|Chris Edwards - A Busy Man Since
Graduating from Dora High
Chris Edwards' first connection with Dora High School was as an eighth
grader attending Sumiton Jr. High. "Coach Morgan came in the locker
room during Jr. high football practice and said he wanted us to give wrestling
a try after football season," Chris explains "The school needed
a few lightweights to fill the lower classes." "A couple of us
decided to give it a shot," he says.
After enduring a season of football, Edwards thought the wrestling team
would be a piece of cake. He quickly learned that this was not the case! "I
wrestled on the varsity in the 98 pound class and got my tail whupped most
of the time," he muses "But I did manage to win nine matches
which, as an eighth grader, felt pretty good."
Chris played football with the Dawgs until a pinched nerve caused severe
back and leg pain "cutting my promising career as a bench warmer short," he
says with a smile.
He did continue on the wrestling team and
placed in the State Finals - in the 152 pound class A - 5A division. His
record that year was 38 and 8.
"Dora High will always be a pleasant memory for me," says Edwards” I
really enjoyed school, being around my friends and the teachers. The Pep Rallies
before the ball games were always a lot of fun because it gave us a chance to
cut loose." Chris related one story when he, Jimi Westbrook, and Steven
Manasco assumed the role of cheerleaders in a skit that brought the house down
at one of the rallies. This skit is always on the "hi-light film" at
class reunions. "Just thinking about that brought a smile to my face," Chris
Chris graduated from Dora High in 1989 and later married Stacy Street (Dora
Class of 1990). He is the proud father of Trevor (The Bulldog) Edwards,
a sophomore at Dora; and Hollie Edwards, an 8th grader at Sumiton Jr. High.
After High School, Edwards attended Wallace State Community College from
1989 to 1991 and also Bevill State in 2002 where he completed a certificate
course for Emergency Medical Technician. In 1991, he married Stacy and
began his career at Edwards Insurance Agency, a family business started
by his parents Aaron C. Edwards and Brenda C. Edwards.
In 1995, he joined the Dora Volunteer Fire Department. "They told
me when I joined the department that I would either love it or hate it!" He
must have loved it because he has been there ever since and now serves
as Fire Chief (since 1999).
Chris’s tenure as chief has seen a lot of progress for the department.
Dora has added Emergency Medical Response, built a new fire station, received
three separate FEMA grants for fire equipment and a grant for a new pumper
truck. "We lowered our ISO rating, which is a good thing, from class
6 to class 5," Edwards explains. A Lower ISO rating normally means
lower insurance premiums for homeowners.
Edwards got involved with the East Walker Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and
has served on the Board of Directors for the past several years and held
the office of President in 2006 and 2007. "I had the privilege of
being part of the restructuring and development of our chamber office," Chris
says "and I am proud to say that today the chamber is going strong
and will help this side of Walker County to grow, making the future bright
for the people who live and work here."
Edwards had been thinking about running for the Mayor of Dora for several
years. As the election date loomed, he discussed the idea with his wife
Stacy and a number of prominent citizens of Dora. The outcome of those
talks was encouraging. One factor that weighed heavily on his decision
was that if elected mayor, he couldn't continue as the Fire Chief. He felt
that both the fire and police departments are strong and would be fine.
Edwards feels his has the knowledge, skills, abilities and experience to
help revive the business climate of Dora. "I have a vision of where
our town should be in ten to twenty years and it's a long way from where
we are now. We have fewer businesses now than when I graduated in 89," he
laments "we are missing out on opportunities for growth and we may
one day be absorbed by surrounding communities and lose our identity all
together." He says surrounding communities are growing and Dora should
be growing too.
If elected mayor, he plans to utilize his business experience and contacts
in Montgomery and throughout the State to help revitalize the city.
"I feel I am the right person, and this is the right time to turn Dora around
securing commercial and residential development for our future," he says.
Four more years may be too late for Dora. I-22 (Corridor X ) is scheduled to
be completed by 2011 and this will open Birmingham to Memphis. This should bring
an economic boom for the Western Corridor of Alabama. We have to establish a
plan for Dora and set goals to take full advantage of that growth."
When asked how he will know he has been a success, Chris says, "Personally,
I already feel successful. I have a great family and a lot of friends.
I enjoy my job at Edwards Insurance and helping others through my work
with the fire department. If I become mayor, success can be measured by
a successful park and recreation division, a community that works together
and an increase of job and shopping opportunities in Dora with a balanced
NOTE: Chris Edwards and The Edwards Agency have been sponsors
of DoraHighSchool.com from the very start of the web site