Key Women of America honor three area residents

Published 11:11 am Monday, March 10, 2008

By Staff
Wilkins, Smallwood and Gibbs recognized for service to others
Contributing Editor
The Washington branch of Key Women of America honored three people for their contributions to the community during its 13th-annual Scholarship Banquet on Saturday.
The chapter recognized the Rev. Russell S. Wilkins for his service to the community. Catherine Buxton Smallwood and Dorothy Smith Gibbs were honored for exemplifying one of the Key Women of America ideals — helping others.
Wilkins became the part-time pastor of St. John Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) in October 1977. Wilkins received a bachelor’s degree in intermediate education and religion from Barton College. He continued his education at East Carolina University and Roanoke Bible College in Elizabeth City. He is pursuing a master’s degree in pastoral care at Trinity Theological Seminary.
He also served as a sixth-grade teacher in the Wilson County school system in 1980-1981. From 1981 through 1988, he worked as a sixth-grade teacher in the Washington school system, served as the summer school (K-8) director for the city school system and was an instructor in the department of continuing education at Beaufort County Community College. From 1988 through 1996, Wilkins was an eighth-grade teacher at Washington County Union School in Roper.
In 1996, Wilkins was commissioned as the first full-time pastor of St. John Church of Christ.
The pastor has received numerous awards. In 1986, Wilkins was the recipient of an Outstanding Young Men of America Award. He was Beaufort County’s Teacher of the Year for 1983-1984 when he taught at John Small Elementary School. He was Teacher of the Year for 1991-1992 when he taught at Washington County Union School. He received the 1991-1992 Golden Apple Award from the Washington County school system.
Wilkins is vice president of Windows of the World Technology Center in Roper. He serves on the Minority Advisory Council to the superintendent of Beaufort County Schools. He is a member of the Beaufort Area Transit System’s board. He is a member of the Academic Booster Club at Plymouth High School. He is a member of the Washington County Board of Education.
Wilkins is a former member of the Martin County Senior Citizen Advisory Board and Plymouth branch of the NAACP. He is a former member of the Roper Town Council and Roper Fire Department. He is a former Roper police commissioner.
Gibbs, who works at the Beaufort County Department of Social Services, is a charter member of the Washington branch of Key Women of America.
Gibbs, a member of Metropolitan AME Zion Church and graduate of P.S. Jones High School, was presented her award plaque by her son, Walter Rasby, a former football standout at Washington High School and Wake Forest. Rasby is a former NFL player.
Smallwood worked for almost 30 years at Beaufort County Community College, helping adults learn to read and obtain their GEDs. She is a member of Spring Garden Missionary Baptist Church. She also worked as a teacher in the Washington school system teaching language arts and social studies. She taught for 32 years before retiring in 1990.
Smallwood is a charter member of the Washington branch of Key Women of America.