Debby Mathis And Ken Mills Named 2023 Sturgis Citizens Of The Year
Monday, June 5, 2023

(STURGIS) – The Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the 2023 Citizens Of The Year.

Debby Mathis and Ken Mills have been selected as Citizens Of The Year out of several individuals who were nominated.

Mathis is a long time Sturgis resident who has served the community in many capacities. For 24 years she was an elementary counselor for Sturgis Public Schools, and was also involved in the introduction and implementation of The Leader In Me program at Wall School. Mathis was also part of the team that led Eastwood School to achieving their Lighthouse School status.

Outside of Education, Mathis was a charter member of the Sturgis Eastside Kiwanis Club, and served as both President and Secretary. She is also an active member with the Sturgis First United Methodist Church, and has been on the board of the Helping Hands backpack program. Mathis also serves as a volunteer at the Paws and Claws Bookstore in Howe.

Mills and his wife moved to the Sturgis in 1984 to begin Youth for Christ/Campus Life, and after almost 40 years he has retired as the Executive Director. Mills will continue to play an active role in many ways.

In addition to serving as the YFC Director, Mills also led the Fully Alive Choir who would perform at area churches.

Outside of YFC, in 1987 Mills was asked to serve as the SHS Ski Club Director. He also organized groups of volunteers to clean up the high school football stadium after home games. In 1997 Mills was asked to coach cross country, first at Sturgis Middle School and then was the assistant High School coach. He also was the assistant track and field coach and then in 2004 became the boys track coach.

Ken has been a member of the Sturgis Kiwanis Club and served as President.

Both Mathis and Mills will be honored at the Sturgis Fest Kick Off Dinner, scheduled for June 20 at the Sturges-Young Center For The Arts.