Maplesville fit for this Queen

Published 11:20 am Thursday, May 27, 2010

Maplesville resident Queen Morrow recalls a quote from a former Chilton County commissioner. When Wayne Cleckler would travel to Maplesville, he would say, “I’m glad I’m coming to God’s country.”

Morrow couldn’t have said it any better herself. She loves Maplesville and always will.

“It’s just a peaceful little town where we all get along,” she said, insisting the only time she’d ever leave town would be to travel temporarily. “It’s a great place to come home to.”

Lucky for her, she gets to come home to Maplesville every single day commuting home from her job as vice principal of Dallas County High School in Plantersville. Born in Selma at the only nearby hospital that treated African American patients, Morrow’s parents, James and Ernestine Agee quickly scurried home to her new hometown with their newborn after the delivery.

She’s married to Melvin Morrow, who works for the William Energy Company in Billingsley. Her son, JaMelv Morrow, 24, works as a radiology tech in Montgomery and as a dispatch operator for 911 calls. He also currently works for the Maplesville Fire and Rescue Department, for which his mother also serves as the secretary and treasurer.

She has enjoyed her three years so far working at Dallas County High School, her latest stop on a long list of administrative duties following an ongoing education.

It’d be a tough task to pinpoint a time in Morrow’s life when she wasn’t commuting between Maplesville and another destination. She recently completed her doctorate in education and organizational leadership at Nova Southeastern University in Birmingham, to which she commuted every weekend for three years to complete it. Morrow began her college career at Wallace Community College in Selma in pursuit of a business degree before finishing her bachelor’s in education at Auburn University in Montgomery. She also received her master’s in education at AUM and her administration certification at the University of Montevallo.

Prior to filling the role at DCHS, Morrow served as assistant principal for Bibb County High School where she traveled several times with professional education groups.

“I’ve traveled extensively with schools and jobs,” she said. “But there’s a lot to be said for the small town camaraderie of Maplesville. You have freedom, security and safety.”

Morrow was the first black person to serve as a town council member in Maplesville. She first served under former Mayor Billy Dennis, who recruited her to run for the office. She would continue under George Smith, Tim Mims and W.C. Hayes, as she served as a member for 18 years.

“I learned a lot about city government and politics,” Morrow said. “I enjoyed having a say, having input in city government and helping the town to improve.”

She also chaired the committee to plan Hee-Haw Day, which later evolved into the Maplesville Spring Festival.

Never unwilling to share her administrative abilities, Morrow loans them to her church, Pilgrim Rest Baptists Church, as its clerk. She also serves as youth usher director and assists with other youth activities. She’s previously been a member of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce and the president of the 11th Area of Alabama Community Action Agency for eight years.

Staying as active as she possibly can, Morrow only hopes children see her as a role model who tries to influence them on the importance of community service.

“Children coming along need to see that being a part of a group, being a viable part and not just a silent partner, takes people who are willing to serve,” she said. “It takes those to help keep the town active and growing. You should care about where you live and want to do the best you can to make it the best place in Alabama.”