Blount County Board of Education employee Karla Latham was honored to receive the inaugural Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) Secretary of the Year award at the 2018 Secretaries Conference in Birmingham, on Dec. 5. The award is presented to a secretary or administrative assistant for their hard work and dedication by helping keep the school systems and school offices running efficiently.
Latham was completely unaware of the nomination made by Dr. Stoney Beavers. Even Latham winning the district six award was kept secret until she took the overall honor.
As an employee with the BOE for 22 years, Latham said, “It’s a real honor to even be thought high enough of to be nominated for this award. I was in total shock.” Latham was quick to point out that everyone at the BOE works as a team and that her passion is because of that team spirit.
In the nomination, Beavers said, “Mrs. Latham is a cornerstone of stability within our office, and everyone throughout the system knows and respects her for her commitment to our schools and school system.
“Mrs. Latham works daily with school personnel and the communities of Blount County. She finds ways to recognize employees, community members, and students at board meetings and other special functions.
“In everything she does, she is always polite, courteous, and professional. She serves others with a smile on her face and with a heart for everyone in the school system.”
Latham goes above and beyond to help improve her professional skills. She has attended over 100 hours of training in the past years, including taking a photography class at Wallace State, to help promote school activities through the use of social media and the school system’s website.
Despite some health issues over the past year, Latham has continued to excel at her job and maintain her focus on the needs of others in the office and community. She wants to ensure the very best education possible for Blount County students.
To be considered for this honor, the secretary or administrative assistant has to support the vision, mission, goals, and beliefs of the school system; promote goodwill among co-workers; provide excellent customer service; demonstrate a good work ethic; perform work duties as assigned in an exemplary manner; and participate in professional learning in order to improve work knowledge and skills.
CLAS executive director Dr. Vic Wilson said, “Mrs. Latham’s selection as the Alabama Secretary of the Year is a testament to the hard work and dedication she puts in on a daily basis to provide the best for Blount County schools.”