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Tuskegee Airman and Buffalo Solider Oscar Gadson dies at age 101

Oscar Gadson Jr., a resident of Tuskegee Institute, passed away on December 22, 2021 at the William F. Green State Veterans’ Home in Bay Minette, His funeral service was held on…

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Oscar Gadson, seated, shown at his 101st birthday on
March 16, 2021 at the at the William F. Green State Veterans’ Home in Bay

Many express appreciation for Dr. Brooks at her final MCBOE meeting

During the December 16 meeting of the Macon
County Board of Education meeting, retiring Superintendent
Dr. Jacqueline Brooks was presented an appreciation
plaque by the board. From left are: Board President
Mary Hooks, Karey Thompson, Clinton Boyd, Katy
Campell, Dr. Brooks and Elnora Love.

It has been a busy few days for retiring Macon
County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jacqueline
Brooks who is officially stepping down from her
position on December 31, 2022.
Dr. Brooks has been superintendent nearly 12
years. She will be followed by Dr. Melissa Williams,
who is currently serving as the District’s
Director of Human Resources and Professional
Learning and has spent 21 years with Macon
This past week, Dr. Brooks was recognized and
honored by several entities, including the Town
of Shorter, her Central Office staff and principals,
the Tuskegee Area Chamber of Commerce, the
Macon County PTA Council, Alpha Xi Zeta Chapter
of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, the Macon County
District Judge’s office and the Macon County
Board of Education. (See pictures on Page 7 of
today’s edition of The Tuskegee News).
Dr. Brooks was presented several certificates,
plaques and a pen and ink rendering of her
during the December 16 meeting of the Macon

County Board of Education (MCBOE). It was her
final board meeting as superintendent.
Board President Mary Hooks stated, “This is
bittersweet. Dr. Brooks is the only superintendent
I’ve worked with in my time (10 years) on
the board. My hat’s off to you for an outstanding
job. We will do everything we can to assure the
momentum you’ve created continues.”
Board members Elnora Love, Karey Thompson,
Katy Campbell and Clinton Boyd thanked Dr.
Brooks for her excellent tenure while promising
support for incoming Superintendent Dr. Williams.
They also asked the community to support
the board and the new superintendent.
In the two days leading up to the December
16 board meeting, the Central Office, located at
George Washington Carver Elementary School,
held Christmas sweater and pajama days. The
final day of classes was December 17 and classes
will resume January 4 following the Christmas
and New Year holidays.
During the meeting, Dr. Brooks said she is
researching the history of Macon County schools.
She has already found out that there once a city
school district in Tuskegee and a county district.
There has been some speculation that she is the
longest serving superintendent, but during her
research found that there was a superintendent
that served more than 30 years in the city school
In other business during the December 16
board meeting:
•A tentative date of Monday, December 27 was
announced for a groundbreaking of a new track
at Booker T. Washington High School and the
unveiling of a rendering for baseball and softball
fields and other athletic facilities across from
Notasulga High School on property the school
district secured earlier this year in a land swap.
•It was reported that school meals will increase
from $3.75 to $3.85 each. However, all Macon
County students receive free lunches under USDA
•Approved a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) with East Central Alabama Mental
Health and will be seeking a full-time mental
health professional for the District.

Friends of the Tuskegee Airmen inducts 12 new members on Veterans Day

Community News Editor

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Veterans Day is a time to sit and reflect on the service of those who have given up moments of their personal lives to defend the freedoms and way of life we hold so dear as Americans.
One Tuskegee based organization works year-round to honor and remember the lives of the men and women who overcame so much to brand themselves as heroes in the history books and on this Veterans Day they celebrated the induction of 12 new members in the shadows of where one of the most elite African American military units in history trained.

The Friends of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site held a Red Coat Induction Ceremony at Historic Moton Field on Thursday, November 11, 2021. The ceremony kicked off at 9 a.m. in the………..


Probate Judge Cooper’s family to be honored

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Macon County Probate Judge James Cooper and Family will be honored on Sunday, November 21 by the Family Guidance Center of Alabama.
The Center is dedicated to strengthening families through partnering with families, organizations, and communities and through the provision of an accessible comprehensive system of coordinated programs and services designed to enable people of all ages in Alabama to envision and achieve their goals.

Judge Cooper, his wife Cassandra, son James Cooper III and daughter Lauren Ashley will be recognized as a Family of the Year.
The 33rd Annual Families of the Year Awards Ceremony will be at 4 p.m. It will be held via Zoom at the following link
The establishment of the Family Guidance Center in 1959, represented the culmination of eight years of interest, research, and teamwork on the part of many individuals, civic leaders, and organizations in Montgomery. Its creation was the outgrowth of an increasing awareness that the need for professional counseling was not being met elsewhere within the community.

The Community Council, a division of United Appeal and the social planning organization for Montgomery, was the first to focus attention on this need. The Junior League, through their project-finding committee, was encouraged by the Council to evaluate existing related services and to do a thorough study on the possibilities of bringing family casework to the city.
Realizing that no single organization could financially support such an agency, and that to be successful the program would require community support, the Junior League again approached the Community Council and the United Appeal. A Steering Committee, representative of the interested groups and advisors from related professions, was appointed to study the possibility of forming a counseling agency and to make recommendations regarding its financing.
Chaired by Myron J. Rothschild, this committee noted that national trends pointed to mergers of Family Counseling and Travelers Aid Agencies as a positive step in providing more adequate service to people in difficulty. Consolidating agencies with allied interest seemed to be the most feasible plan for Montgomery. The local Travelers Aid Society was already a member agency of United Appeal and the local Board of Directors was agreeable to a merger.
The Steering Committee conceived a plan combining the proposed Family Counseling Services and Travelers Aid Society along with Children’s Assistance Fund. Mr. Herbert T. Surrency was president of the Travelers Aid Society, and Mr. Ted Copeland, Jr. was president of the Children’s Assistance Fund at the time of the merger.

The agency was first located at 409 South Court Street with Alice Laine as the agency’s first Executive Director. The first caseworker was Elwood Roberts.
Throughout the years, Family Guidance Center has continued to grow. Part of that growth has included several moves. From humble beginnings on Court Street, the agency has operated from offices on McDonough Street, then on Forest Avenue. Now from their locations in Montgomery, Fairlane Drive, and Lake Street as well as offices in Dothan, Troy, Hayneville, and Birmingham, Family Guidance Center continues to be responsive to the changing needs of families in the community as can be seen in the establishment of a variety of programs.

•Family Teamwork — Working together in everyday tasks or special challenges such as family crisis, household chores, and family outings.
•Individual Growth — Helping each other accomplish personal goals in such areas as education, sports, friendship, careers, and special interests.
•Family Involvement — Participation in community activities such as church, volunteering, youth activities, athletics, organizations, or other activities.

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Dr. Williams ready for challenges of Superintendent of Schools following many years of experience preparing for the role


Thursday, November 18, 2021

After 21 years as a teacher, principal and administrator with the Macon County School District, Dr. Melissa Williams is poised to lead the school system as its superintendent.
One of 19 applicants to succeed Dr. Jacqueline Brooks as superintendent, Dr. Williams was selected one of three finalists for the position. The Macon County Board of Education (MCBOE) unanimously selected her as the next superintendent at a called meeting earlier this month after interviewing the three finalists.
Dr. Williams will take over as superintendent on January 1, 2022 after negotiating terms of her contract that will include a minimum salary of $125,000 annually. The board approved an initial three-year contract for Dr. Williams

When deciding to offer the superintendent’s job to Dr. Williams, members of the MCBOE pointed out that the decision was difficult. They mentioned that Dr. Williams and finalists Dr. Marlon Jones and Marcus Fuller all exhibited passion for education.
“We are blessed to have three excellent candidates who are passionate about the people they serve,” said MCBOE President Mary Hooks.
During her interview with the board, Dr. Williams discussed how much she has enjoyed her 21-year career with the Macon County School District.
She started as a classroom teacher at D.C. Wolfe Schoolfor three years, spent one yearas assistant principal at Carver Elementary School before moving up to principal at Carver for seven years. She has mostly recently served as Director of Human Resources and Professional Learning for the district. She has been a part-time adult education instructor at Trenholm State Community College since 2008.
Prior to going into education, Dr. Williams worked as a claims examiner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a business analyst with Electronic Data Systems and a benefit plans supervisor with Regions Financial Corporation in Montgomery where she was raised and completed high school.
Once she made the decision to move into education, Dr. Williams has stuck with it.
“I love Tuskegee and the surrounding area,” Dr. Williams commented. “I love being able to see students that I taught or had as a principal progress to high school and beyond. I can’t stress enough the importance of seeing those boys and girls advance.
Dr. Williams points out that her son, Christian, graduated from Tuskegee University in 2019, magna cum laude, with a mechanical engineering degree. He works with Occidental Chemical in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Dr. Williams has worked directly with Dr. Brooks for many years………………….