Earlier this week, Mayor Earl Johnson presented the Andalusia Rotary Club’s Spirit of Andalusia award to Mrs. Jerri Stroud.

This award was established by the club in 2005 to recognize people outside of the Andalusia Rotary Club for contributions in making the city a special place. The club chooses recipients who embody the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.” This year’s award was presented on the occasion of the Andalusia Rotary Club’s 100thanniversary. 

The mayor said it was fitting that Mrs. Stroud would be honored at such a special occasion.

“Her involvement has made countless events like this one special,” he said. 

Mrs. Stroud came to Andalusia as an educator and set high standards for her students. 

“She had a reputation for being able to pull the very best out of students, and a number of doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals emerged from that foundation of her Andalusia High School biology and anatomy classes,” Johnson said. “The high standards she set in the classroom are carried out in every area of her life.” 

At First Baptist Church, she has served as a Sunday School teacher, and been in charge of the grounds. She chairs the Culinary Committee and directs every funeral luncheon and other special events. Each year, she stages a dinner for all of the participants of Covington County’s Drug Court. 

“She has been called upon by many a bride – or perhaps many mothers of brides – to put that same mark of excellence on their weddings,” Johnson said. 

“We are especially appreciative that since her retirement, she has directed the City of Andalusia Ambassadors, and set high standards for them, too,” he said. “She has helped us showcase our best and brightest students and added a little something extra to the special events where they have served as greeters.”

Because her family could not attend the event, Mayor Johnson asked that the ambassadors stand with Mrs. Stroud during the award presentation, which was a surprise to her. Unbeknownst to Mrs. Stroud, her sons and several of her grandchildren were tuned in via Zoom to watch the presentation, and were able to congratulate her from the screen near the podium.

Each Spirit of Andalusia recipient is named a Paul Harris Fellow, the award named for Rotary founder Paul Harris, and the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Rotarian. A contribution to the Rotary International Foundation also is made in the recipient’s name.