Bartlett’s contribution to Madison schools celebrated as she transitions to city council
MADISON – The Madison City Board of Education bid goodbye Thursday to two-term board member and former MCS Board President Ranae Bartlett.
Attending the meeting were several lawmakers, past BOE President Terri Johnson, and Bartlett’s successor on the BOE, Alice Lessmann, who will be sworn in at the Nov. 5 meeting.
Bartlett won a seat on the Madison City Council and must surrender her BOE seat before taking her municipal position. She will be sworn in to her new position on Monday.
Aside from normal action items, Thursday night’s session was one of celebration of Bartlett’s nearly 10 years of service. State Senators Tom Butler and Arthur Orr presented a Senate resolution commending her service, and state Representative Mike Ball had a similar one.
Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols and fellow board members gave glowing remarks about her work ethic, passion for schools, vision and tenacious drive in always pushing Madison City Schools to the next level.
Below is a video tribute that aired during tonight’s board meeting featuring appearances from former superintendents Dr. Dee Fowler and Robby Parker, Mayor Paul Finley, MCS Board President Tim Holtcamp and others:
At the close of the meeting, a parade of parents and teachers organized by the PTA caravanned by the Central Office, waving signs and shouting thanks as Bartlett watched with husband Todd Guthrie from the front.
Bartlett offered praise to Madison teachers and school leaders for educating children in the midst of this challenging school year. Madison’s legacy, she said, has been and always should be that no matter where one lives in Madison, they will be zoned to an outstanding school. She challenged everyone to remain aspirational and keep vigilant at re-inventing what’s next.
“We find ourselves facing unique challenges during this pandemic, but I have special admiration for our teachers and support staff who are keeping our students and our school system afloat,” Bartlett recently stated in a column for the November issue of Madison Living Magazine. “For those who are wondering if you are accomplishing anything this year—you are! You may not always hear or see how thankful people are, but I hear it every day from parents who know you are doing the best you can and are so grateful you are there for their kids.”
“This community has worked hard to build the finest school system in the State. It is the primary reason new residents move to Madison, and we need to protect this asset. I hope to continue to do that in my new role on our City Council,” she added. “Thank you to everyone who helped me during my time on the Board of Education, and thank you to everyone who helped me find a way to continue serving our community.”
The meeting also included some recognitions to MCS administrators. Melissa Mims, Coordinator of Elementary Instruction, was recently presented the Outstanding Administrator Award by the Alabama Association of Gifted Children. Dr. David West, Safety, Security and Emergency Management Coordinator for MCS, won the Educator of the Year Award from the Partnership for a Drug Free Community.
Several personel actions were approved, including the hiring of a new Special Education Assistant Coordinator, Laura Root from Limestone County, and a new MAAP Administrator for Rainbow Elementary, Nedjra Russell, who will transfer from her position as a PreK teacher at the PreK Center.