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Wanda West: BCSD Board Member Says
"Children's Needs Are First!"

by Clarence Thomas, Jr.

"I have a passion for the research, planning and implementation of a quality education for all of our children" said Dr. West. Their growth and success is the ultimate goal to ensure a good quality of life for our communities. As a board member, Wanda knows that every ounce of our collective contributions counts. Having served Bibb County and the Middle Georgia community as a teacher, curriculum director, and professional development specialist, she presently serves as a leadership consultant, humanitarian, certified leadership consultant for the John Maxwell Team, and special projects coordinator for the adult Education Division of Central Georgia Technical College. Her passion for teaching and learning continues.

West states that serving on the board of education is the ultimate work... "as you may have all the ideas; however, you have one vote on the team". She adds that even though she has served as a school superintendent, her experience and work with the board has solidified her thinking about the essentials of teamwork. She advocates that there must be a genuine working relationship between and among the superintendent, the board, the district staff, and the community to support the needs and benefits of the children and the entire community.

Dr. West brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences to the work of the Bibb County Board of Education. She has served as a student, teacher, administrator, and now a member of the Board of Education and Past President. Her joy has been in working with the Board to continue a trajectory of academic improvements. West's contributions to the Board's agenda and success has included leadership in the development of the Board's Continuous Improvement Plan and the Bibb Board of Education Handbook, with an emphasis on duties and responsibilities, process and procedures, and protocol. Most significantly, she is proud of having had the opportunity to chair the search committee and lead the team in hiring Dr. Curtis Jones as School Superintendent.

Dr. West, a native of Macon, is the daughter of the late Rev. Peter and Louise Smith, an African Methodist Episcopal minister, and the eldest of six children. She attended L.H. Williams Elementary School and graduated from A.L. Miller High School. Her college days took her to Morris Brown College-B.S. Degree, Atlanta, Georgia; Mercer University-M.A. Degree, Macon, Georgia; The University of Georgia, Ed.S degree; earned her doctorate degree from South Carolina State University; and Georgia’s Professional Development Certification for School Superintendents.

West has made her mark as an educator in Bibb as a Leadership Consultant with Georgia's Leadership Institute; a Commissioner of Professional Development for the state’s Professional Standards Commission; a member of the Georgia School Superintendent Advisory Board, and President of the Middle Georgia Board of Controls of Superintendents and College Presidents of Middle Georgia RESA.

West's work has been recognized and or honored by three Georgia governors and the Georgia House of Representatives to include: Governors Zell Miller, Roy Barnes, and Sonny Perdue. Governor Roy Barnes appointed her to Georgia's Leadership Institute. Additionally, she was privileged to serve eight productive years as the first Black female superintendent of Twiggs County Public Schools. West led the district's improvement from the bottom of the State to the top quartile among schools in Georgia. This impressive distinction brought Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to Jeffersonville to personally congratulate Dr. West and the district for a job well done. During her tenure the Twiggs team secured millions of dollars in grants. She was also instrumental in bringing a satellite center of Central Georgia Technical College campus to Twiggs County and a Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program. The growth provided a foundation for the county commissioners, mayor, city council, and the board of education to partner and secure the Academy Distribution Center on I-16. Most significantly, her work with the school board and district raised standards, achievement, and secured the initial accreditation. Dr. West's commitment put her on the radar in education among school districts, boards, colleges, universities, business and community groups throughout her career to share her leadership principles. Business to Business Magazine, an Atlanta-based publication focused on professional movers and shakers, featured Dr. West.

For the last seven years, West has served as a member of her hometown Bibb Board of Education "committed to improving the educational landscape of the county in partnership with the Superintendents and the Board Members. It hasn't been an easy task, but one of the most rewarding.” It is an effort that she is proud of... "I feel really, really great about my service and participation and the new direction of the board. We are working as a team and the support has been great!"

If you ask Dr. West, she is just getting started with her continued mission and has immediate plans to defend and seek re-election to her county-wide school district seat for a third and final term in 2018. She feels that her vision, knowledge and expertise for the future and growth of the school board and district is a definite asset to the community. She hopes to be remembered one day as a positive, productive change agent and leadership partner who fostered change and growth in our students and the community. "I'm not going away," West said unflinchingly, during our conversation. "People can rest assured that as a board member, I will always put children first and support efforts that are responsible and productive. Our community and parents must retool, and we must encourage the leader in everyone. It is the 21st Century Challenge."

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P.O. Box 446, Macon, • GA 31202 * Ofc:  478-745-7265


Wanda West