By Lauren Cabral
The Cove Herald
The Mount Hiram Masonic Lodge 595 bestowed its highest honor to a non-Mason on Rose Cameron, superintendent of the Copperas Cove Independent School District, Tuesday evening in recognition of her many contributions to the community.
Cameron received the Community Builder Award, as well as two standing ovations from the large crowd packed into the lodge in response to those thanking her and her thanking others.
James Powell, Mason and chairman of the award selection committee, said that through the years Cameron has "quietly and without fanfare" shown her devotion to the community and its residents.
"She has shown superb leadership in guiding our schools through tough times," he said, alluding to the fiscal issues districts across the state have dealt with, but CCISD has managed without huge losses.
He also mentioned her establishment of quarterly summit meetings between CCISD, the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation and city officials, which have helped to streamline efforts and goals in the community.
"That alone is unheard of in other communities," he said. "Thank you for your leadership that makes our community a better place to live."
Worshipful Master T.R. Dyer and Powell presented Cameron with a glass obelisk and framed certificate, and then it was Cameron's turn at the podium.
She began by sharing the definition of "community," as stated by Merriam-Webster's dictionaries, and interpreting it to fit Copperas Cove.
"I think of community as a collaboration," she said. "I think we do it better than anywhere else."
She thanked the Masons for their commitment to education, and all present for their support.
"This award has my name on it, but each of you also needs to know it doesn't belong to me," she said. "It belongs to us."
Dyer said the award is bestowed by the Grand Lodge of Texas through Mt. Hiram, and is not an annual award; instead, it is given when Masons feel a community member truly deserves it.
"It was a unanimous vote to present the award to Dr. Rose Cameron," he said.
He added with all the news of districts laying teachers off and cutting programs, CCISD was not mentioned.
"That's not an accident," he added. "Dr. Cameron's stewardship of the district has been fabulous, and we're blessed to have her."
Contact Lauren Cabral at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.