Citizen of the Year Credits His Parents

Larry Carter, Meramec Valley Middle School assistant principal and perennial Chamber master of ceremonies, is flanked by his parents, Sam and Marlene Carter, shortly after being named Pacific 2012 Citizen of the Year at the April 26 Chamber awards banquet. Carter accepted the award by recognizing his parents as the guiding influence of his life.

Saying you sometimes overlook your most familiar asset, Pacific Chamber of Commerce officials said its 2012 Citizen of Year is one of the most constant and loyal community supporters.

Larry Carter, Meramec Valley Middle School assistant principal and perennial master of ceremonies at the Chamber banquet, had to briefly relinquish the microphone as Mike Miner, Chamber president, announced he was being named Citizen of the Year.

“During the time that I’ve known him, when he’s asked to be anywhere or do anything, his answer has always been, ‘What time do you want me there?’ ” Miner said of Carter.

Miner said Carter has been a fixture in the community since his first job in the food service department of Six Flags at age 16. He would work there for 16 seasons, advancing to training specialist. At the same time, he was part-time youth and music minister at First Baptist Church in Villa Ridge.

In 1985, Carter began working at St. Clair School District, teaching vocal music. At the same time, he also worked part time as St. Clair parks and recreation director.

In 1990, he worked for Baker’s Ice Company, Pacific, bagging and loading ice. He also was assigned duties of evaluating personnel.

Carter accepted an administrator job in the Meramec Valley School District in 1997.

“His easygoing demeanor, witty personality and friendly manner puts any anxious, nail-biting award winner at ease,” Miner said. “He is always ready to serve the community, is always cooperative, friendly and humble. He truly is the citizen of the year.”

Saying he was humbled by the honor, Carter recognized two people in the room who deserved the honor for everything that he was or did — his father and mother, Sam and Marlene Carter, who live in St. Clair.

Sam Carter is a world-class horseshoe pitcher, who held the title of state champion and world champion horseshoe pitcher.

Asking his parents to stand, Carter said they’ve always been his role models.

“They have been the guiding influence in every choice I have made and everything I have done,” he said.

Carter is married to Diana Baker Carter. They have two children: Ryan, who attends college in Kirksville, and Brianna, who attends East Central College.