Wm. Terry James, P.E.

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Wm. Terry James, P.E.

The Webb City R-7 Schools Foundation, Inc. is proud to honor Mr. Wm. Terry James as its 2008 Distinguished Citizen. With the exception of a brief time during the Great Depression when Terry’s family relocated to mid Missouri for employment reasons, he has spent the entirety of his life in the Webb City area. Terry’s father, Walter F. James, was a 1918 graduate of Webb City High School. His mother, Madge T. James, the person for whom the Kindergarten Center in Webb City is named, graduated from Carterville in 1917. She was employed by the Webb City School District as the Secretary to the Superintendent and Board of Education for thirty-nine years. On February 23, 1952, Terry married Rosemary Woodard, who was also a graduate of Webb City High School. It could be said that Terry had so many deep attachments to a community he loves that it would have been impossible to have enticed him to leave. Terry and Rosemary had three children: Jennifer, Amanda and Chris. Jennifer has been teaching for the Webb City School District since 1993. Amanda married Roger Green and has been employed by the district since 1980. She and Roger have four children, Sarah, Tyler, Samuel and Hannah. Chris is a photographer for Silpada Jewelry and currently resides in Kansas City. Rosemary passed away in 1995. Terry and Mary Jane Walls were married in 1998.

Following graduation from high School, Terry attended Joplin Junior College and at the same time held employment at Webb Corp. Terry was employed by Webb Corp from 1947 until 1968, when he accepted employment at Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company. In 1972 he became a certified engineer. In 1976 he graduated from the former Missouri Southern State University where he earned a B.S. in Management Technology. Terry also graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in March 1977, and retired as a U.S. Army Reserve Colonel after thirty years in 1979. Terry is a Presbyterian lay minister, deacon, elder and teacher. He is a former member of the City Council of Webb City, the Webb City Public Library Board, the Jane Chinn Hospital Board, the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors, the Webb City R-7 Hall of Fame Committee and the Jasper County Association of Social Services. Additionally, he is a fifty-year member and past Masonic Lodge Grand Master AF and AM, Oronogo Lodge #471.

In 1973 he was elected to the Webb City R-7 School District Board of Education and served continuously until May 2008. His thirty-five year and one month tenure is the record length of service for any Board member in the history of the school district. During those years Terry worked diligently in support of all efforts to improve every facet of the school district, which included the construction of over 438,000 square feet of educational facilities. This included the construction of five entirely new buildings and numerous additions to existing facilities. One of his proudest moments was when the Board of Education, without his knowledge, voted to honor his mother and her family by naming the new kindergarten facility the Madge T. James Kindergarten Center in 1998. (His daughter Amanda is the only person to have served in that building as Principal since its opening.)