By Hartsville Vidette Staff Reporter

The North Central P-16 Council recently announced the 2019 BEST (Businesses Empowering Students and Teachers) Award winners.

The BEST Award celebrates the accomplishments of community leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs. It recognizes those who share knowledge and expertise, advocate, and foster student success in pre-K through postsecondary education.

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Trousdale County’s winner was Dr. Michael Towns, owner of Trousdale County Veterinary Services.

Hartsville/Trousdale Chamber of Commerce Director Natalie Knudsen, who nominated Towns for the award, said of him, “Dr. Towns returned to his hometown following veterinary school to establish his practice. He uses every opportunity to hire and offer learning experiences to youth interested in the veterinary field – from checking in clients to assisting with procedures to local farm calls.

“Dr. Towns continues to mentor student in life and business experiences as he interns students exploring the veterinary field. This empowers a student searching for opportunities and learning how to deal with people as well as medically assist animals. You may not become a vet, but students still enhance their life skills.”

The P-16 Council is made up of area secondary school educators, higher education leaders and business people and is led by Volunteer State Community College. The goal of P-16 is to promote the relationship between education and the value of work, develop a highly trained workforce, and create a culture of lifelong learning by positively impacting student success through awareness, advocacy, and action.

Other 2019 award winners were: Susan Peach, Sumner Regional Medical Center, for Sumner County; Lindsay Johnston, representing James Woodcock, Fleetwood Homes, for Macon County; Timothy Dowell, Electrolux Home Products, NA, for Robertson County; W.P. Bone, III, Wilson County Motors; and Robert “Bob” McDonald, Cedar Stone Bank; both for Wilson County.