Hall of Honor 2008 Inductees

Judge Beverly T. Beal 

  • SchoolCenter PictureA native of Caldwell County, Judge Beverly T. Beal graduated from Lenoir High School in 1964.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University in 1968.  During his college years he was news director at WFDD-FM, the university's public radio station.  After serving in the United States Army from 1968-1971, where he received the Meritorious Service Medal, Judge Beal returned to Wake Forest Law School and was editor-in-chief of "The Jurist" magazine produced by the law school.  In 1974, he received his Juris Doctor degree, was admitted to the North Carolina Bar, and joined his father in a law practice in Lenoir.  In 1990, he was elected Superior Court Judge. He became Senior Resident Superior Court Judge for Judicial District 25A in 2003.  As a Senior Resident, Judge Beal has the additional responsibility for administrative supervision of Superior Court operations in Caldwell and Burke counties. Judge Beal has presided in courts in over 25 counties in North Carolina.  He has been active in the NC Conference of Superior Court Judges where he has served as chairman of the Judicial Education Committee, which plans all of the continuing legal education programs for the state's superior court judges. He serves on the pattern jury instruction committee and was recently chosen president-elect of the conference.  Judge Beal has taught paralegal courses at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. He has appeared before the NC Court of Appeals, the NC Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.   He is co-chair of the Caldwell County Courthouse Security Committee, a delegate to the State Courts Section of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, and is a member of the state judicial branch pandemic planning committee.  He is a member of the NC Bar Association and serves on the Citizen Lawyer Task Force.  Judge Beal is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir where he has been a deacon, elder, Sunday School teacher, and choir member. He is a member of the Lenoir Optimist Club. When not serving on the bench, Judge Beal can often be found teaching young students in public school or college classrooms, teaching other judges at the UNC School of Government, or on a local radio station educating the public about our jurisprudence system.  Judge Beverly Beal is a man who believes passionately in the importance of justice in our communities and he has taken the responsibility to give his time and energy to improve the quality of justice that our citizens receive. His untiring efforts make our community and our state a better place. He and his wife, the former Judy Ann Harris of Lenoir, are the parents of two sons, Jonathan and Andrew, and they have one grandson.

Colonel Rex R. Kiziah

  • SchoolCenter PictureA native of Granite Falls, Colonel Rex R. Kiziah, USAF, graduated from Granite Falls High School in 1977 as the student "most likely to succeed." A first-generation military member, he was a 1981 AF Academy Distinguished Graduate and the Outstanding Cadet in Physics. Awarded a graduate studies scholarship, he entered the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in physics in 1984. He was assigned to the AF Weapons Laboratory where he led a space weapons research team for President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Subsequently, he was selected as an AF Academy Physics Department faculty member, achieved Associate Professor academic rank, and honored as the 1991 Outstanding Military Educator.  He then served as a science officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, a National Reconnaissance Office space technologies program manager, a Headquarters AF Division Chief, a Space and Missile Systems Center Program Director, and the AF Phillips Research Site Commander and Space Vehicles Director. In 2006, Colonel Kiziah was nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate as a permanent professor and head of the AF Academy Department of Physics. He now leads a 55-member team educating 2,700 future AF officers annually. His faculty teaches 30 physics and meteorology undergraduate courses and conducts $2 million per year of AF and Department of Defense research. Colonel Kiziah has received numerous recognitions and awards during his career.  In 2004, he was selected as one of only 21 officers across the Armed Forces by military historian and bestselling author, Walter J. Boyne, for a featured article in the book Today's Best Military Writing: The Finest Articles on the Past, Present, and Future of the U.S. Military. Colonel Kiziah has been awarded the AF Commendation Medal, the AF Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the AF Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster. As a teacher, scientist, researcher, and military officer, Colonel Rex Kiziah's work touches the lives of people across our country and around the world. The son of Ruth Kiziah, he and his wife, the former Barbara Cline of Granite Falls, currently live in Colorado Springs, CO.  They have one son, Alexander.

Dr. Peggy A. Bradshaw

  • SchoolCenter PictureDr. Peggy A. Bradshaw is a native of Caldwell County who lived in the Mulberry Community where she attended Collettsville School. She graduated from Lenoir High School in 1965, earned a BS Degree in Chemistry in 1970 and then a PhD in Biochemistry in 1978 from NC State.  In 1998, she received a Master's Degree in Management from Cornell University. Her professional career began as a chemist with the Environmental Protection Agency.  After the completion of a Post Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Pathology at Stanford University Medical School from 1978 to 1981, and a Research Fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles at the University of Southern California Medical School, Dr. Bradshaw conducted academic research as a staff scientist at the Stanford University School  of Medicine from 1986-1993.  As the lead writer or as co-contributor, Dr. Bradshaw has more than fourteen publications and more than sixteen abstracts to her credit in the fields of neuroscience and immunology.  From 1993 to 1997, she was the Manager of Immunoassay Development Infectious Disease Group for SmithKline Diagnostics, Inc.  She was the Director of Product Development for Synapse Technologies, Inc. from 1999-2000.  She worked as the Technical Writer for Product Development/Manufacturing for the INEX Pharmaceuticals Corporation from 2002-2004.  After retirement in 2004, Dr. Bradshaw worked as a consultant until the beginning of 2008 when she accepted a position as Scientific Writer with the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics Group of Schering-Plough Research Institute in Kenilworth, New Jersey.  Dr. Bradshaw possesses a mastery of product line development and has worked with teams on the development of immunochemistry based diagnostic tests for cancer and Alzheimer's disease and on the development of new delivery methods and drugs for cancer treatment. She participated in the Association of Women in Science mentoring program, providing advice and resources for women graduate students. For many years she contributed to a program called "Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics," bringing together girls in grades 6-8 with women scientists and engineers to encourage them in careers in science, math, and engineering.  She has always been very involved in family activities.  She served as the Girls' Coordinator and member of the Board of Directors of the West Vancouver Soccer Club, and was a referee for the American Youth Soccer Organization. Dr. Peggy Bradshaw is a respected leader in her field and has directed her efforts toward the successful development of biotechnology applications for new treatments of disease.  Dr. Bradshaw and her husband, Dr. Richard Mark Tosdal, currently reside in Bridgewater, New Jersey.  They are the parents of two daughters, Sara and Alicia Tosdal.

Dr. Vickie Verbyla Sutton

  • SchoolCenter Picture A 1974 graduate of Hibriten High School, Dr. Vickie Verbyla Sutton double majored in Zoology and Animal Science at NC State University. Following her undergraduate studies, Dr. Sutton received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University, a PhD in Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas and a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.  Dr. Sutton is a Professor of Law at Texas Tech University and Director of the Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy and Director of the Law and Science Certificate Program. She is considered to be a leading authority in the nation on legal issues in biodefense and biosecurity.  Dr. Sutton served as Assistant Director to the White House Science Office and Technology Policy, as Senior Policy Analyst to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Liaison to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the George H.W. Bush administration and served as Chief Counsel in the Research and Innovative Technology Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation for President George W. Bush. Internationally known, Dr. Sutton taught Law and International Bioterrorism at Vytautus Magnus School of Law, Kaunas, Lithuania and Cross Border Environmental Issues for the University of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico. She chaired the American Association of Law Schools, Section on Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples, was a member of the Institute of Medicine serving on the Panel on Legal and Ethical Issues of Pandemic Influenza and serves as a member on the National Academy of Engineering's National Research Council for a New Generation of Vehicles. Dr. Sutton has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Old Dominion University for her public administration service.  She was awarded the University-wide Faculty Book Award at Texas Tech University for her book Law and Science.  From a young talented Caldwell County student who loved horses to a renowned public figure and educator, Dr. Vickie Verbyla Sutton embodies the importance of education and represents how one individual can work to ensure that citizens across the world live in a secure and safe world.  The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Verbyla, Dr. Sutton currently lives in Lubbock, Texas. She has two children, Remington and Summer.

Eric Lynn Tolbert

  • SchoolCenter Picture A native of Caldwell County, Eric Lynn Tolbert attended Caldwell County Schools and graduated from Hudson High School in 1975.  During high school, Eric was given special permission to attend Caldwell Community College where he obtained certification as an EMT.  He also attended Pfeiffer College where he studied Criminal Justice/Sociology.  Mr. Tolbert had broad experience and extensive expertise in emergency and disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery operations.  He loved nothing better than getting out in the field to see first hand the difficulties his staff, and particularly the residents, were having after a disaster and helping to open up bottlenecks.  He is recognized for having been a champion of modernizing emergency operations and an advocate of incident command.  Mr. Tolbert worked in key emergency management positions at all levels of government, including: Director, Response Division (2003-2005) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Federal Emergency Management Agency; Transition Planning Team (2002-2003); Deputy Director, Office of National Preparedness (2002) in Washington, D.C.;  Director of the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management (1997-2002); Florida Division of Emergency Management, Bureau Chief for Preparedness and Response (1993-1997); North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, Assistant Director for Preparedness and Response, (1990-1993) and Area Coordinator for Asheboro and Raleigh (1985-1990); Caldwell County, North Carolina, Emergency Services Director (1983-1985) and EMT-Paramedic (1976-1983).  Responsible for maintaining national level all-hazards threat and situational awareness and federal operational readiness, Mr. Tolbert provided routine briefings for members, staff and committees of the U.S. Congress, Executive Branch senior officials, and spoke regularly at major national conferences and training programs.  In February of 2005, Mr. Tolbert began serving as Vice-President of Risk and Emergency Management for PBS&J of Raleigh, North Carolina. Mr. Tolbert was a member of Mt. Herman United Methodist Church, where he had a special interest in the Mt. Herman outreach program. Eric Tolbert's twenty-nine years of progressively responsible experience set him apart from many of his counterparts.  His hands on, action oriented approach to disaster preparedness was matched by his never losing sight of the needs and the humanity of disaster victims.  The son of Mrs. Sadie Tolbert of Lenoir, Eric Tolbert, who passed away in 2006, is survived by his wife, Sherre.