MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Dr. Dee Fowler, superintendent of Madison City Schools, has been named superintendent of the year by the Alabama PTA. Carrie Sanders, a clerical aid and crossing guard at Discovery Middle School, was named support staff/non-certified worker of the year.
The awards were presented Saturday night at the Alabama PTA’s annual convention in Birmingham. Sonja Griffith, president of the Madison City Council of PTAs, and several Madison City Board of Education members were among those in attendance. Honorees were selected from PTA recommendation letters that outline their outstanding contributions.
Sanders was lauded for her constant support of PTA, her dependability, friendliness and commitment to her job. “Carrie is No. 1 at Discovery in her duties, as well as the first person we see in the morning in the car line, the first point of contact as we enter the building and the first line of protection for our students,” a nomination letter reads.
In announcing Fowler for the award, the PTA presenter recited a quote from a Nov. 2011 Madison Record in which Fowler said, “Teaching was in my DNA. I was born with chalk in my blood.” It was a reference to a long line of family members as educators.
Fowler was commended for frequent meetings with PTA leaders on ways to boost membership, improve parent-school communication and promote community programs. He was also recognized for his handling of “unpopular issues in order to do what is in the best interest of the children of Madison,” specifically, at least five rezonings since Madison City became a school district in 1998.
Dr. Fowler has maintained his philosophy that as rezoning occurs, its practice is to repopulate its schools based on “balancing the socioeconomics of the school zone to prevent discrepancies that produce ‘have’ and ‘have not’ schools,” a nomination letter reads.
Fowler was also cited for:
- Routinely getting annual votes of confidence from the Madison City School Board for achieving goals and financial management.
- Collaborating with superintendents of Huntsville and Madison County schools on a unified calendar.
- Being a strong advocate for the 2011 Students First bill revising tenure laws.
- Leadership following the Discovery School shooting that led to numerous safety and security improvements in Madison schools as well as programs to improve school culture and climate.
- Advocacy for the half-cent sales tax for schools and educating the community on its use.
- Civic involvement in the community and in his church.
The nomination letter cites Fowler for showing vision for a growing and increasingly diverse school district that now serves more than 9,300 students. “He is a forward thinking leader who works to empower students for global success and to provide uncompromising educational opportunities.”
In his 38 years in education, Fowler has been superintendent of Madison City Schools since 2007. Prior to that he was assistant superintendent for two years and spent six years as director of admissions, operations and personnel in MCS.