By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville City Schools Board of Education recognized founding member Stan Garrett following his last meeting on Monday, May 17, 2021. Garrett served on the board for 16 years.
Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill read off a list of accomplishments made by the school system during Garrett’s time on the board. Those included renovations and building projects, two Attorney General Safe School Awards, schools being named Blue Ribbon Schools, TCS consistently being in the top 10 among systems in Alabama, athletics championships, and much more.
Neill also said one of the greatest accomplishments is that both of Garrett’s children graduated from Trussville City Schools while he was on the board. Garrett also served as Vice President of the board for a total of seven years.
“Stan has been a voice of reason,” Neill said. “A pillar of composure and a source of wisdom.”
Neill read messages from former board members and former Trussville City Councilor Jef Freeman.
“Thank you so much for your 16 years of service,” Freeman said.
Neill presented gifts to Garrett including “happy” socks, photos, his nameplate, and a poster.
“And we also plan to name one of the rooms at the new central office in your honor,” Neill added.
Neill then gave the current board members the opportunity to speak about their time working alongside him.
“I will miss you terribly,” said BOE President Kathy Brown. “I will miss your peaceful presence, your dry wit, mostly aimed at me, and the calming influence that you have on the rest of us.”
While all members spoke, it became clear that Garrett has become known as a man of few words. Board members expressed their gratitude for his thoughtfulness before speaking and for the wisdom he offers when he does speak.
“When you say something, I really want to hear it,” said BOE Member Kim DeShazo. “And I think that speaks to your character, it speaks to who you are as a person.”
Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat, Council President Alan Taylor, Councilor Lisa Bright were also in attendance for the meeting. Bright, who currently serves as the liaison to the council, presented Garrett with a lapel pin from the city.
Choat said Garrett has meant so much to thousands of families and to the city.
“The example you have set is to be honored and recognized for years to come,” said Choat.
When it was his turn to address the crowd that came out to thank him for his many years of service, Garrett started by thanking everyone for their comments and addressing Sherrye Tolbert, who has been appointed to take his seat.
“I would just like to say that 16 years ago when I became a part of the board, I had a head full of hair,” Garrett said.
The room burst out into laughter as Garrett smiled and continued.
“We’ve had some really good times here and we’ve had some times that weren’t so good, but we still kept the students at heart and knew that everything that we did had to be done for the schools,” Garrett continued.
While Garrett hopes to stay aware of happenings in Trussville City Schools, he said he is also looking forward to spending quality time with his family.
After the meeting, the celebration of Garrett’s time on the board continued with a reception and fellowship.
As for Tolbert, she said she is ready to take on the challenge of a five-year term on the Trussville City Schools Board of Education. Tolbert is originally from West Point, Mississippi, but has lived in Trussville for many years with her husband, Bernardo, and their two children. Garrett works in the multi-family industry by helping those in need get shelter.
Tolbert said she looks forward to being a part of a strong school system and she hopes to be a servant-leader for the students, school faculty and the community.