5 QUESTIONS FOR DR. TAMALA MADDOXRobert F. Bumpus Middle School Principal
Photo By Bo Doss
Georgia native Dr. Tamala Maddox added another layer to her service in education when she was named president-elect of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools this summer. She started her career as a high school mathematics teacher in Georgia. Maddox, 49, and her husband of 24 years, Derrick Maddox, met at Auburn University, where Tamala earned her master’s degree. She earned her Education Specialist and doctoral degrees from UAB. They moved to Hoover in 2000. Before becoming an administrator in 2003, Tamala taught for almost 13 years, including three at Hoover High School. She has three daughters, enjoys reading and watching her girls play basketball and works in the Audio-Visual Ministry at Forty-Fifth Street Baptist Church.
What are your plans as president-elect of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools?
The President of CLAS should be a unifier with a goal of moving all members forward in advancing a positive narrative about Public Education in Alabama. Further, the president should be active in areas of Professional Learning and Legislative activities concerning education. It will be my job to speak on behalf of the affiliate organizations. I plan to closely observe the leadership role of this year’s President so that the transition will continue to be seamless as we move from one President to the next each year. I plan to read disseminated correspondence and research, if necessary, in order to make an informed contribution to the decisions that must be made to benefit the students of Alabama, our affiliate organizations and its members.
How did you first get involved with CLAS? In what other capacities have you served this organization?
I first became involved in CLAS as a member of the Alabama Association of Middle School Principals (AAMSP) which is one of the affiliate organizations under CLAS. My former principal, Dr. Joy Brown, was an active member of the organization and she nominated me for the position of Treasurer of AAMSP. I was treasurer of AAMSP for about five years before becoming vice-president of the Executive Board for AAMSP, then president. Before becoming president-elect for CLAS, I was serving on the CLAS Board of Directors as a representative for AAMSP.
From your perspective as a middle school principal, what part(s) of public education in Alabama would you like to help improve in the coming years?
It will be great to have a middle level leader as the President of CLAS. As with any organization, the core is the key to moving forward. The middle level is at the core of what we all do in education. In my opinion, great things happen in the middle. I would like to work to improve the erroneous perception that some have about the quality of education that Alabama offers its students. I challenge everyone who speaks negatively about the quality of education in Alabama to take some time to spend a few days in our elementary, middle and high schools before making public claims about the quality of our schools. We have to continue to promote the positive images and messages from our schools. Great things are happening at all levels.
What is one of the most helpful things anyone has done for you personally while you’ve worked in education?
I would say simply giving me an opportunity, believing in me and offering an immeasurable amount of support. I was the first female African-American principal in Hoover City Schools. A distinction I achieved after pursuing my Ph.D. with three young children at home. There are countless individuals who have believed in me and supported me along this journey. Our district administrators are supportive of my vision for my school as well as my efforts to serve in a state level organization. The teachers at my school are AWESOME. My school level administrative team is the best around.
What’s something you enjoy and look forward to every year at school?
My FAVORITE day of the year is Tacky Day which is held during Spirit Week. I look forward to that day each year. Second would be Pi Day (March 14 for 3.14) … being a former math teacher. We have had competitions and always end with a Pi Day Pep Rally.