Superintendent secretary Kathy Hester retires from County Board of Education
With a little more than 30 years of service to the Franklin County Board of Education, Kathy Hester, secretary to Superintendent Greg Hamilton, is now retired, working her last day Feb. 18.
“I began my career here in October 1991, and Bill Moss was the superintendent at that point,” Hester said. “I have worked with five superintendents over the course of my time working here.”
Hester said she started out as a computer specialist and secretary/receptionist, working in the front office, later transitioning to being the secretary for the superintendent July 17, 2002. “I have had a number of responsibilities over the years,” explained Hester.
“When I started, I did some of the accounts payable, and more recently, I was in charge of making sure teacher certifications are renewed and registered properly. We probably have around 65 teachers whose certifications come up for renewal each year. I’m responsible for making sure all that gets done and keying the information in where it needs to go.”
Other duties have included helping the superintendent with correspondence, setting up appointments, preparing board meeting agendas and keeping the minutes for each meeting. Hester has also been in charge of making sure ethics reports are handled in a timely manner.
“It has to be done correctly and within a specified time period. I notified staff that it was time and helped take care of that,” she explained. “I also handled some matters for the transportation department, such as applying for tags for a new school bus.”
While she said she’s looking forward to having more time at home and having more chances to do things with friends and family, she reflects fondly on her time working for the Board of Education. “It’s been a wonderful place to work. The staff here are really great, and the superintendents have been wonderful, especially Superintendent Hamilton. He’s really done a lot for our school system, and he’s pleasant and easy to work with.”
One of the things she said she’ll miss most is all the people she’s used to interacting with.
“From the teachers to the support staff and others, the interactions with so many people are something I will really miss,” she said. “It’s been a great place to work.”
Hester said she’s looking forward to being around the house more, taking care of household projects she hasn’t had time to get around to doing. She also enjoys arts and crafts. One of her favorites is acrylic painting. “I like to paint door hangings, and I also paint on canvas,” she said. “I’ve been to some workshops and watched videos. I’m basically self-taught. I do a lot of crafts. I recently painted an Easter bunny, and I enjoy other holiday paintings. I especially like to paint churches.”
She has three grandchildren in Birmingham she wants to spend more time with.
“We enjoy watching them play in their basketball, baseball and soccer games,” explained Hester. “My oldest grandson is currently involved in wrestling.
“I also hope to do a little fishing with my husband. My career has been a joy, but I’m looking forward to having more time to spend on other activities.”
“Kathy has been such a blessing for the Franklin County School system over the course of many years, and she will certainly be missed,” explained BOE member Shannon Oliver. “She’s a hall-of-famer in my book, and she’s been such a blessing for everybody in the county.
“She has worked with so many people, and everyone always speaks highly of her,” Oliver added. “You can tell just what kind of person she is and the type of employee she has been for the county.”
BOE member Terry Welborn echoed those sentiments. “Kathy has been the best person I’ve ever known working there,” he said. “When I first came onto the board 12 years ago, she was so helpful with everything, making sure I took care of what I needed to, such as keeping things up to date. She’s incredibly helpful.
“She does so much for everyone and has always been professional about everything. Her dedication and service have been exceptional. Anytime you needed something, she would do whatever she could to help.”
During Hester’s last Board of Education meeting Feb. 15, Hamilton presented her with a plaque in commemoration of her hard work. “We cannot thank you enough for your service,” he said. “I’m really going to miss you. We’ve been fortunate to have you work with us for so long.”