she has been a positive influence on countless lives along the way. I wish her all the best in this new chapter in her life, and knowing Beverly as I do, look forward to her continued work on behalf of others.