Years before there was the City of Early, there was the Early Independent School District. Tuesday at its annual awards banquet, the Early Chamber of Commerce recognized the EISD for its importance to the community.

The EISD was awarded the Chamber’s business of the year award, and school superintendent Brett Koch was named citizen of the year.

Evelyn Hutchings was honored with the Chamber’s lifetime achievement award. Other honors went to Danette Jennings, ambassador of the year and Charlotte Parrack, member of the year. Four EISD teachers were nominated for teacher of the year. They were Julie Brown, Shirley Glenn, Diane Manning and Robin Nance and Nance received the top award.

The banquet, held at the Early First United Methodist Church Family Life Center, had a near capacity crowd seated for a rib-eye steak and baked potato dinner. Johnny Memphis entertained the crowd before the dinner with a “Tribute to Elvis.”

Then, once “Elvis had left the building,” and the dinner was completed, a for fun-for-all and funds-for-the-chamber auction and door prize raffle served as an entertaining interlude.

Outgoing board members were awarded plaques. Those members include Ronda Baugus, Doug Chandler and Parrack. Parrack, however, is returning to the board as a member-at-large.

Chamber president for 2007-’08, Doug Scott, turned over the gavel to Shari Speck for the coming year. Other officers for 2008-’09 are Tammy Robinson, vice president, and Leslie Barr, secretary.

Also serving on the board will be Angela Ontiveros, Billie Dickerson, Ross Setzler, Kris Parker, Ralph Watts, Greg Ehlers, Scott, Koch, Angi Reno, Vann Stanford, Brandon Bartek and Liz Brown.

The 2008-’09 Ambassadors include Barbara Stewart, Helen Tatum, Bobby Brinson, Beverly Hohertz, Hutchings, Shirley Stovall, Wendy Harris, Kim Curry Kent, Barbara Jessup, Shirley Dukes, Kristi Slocum, Nola Sweatman, Danette Jennings, Nancy King, Karla Moyer and Sherry Steel.