Board work takes Spears to campuses, capitol steps in Montgomery
MADISON – Connie Cox Spears was keenly familiar with Madison classrooms, years before she joined Madison Board of Education in June 2009.
Spears has served as PTA board member and committees chairperson, newsletter coordinator and substitute teacher for special education classes at Columbia Elementary School.
After family discussions, Spears followed up on a teacher/friend’s suggestion to apply for the board. “I thought and prayed for over a year. It eventually became clear,” she said.
Spears is aware that “a one-size-fits-all model for education does not work.” Her two sons had very different learning challenges — one identified ‘gifted’ in first grade and one diagnosed with severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in second grade yet eventually identified as ‘gifted.’
As a board member, Spears serves on the instruction, policy and pre-K advisory committees.
Following legislative changes/issues affecting education can be “a 24/7 activity. I had the honor of testifying before a joint legislative committee on education in support of Common Core and Alabama College and Career Ready Standards,” she said. She also spoke on the capitol steps to promote Common Core.
Madison students “are the best and brightest. It’s our job to help them achieve to the best of their abilities. They always surpass our expectations,” she said.
Growing up in an Army family, Spears can “identify, closely, with every student who has been rezoned within or transferred into our system.” Her family moved to Madison when she was 21. “My mother grew up in Huntsville and my father grew up in Boaz, so we have strong North Alabama roots,” Spears said.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Auburn University.
Her husband Richard is director of business development at DRS Technologies. Their son Ross, 21, graduated from Bob Jones High School and is an AU senior studying software engineering. Son Riley, 16, is a sophomore at James Clemens High School.
A charter member of Asbury United Methodist Church, Connie is involved with Madison Hospital Women’s Council. She enjoys travel, reading, cooking and spending time with family.