Last updated: July 17. 2013 2:15PM - 246 Views
SPECIAL TO THE DAILY NEWS



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SPECIAL TO THE DAILY NEWS

PIKEVILLE, Ky. The northbound bridge on US 119 at Scott Fork was named the James T. Dotson Bridge by official order of the Secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
A ceremony to honor Dotson will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 29, at the Open Fork Community Park at Bent Branch, near the Scott Fork Bridge. The public is invited to attend.
Called Tom by most people who know him, Dotson is a World War II veteran who earned a Purple Heart. He was stationed out of Camp Beale, California, in the 13th Armored Division, 24th Tank Battalion. He drove a tank in General George Pattons army. He was wounded in Germany and spent 35 days in a French hospital.
Born Feb. 25, 1922, at Simmers, now known as Kimper, he was the ninth and youngest child of Perry and Marty Hatfield Dotson. He and his wife, Evelyn Oliver Dotson, are the parents of five children, grandparents of nine, and great-grandparents of six.
He has served as pastor of the Blackberry Interdenominational Church for 51 years.
Dotson worked his way through Pikeville College, from which he earned his bachelors degree. His masters and Rank I were earned from Morehead State University.
Dotson served 42 years as a teacher, elementary and high school principal, and supervisor of instruction. For 11 of those 42 years, he was superintendent of Pike County Schools. As superintendent, he obtained funding for the following schools and gymnasiums: Phelps High Schools McCoy Athletic Center, Dotson Vocational School, Virgie Gymnasium, Charles W. Wright Gymnasium at Dorton, Elkhorn City High School and Gymnasium, Lookout Elementary, renovations and additions to Millard Vocational School, Millard Elementary, and Blackberry Elementary.
Also under his watch, Pike County Schools implemented its full-day kindergarten program, special education programs, and an updated accounting system.
While he was superintendent, he was president of the Eastern Kentucky Education Development Corporation, an educational co-op; president of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; served on the Board of control for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association; and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.
The official order to name the bridge came as a result of a resolution from the Pike Fiscal Court. Pike Countys legislative delegation, which includes Senator Ray Jones, Rep. Leslie Combs, Rep. W. Keith Hall, and Rep. Hubert Collins, added their support to the resolution.
Roger Ford will emcee the dedication ceremony. Pastor Bill Staggs, pastor, Meta Baptist Church, and Brother Bob Norman, pastor, East Williamson Baptist Church, will participate in the event, which will feature special music by C.J. Sammons. The keynote speaker is Pikeville College President and former Governor Paul E. Patton.
Members of the Disabled American Veterans Johns Creek Chapter 166, led by Robert Charles, will present colors at the beginning of the program and offer a 21-gun salute in Dotsons honor at the close of the ceremony.
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