Lacey's contract extended 3 years
by Shane Dunaway
TALLADEGA COUNTY — For five years, Talladega County Schools Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Lacey led an aggressive charge to bring modern technology into the schools in her system.

The Talladega County Board of Education made a decision to ensure her efforts continue for another five years at its Feb. 26 meeting.

Members unanimously approved a three-year contract extension for Lacey, whose existing contract expired in 2014.

“I worked with Dr. Lacey at Wheatley Middle School when she started her teaching career,” said Beulah Garrett, who serves on the school board. “Over the years I have had the pleasure to observe her dedication to Talladega County through a variety of roles — as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, central office administrator and now as superintendent.

“She has always had the best interest of students as her primary focus,” Garrett said. “Without a doubt, Dr. Lacey has proven herself as someone who truly cares about the students and employees in Talladega County schools. Her visionary leadership is something we value and extending her contract is the way to ensure the important work we began over the last several years will continue into the future.”

Throughout Lacey’s tenure as superintendent, she has expressed her desire for every school to have a one-to-one student-to-computer ratio. For the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, the goal remains her top priority.

“We have three high schools already meeting the standard I’ve set,” Lacey said. “In the fall, we have another high school we’ll be upgrading to the one-to-one ratio.

“Also, B.B. Comer Elementary School will be the first elementary school in our system to reach the one-to-one goal,” she added. “This is right in line with our goal to integrate modern technology into our School System.”

Lacey’s duties encompass 17 schools within a 60-mile radius, and she said balancing the geographical logistics with the public relations, financial and instructional responsibilities of her day-to-day routine is her biggest challenge.

“It can be overwhelming at times,” Lacey said. “I couldn’t do the job I do without the hard work and support of the local school administrators.”

A Shelby County native, Lacey earned her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, her master’s degree from the University of Montevallo and her doctorate from Samford University.

“I really enjoy interacting with students and watching them become confident learners,” she said. “As administrators, we are always looking for new ways to educate our students.”

Early in her career, Lacey’s curiosities drove her to pursue higher levels of school administration.

“I was very intrigued with how everything fit into the big picture,” she said. “That was ultimately a deciding factor for me. I had many great mentors along the way.”

Lacey has spent her entire 29-year career in Talladega County — her first 24 years as a teacher before becoming superintendent in 2008.

“It truly is an honor to work for Talladega County public schools,” Lacey said. “They have a longstanding tradition of integrity. Our board recognizes the challenges ahead, yet they are steadfast in providing opportunities and resources to better assist our students in their learning endeavors.”

© 2013