Gale Satchel says there are goals still to be achieved as she announced this week she's seeking a second term as Colbert County's superintendent of education.
Satchel, a 27-year education veteran, qualified this week as a Democrat. The deadline to qualify is Friday.
Satchel said she doesn't expect political party to matter in the superintendent's election because "kids don't have a 'D' or 'R' attached."
"It must be solely about the children and what's best for them, and since day one, four years ago, that's where my focus has been," she said.
"It's personal for me, as I have a heart for kids. I get it honestly," she said. "My mom has raised over 100 foster children and is the longest serving foster parent in the state.
"Educating our children isn't a game to me, nor is it a moneymaker, but a personal mission."
Satchel said she's accomplished much in her first term, bringing to fruition the creation of an education foundation, an improved state report card grade from a 'C' to a 'B' overall, and partnering with business and industry such as the Marriott Shoals and Constellium.
The system's three high schools also have a new financial literacy program that includes First Metro banking at each location.
Satchel said she's been able to get "phenomenal people" in place throughout the district. She said she has encouraged many teachers to seek and achieve national board certification, and administrators to obtain doctorate degrees. She said she also has supported professional development throughout the system on many levels.
"We have an improved system and it's evident in many ways," she said, citing increased enrollment in the district, including at New Bethel Elementary that has previously struggled with its numbers.
Satchel said a second term would afford her the opportunity to reach other goals. She said up-to-date science laboratories are needed at each of the high schools, and upgrades like roofing projects and heat and air systems are needed in buildings.
"We certainly want to get to 100 percent with our one-to-one (technology) initiative," she added, saying the district is currently at 75 percent.
Satchel said one of her greatest challenges is keeping the support of the system's stakeholders to "continue to believe in me as their leader, and know that our teachers and administrators will keep doing great things."
"We've had great support, and many have given of their time and personal funds and it's humbling," she said. "I'm standing strong on the Scripture (Isaiah 54:17) that says, 'No weapon formed against (me) shall prosper.' That's not just for Gale, but for the boys and girls of Colbert County."