BLUEFIELD — Two of a special kind were honored as one by their alma mater.
Deborah L. “Deb”, class of 1973, and Jack W. “Pete” Sarver, Jr., class of 1969, were inducted into the Bluefield High School Hall of Fame Monday with more than 700 guests including family, students and friends in attendance. The late Mrs. Sarver, who passed away in August, and Mr. Sarver, currently a substitute teacher at BHS, became the 36th and 37th members, respectively, of the group annually selected by committee for distinguished service to school and beyond. Monday was Mrs. Sarver’s birthday and the stage was decorated in yellow, her favorite color.
“Deb and I took today to share our three principles of life, sincerely wishing that it might help our students: first, the importance of relationships, next, the foundation of belief, faith and hope, and finally the ‘Golden Rule’ (revised) in which we try to do unto one another the way they would have us do unto them. I say to our students, faculty, staff, family and friends ... Life is precious, make the very best of every opportunity, every moment of your life,” said Sarver.
The plaque for the honorees was presented by BHS Principal Michael R. Collins, who said, “Pete and Deb stayed right here in Bluefield serving school and community with their family and right now if we ask Pete to do something, he just says ‘Yes, sir!” and gets right to work. This award for the Sarvers is so richly deserved.”
Deb coached the 2008 BHS girls tennis team to the state championship and Pete quarterbacked the unbeaten 1967 state champion Beaver football squad. Both served on the Bluefield City Board, Deb coordinated the Holiday of Lights, and Pete was former interim director of the Parks and Recreation Department. He also coached on two other BHS championship teams, and both Sarvers were Huddle Coaches at the school for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and each has been active for many years in the programs of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Brent Sarver, currently working with Google Education in Australia, introduced his father after sharing a video and commentary with the students about the importance of making the most of the days that are given to each individual during an average life span.
Mercer County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Akers commented, “On behalf of our school system, I am pleased that Pete and Deb have received this honor. I truly believe that this award is bestowed here today in the very finest spirit of what the Academic Boosters group envisioned when this ceremony first began. It was wonderful.”
Family friend Becky Beckett added, “Pete and Deb are the perfect example of the nurturing spirit fostered over the years among members of the Bluefield High School ‘family’ and they are such outstanding role models. Their legacy was enhanced today by the exceptional behavior of the entire student body.”
The Bluefield High band directed by Nick Hinkle and choral group directed by Kim Bird, along with the JROTC Color Guard coordinated by First Sgt. Nathan Cook and Sgt. Major James Baylor, assisted with the assembly. Sandy Gallimore coordinated the program along with Laamaj Wallace and Gail Webb assisted with a unique insert for special guests. Shawn Williams and James Hughes worked with equipment and stage preparation. Nathan Nichols and Taylor Devor worked on audio-visual presentations with help from Tyquon Coleman. Speakers were the Bluefield High journalism class.
A special reception hosted by the Sarver family was held immediately following in the Mary Chmara Media Center. Assistant principals Anna Lilly and Don Jones, along with student dean Sabrina Morrison, helped with the festivities.
Mr. Jack Sarver, Sr., along with Pete’s son, Brandon Sarver, his wife Aimee, and their children Will and Reid, shared the day along with Mrs. Sarver’s sister, Cindy Thompson, her brother, Wally Coppinger, and other close friends, among others. The ceremony was for the HOF group of 2017 and the 2018 honorees will be recognized in the traditional November date during American Education Week.