About Talladega County Schools
The fourth largest employer in Talladega County, Alabama, the Talladega County School System has seventeen schools serving approximately 7,000 students and 1,000 employees. The school system and its schools have received various national and state awards including being selected as a US Department of Education Green Ribbon School System along with several schools selected as US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Talladega County Schools is currently implementing a 1:1 digital device to student program, called #LeadingTheWay, which utilizes approximately 6,575 Chromebooks, and 575 iPad tablets, all of which provide 24/7 mobile access to students in grades K-12. Each student is assigned his or her own device, which is not shared with others, making Talladega County Schools one of only a handful of districts in the state of Alabama providing this density of mobile device access.
Dr. Suzanne Lacey was appointed Superintendent of Talladega County Schools in 2008, before which time she served the district as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, Elementary/Federal Programs Coordinator, Director of Personnel, and Deputy Superintendent. In 2015, Dr. Lacey and Talladega County Schools were selected as a member of the League of Innovative Schools, and she served on the League’s Advisory Council for a number of years.
Under Dr. Lacey’s leadership, Talladega County Schools has implemented a comprehensive plan to increase student engagement and to integrate technology to support learning. Her goal of empowering both students and teachers to “own” their learning is a trademark throughout Talladega County Schools and well-known at both the state and national level. Schools throughout the district are recognized for their exemplary work by such organizations as the Alliance for Excellent Education, National Principals Leadership Institute, the Council for Leaders in Alabama’s Schools, and the U.S. Department of Education National Green Ribbon School Program.
Dr. Lacey holds membership with School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA) where she served as president during the 2015-2016 year and is past president of both the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS). She is also a member of Leadership Alabama Class XX. Dr. Lacey serves on the Board of Directors for HIPPY, Ritz Theatre, Easter Seals, and Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement (SAFE) and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Alliance for Excellent Education. Included as 100 Outstanding Superintendents from across the nation, she was selected to attend President Obama’s ConnectEd Initiative in Washington, DC. In 2016, Samford University recognized her with the “Learning for Life Award”.
Dr. Lacey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Auburn University, a Master’s of Science and Educational Specialist degrees in elementary education and school administration from the University of Montevallo, and a Doctorate in educational leadership from Samford University.
“As a member of the League of Innovative Schools, our district has been given countless opportunities to be a part of high-quality professional development for teachers and administrators across areas including computational thinking, collaborative coaching, cybersecurity, and so much more.” – Dr. Suzanne Lacey, Superintendent of Talladega County Schools
What makes Talladega County special? We asked your hosts at Talladega County Schools to share what they love about the place that they call home, and why they’re so excited for you to visit.
What brought you to Talladega County? What keeps you here?
Talladega County Schools is an extraordinary school district for novice teachers entering the profession. During my first year of teaching, I realized how fortunate I was to have the support that I needed to build a strong foundation for teaching. Thirty-nine years later, the district continues to hold steadfast in their commitment to support new teachers. (Dr. Suzanne Lacey, Superintendent of Talladega County Schools)
What type of food or meal is iconic to Talladega County?
Our area is best known for barbeque and southern food favorites such as fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and fried okra. Southern seafood such as shrimp and grits and seafood gumbo are also iconic Alabama dishes. (Dr. Brooke Morgan, Coordinator of Innovative Learning at Talladega County Schools)
What do you hope that convening attendees will see, feel, or experience in Talladega County?
My hope is that our guests will see the richness in learning that can exist in a high poverty school district, the power of partnerships, and leaders who have emerged through our “Grow Your Own” initiative. (Dr. Lacey)
How would you describe Talladega County’s involvement with the League of Innovative Schools?
The opportunity to collaborate with districts from around the country on several different projects has been so impactful. The support we have received from Digital Promise researchers and team members has enabled our district to innovate and provide equitable opportunities for all of our students. (Dr. Morgan)
Interested in learning more? When you register via Eventbrite, sign up for a post-convening activity on Thursday, April 27, to experience Alabama’s rich culture and history first-hand.