Madison County Schools Secretary Named 2021 CLAS Secretary of the Year

Virginia "Ginny" Fichten, Secretary at Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Madison County Schools has been named the CLAS Secretary of the Year.
Dec 8, 2021 by Alyssa Godfrey, CLAS Director of Communications

MONTGOMERY, ALA., DEC. 8, 2021:  The Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) and Simbli by eBOARDsolutions, the Secretary of the Year award sponsor, are proud to announce the selection of Ms. Virginia “Ginny” Fichten as the 2021 Secretary of the Year. Ms. Fichten was selected from among eight district finalists across the state of Alabama.
Ginny Fichten Secretary of the Year

Fichten is the secretary and bookkeeper for Mt. Carmel Elementary School in the Madison County School System. Principal Dr. Rhonda Booth, Assistant Principal Suellen Epps, and Madison County Schools Superintendent Allen Perkins were in attendance as the award was announced at the closing luncheon of the annual CLAS Secretaries Conference.

In her nomination form, Fichten is credited for taking on tasks above and beyond that of the secretary. She is known for voluntarily performing tasks associated with the assistant principal, social worker, transportation director, plant manager, custodian, crossing guard, event planner, after-school daycare director, and social media manager.

Fichten is an Army veteran and takes pride in raising and lowering the flag each day. In addition, she decorates the school for all holidays and plays a strong role in organizing and executing family events like the fall festival, Veteran’s Day celebrations, and Grandparents’ Day breakfast. She is also credited for the creation of the school’s clothes closet and coordinates with community organizations to send food home for students in need.

“Ginny is a jewel that doesn’t come along very often,” comments Mt. Carmel Elementary School Principal Dr. Rhonda Booth. Dr. Booth and Ms. Epps nominated Fichten for this award.

“Ms. Fichten’s selection as the Alabama Secretary of the Year is evidenced by dedication to the school, community, students, and families of Mt. Carmel Elementary School. This award is designed to celebrate school secretaries, like Ms. Fichten, who are invaluable assets to their schools,” stated CLAS Executive Director Dr. Vic Wilson. “Congratulations to all our district finalists as well as each secretary nominated. Their roles are truly invaluable to Alabama’s schools, systems, students, parents, and stakeholders.”

Nominations for this award were submitted by direct supervisors in each State Board of Education District. Each finalist is held in high regard by his/her employer as well as by co-workers and community.  District finalists are listed below:

  • Darlene Adkison, Olive J. Dodge Elementary School, Mobile County Schools (District 1)
  • Janna Cole, Huguley Elementary School, Chambers County Schools (District 2)
  • Tammy Maynard, Eclectic Middle School, Elmore County Schools (District 3)
  • Cindy Hutchinson, Homewood City Schools (District 4)
  • Laurie Wesley, Prattville Primary School, Autauga County Schools (District 5)
  • Jacque Owen, Pell City Schools (District 6)
  • Charly Carter, Forest Hills Elementary School, Florence City Schools, (District 7)
  • Ginny Fichten, Mt. Carmel Elementary School, Madison County Schools (District 8)


Photo: Ginny Fichten, accepts the 2021 Secretary of the Year award from representatives from CLAS, Simbli by eBOARDsolutions, and representatives from Mt. Carmel Elementary School and Madison County Schools. [download photo] [view full award photo gallery]

About the Award: 2021 is the fourth year the Secretary of the Year award has been presented. The award is given to one Alabama school secretary or administrative assistant who supports the vision, mission, goals, and beliefs of the school system; promotes goodwill among co-workers; provides excellent customer service, demonstrates a good work ethic; performs work duties as assigned in an exemplary manner, and participates in professional learning in order to improve work knowledge and skills. The award is given at the annual Secretaries Conference Luncheon held in December.

About Simbli by eBOARDsolutions: Simbli provides board management software and helps boards automate and simplify everyday tasks through software that facilitates paperless meetings, strategic planning, policy management, board evaluations, document management, and communications. The software was developed by the Georgia School Boards Association.

About CLAS: CLAS, the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools was founded in 1969 by a small group of school leaders to provide targeted professional learning and support for Alabama’s public school administrators.  CLAS now serves twelve affiliates representing each type of public school/school system leader.  CLAS provides the framework to connect dedicated school administrators and other successful leaders with a network for professional growth and support.  CLAS is the premier professional learning provider for administrators in public schools in the state of Alabama.