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Phillis Gaines, back row, fourth from left, and her family are shown on a beach vacation. Gaines was voted “Staff Member of the Year” at Madison Elementary School. CONTRIBUTED

Madison elementary chooses Phillis Gaines as ‘Staff Member of the Year’

MADISON – The faculty and staff at Madison Elementary School have selected Phillis Gaines as 2024 “Staff Member of the Year.”

Previously, Gaines worked in the banking industry. In 2008, she started working for Madison City Schools at Bob Jones High School as a bookkeeper. “I transferred to Madison Elementary School in 2016 as the school’s secretary and bookkeeper,” she said.

Gaines has a positive outlook for her work philosophy. She strives “to always be a team player. I will help wherever I am needed — even if (the task) is not in my job description.”

Gaines grew up in the twin cities of Bryan and College Station, Texas. This area is often referred to as ‘Aggieland’ for the generations of Aggies who are students and alumni of Texas A&M University.

Phillis is married to Robin Gaines, who retired from Bob Jones High School in June 2023 after 42 years of teaching and coaching at the school.

All their children are alumni of Bob Jones and Auburn University. Courtney Gaines Sutton works as a Registered Nurse. Luke Gaines is a metrology engineer (Metrology is the study of measurement with achieving accuracy as a goal.) Casey Gaines Hargis also attended the University of West Alabama and currently is a school counselor at Heritage Elementary School.

“My favorite hobby is being a grandmother to our four precious grandchildren,” Phillis said.

At each school in the district, winners of “Teacher of the Year” and “Staff Member of the Year” honors were selected by their peers. The winners received $500 from a ‘prize patrol,’ led by Dr. Ed Nichols, Superintendent of Madison City Schools, and district-level administrators from Central Office.

Award recipients only learn about their selection when the prize patrol shows up in their workplace, often drawing cheers from students and co-workers.

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