MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Madison County Schools Public Relations and Communications Director Geraldine Tibbs announced this week she will be retiring, effective January 2015. She'll definitely leave a legacy of higher learning.
"My father died when I was 7 years old but I had a mother that was very strong and believed that if we were to succeed then we had to be educated," explained Tibbs.
And she's certainly promulgated and heeded that motherly message. Tibbs started at Speake High School in Lawrence County, then went on to teach at Athens Middle and Monrovia Elementary schools. In 1989 Tibbs began at Madison County Schools' Central Office as an elementary education coordinator. For the past 25 years she's served as School Communications and Public Relations Director.
"It's been a happy ride. It's been a fun time; it's been a challenging time."
Packing it all away, Tibbs says saying 'goodbye' is a bitter feeling.
"But it's a sweet feeling to know that I have given education 44 and a half years of my life."
Despite all the congratulations, the awards, the school accolades -- this straight-shooter says there were definitely some sleepless nights.
"There were just times when you had to make the decision that you knew you might be criticized for," Tibbs admits. "Whether you did it this way or that way, it was a very stressful time but yet, we made it through."
Tibbs says if she's learned anything, it's that no one can thrive as an 'island.'
"You've got to work as a team; everybody needs somebody. And we need each other to make the whole work."
Tibbs is a product of Madison County Schools, herself. As she departs, she says has every confidence in the new administration to continue the excellence she's been privileged to witness over her storied career.