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Americans love treasures. In fact, we really love searching for treasure. In the last two National Treasure movies we discovered that a national treasure could be buried beneath another treasure (Cibola beneath Mount Rushmore) or in plain view (map on the back of the Declaration of Independence). We love the adventure, the intrigue, the romance, and the intelligence necessary for such heroic characters to make those amazing discoveries. And we stand and stretch at movie’s end knowing it only happens on the silver screen. Right?
Our National Treasure
Talladega County Schools have a national treasure and her name is Sallie Chastain. She is the Coordinator of Community Education and Electronic Curriculum. But that’s just her title. Like any great treasure, she is so much more than that. She is a visionary leader, thinker, and mentor. She is an advocate for every student and every teacher. She loves people and has a passion for making progress in education. And she knows how to get things done. Sallie’s opinion counts. If you wonder if something can be done, you ask Sallie. If you wonder how to do something, you ask Sallie. If you need something to be done right, you definitely put Sallie in charge of it. Yep, Talladega County Schools have a national treasure and we aren’t letting her go.
Book of Secrets
Many of us have wondered if that infamous “Book of Secrets” really exists. I can reveal the truth. Sallie has it! Well, I haven’t actually seen it. But I’m sure it has a page or two on the following: how to write and win grants, how to stretch dollars to cover every need a school has, directions for putting together furniture, how to find and finance the technology tools schools need, and how to inspire the trust of your colleagues when telling them that we don’t need to buy a new instructional program – we can create one for ourselves. Sallie would probably swear there is no book. She’d say that she’s just doing what she should do. While I can’t imagine her digging for the City of Gold under stone statues of our presidents, I know that she approaches her work with the adventurous spirit and intelligence we’ve come to expect of our heroes. I’m so glad she picked Talladega County to pan for gold.
Celebrating our Treasure
Each year at the Alabama Educational Technology Conference a teacher, principal, central office administrator , and superintendent are recognized with Alabama’s most prestigious technology award – the Marbury Award. This award recognizes those who reflect passion for advancing educational technology and who are exemplary models for innovation in the field. Sallie Chastain will receive the Marbury Award on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at the conference. We are so proud of everything she has done for our school system and truly thrilled that the state of Alabama recognizes her as the leader she is. Congratulations, Sallie.