Bass says goodbye to Coweta school system

It has been 35 years since Blake Bass began his career in education. That career will come to a close at the end of March. Members of the Coweta County Board of Education Tuesday night thanked Bass for his decades of caring and concern for students, parents and the Coweta community.

Coweta County School Superintendent Blake Bass on Tuesday conducted his last meeting of the Coweta County Board of Education. The transit from his beginning days in education to the Tuesday night meeting spanned 35 years. Board members near the end of the meeting expressed their appreciation for his service and dedication to the school system and the community.

Frank Farmer began the statements, thanking Bass for his outstanding leadership, his service to the community and his friendship.

“You left the system and the community better than you found it,” Farmer said.

Sue Brown agreed, saying that every Coweta resident owed Bass their thanks.

“You’ve done a lot for this community and you’ve done an outstanding job,” echoed Harry Mullins.

Winston Dowdell commended Bass for his tireless work with students and school system stakeholders and his guidance on fiscal matters.

New board member April Parker thanked Bass for his honesty and his service to students.

“You were very different from what I thought a superintendent would be,” Parker said.

The board’s other new member, Amy Dees, described Bass as a phenomenal leader, adding that his leadership will be missed.

Graylin Ward rounded out the comments from the board, thanking Bass for his wisdom, honesty and direction and wishing him Godspeed.

The emotion on the face of the outgoing superintendent in response to the comments was obvious.

“What I’ve always wanted is what’s best for the children,” Bass said, his voice nearly cracking.

The school system will hold a community reception for Bass at The Centre on Lower Fayetteville Road on March 27 from 2-4 p.m.

Bass is a native of Coweta County and a product of the Coweta County School System, having graduated in 1971 from Newnan High School. Bass earned his B.A. in History at West Georgia College and a Masters and EDS degrees in Administration from West Georgia. He began teaching U.S. History and coaching varsity football in 1976, first at Heard County High and then at Villa Rica High School. Bass came back home to Coweta County in 1978 and taught at Evans Middle School and served as the defensive coordinator for the Newnan High Cougars under head coach Max Bass (no relation). He held both positions until 1990, Jackson said.

Jackson said Bass then served as assistant principal at East Coweta High School from 1990-1994 and principal at Central Middle School from 1994-1997. He moved to system administration under Superintendent Richard Brooks and served as director of human resources for the school system from 1997-1998, as Executive Director of Administrative Services from 1998-2000 and was then named Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services in 2000. Bass served as associate superintendent of the Coweta County School System from 2002 to the end of 2004, when he was named superintendent of the Coweta County School System by the Coweta Board of Education. 

“I remember returning as a coach to the field where I played ball as a student. I remember almost winning a state football championship in 1981. I remember being named principal of Central Middle School. One of my strongest memories is also being appointed superintendent under the circumstances that I was, and being charged with putting things back together,” Bass said recently of his 35 years in education.

As for the idea of retirement, Bass said that he is looking forward to it. 

“It feels great,” he said, then adding a bit of humor to the idea of retirement. “I have had a great 35 years in education, and seven years as superintendent. I’m ready to start the second part of my life and spending more time with my grandson, Ethan. It also feels good right now to know that, by April and for the first time since I was 16, I don’t have a job to go to, and I don’t have to go to school.”

wheeljc
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WHAT A BREATH OF FRESH AIR!

What a breath of fresh air to read this article. I am sure that the accolades are well earned, and that a legacy of leadership will indeed be remembered and modeled in the future. Superintendent Bass demonstrates that academic leaders can achieve excellence from students, teachers, administrators, and a BOE through consistent bold leadership.

A number of surrounding systems would do well to take lessons from the Bass legacy! From what we see, read and hear ....... THEY NEED IT!

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