Superintendent reflects on storied career
Madison County Schools Superintendent Charlotte Seals said she owes the success of a 30-plus-year career in education, most of which was spent in Madison, to surrounding herself with good people.
“You cannot do it by yourself,” she said. “You have to have a great team.”
Last week, Seals announced her retirement after 35 years with the school district and a 36-year career in education. She took the superintendent position in April 2019.
Seals said her three keys to success and the best piece of advice she could give whoever follows her are: surround yourself with great people, empower them to do their job and then support them and motivate them along the way.
“I am so proud of all that we have achieved together,” Seals said.
“I will always be proud to be a Falcon, Jaguar, Maverick, and Titan. You — the Madison County Schools family — will always be my family. I love Madison County Schools, and I love each of you.”
Seals said her last day will likely be in June. In her last months at the job, she said her plate will be full. She will oversee ongoing construction at Germantown High School, work on the budget with the school board and recruit faculty and staff. At the top of that list is state testing.
“We want to finish strong,” she said.
Madison County Schools have earned their 10th consecutive “A” rating from the state for the 2022-2023 school year and every school in Madison County Schools earned either an A or B rating.
“This year the icing on the cake is watching every school in our district achieve A or B status on the state accountability model,” Seals said. “Together we have truly moved the Mark of Excellence forward in so many ways, redefining what it means to be the very best.”
She added, “It is a testament to the people in our buildings.”
Seals is the daughter of Kermit and Daisy Harness who now live in Madison County. When she was growing up, both were teachers and administrators in Vicksburg Public Schools. Her mother taught science, specifically Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology, and her father was a band director and later principal.
When she went off to college at Milsaps, Seals said she had every intention of leaving education to her parents.
“I had the intention to go to med school,” Seals said. “I loved science.”
But she quickly found herself bitten by the education bug.
Upon graduation, She took a job at Yazoo City High School teaching biology and chemistry for the 1988-89 school year. The next year she moved to Madison County where she took a job teaching science at Rosa Scott, then a school for grades four through eight, where she would later take an administrative role as assistant principal. This would launch her lengthy career in administration that would culminate in her current job as superintendent.
During her time at Rosa Scott, Seals started the first dance team in the district around 1993 or 1994, a proof of concept that won awards and soon spread to Madison Central High School.
Looking back on her career, Seals said she misses that everyday interaction with the students and staff in the schools.
“You have a day-to-day influence on the life of students and teachers,” Seals said. “The district level is a bigger ship. In the schools, you get this adrenaline rush from being around the students and their work.”
Over her career Seals has seen the district grow from eight schools to 23.
During her first year in Madison County Schools, she married her husband, Calvin Seals, “a rock.” They have two children, Ashley, who graduated from Madison Central in 2009, and Austin, a Germantown High School 2015 grad.