Carol Haddad reflects on 28 years of service to JCPS - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Carol Haddad reflects on 28 years of service to JCPS

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Carol Haddad and Debbie Weslund were photographed with their awards for service at their last board meeting in December 2014. Carol Haddad and Debbie Weslund were photographed with their awards for service at their last board meeting in December 2014.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Wednesday marks not only the end of the year, but also the end of an era for a Louisville woman dedicated to education.

Carol Haddad, a soon-to-be former JCPS board members sat down with us to talk about her nearly 30 years of service.

"We had to desegregate and merge simultaneously," said Haddad talking about her first year on the board when Louisville and Jefferson County, became what is now JCPS.

"Nobody wanted to merge, nobody wanted to be there,” she said. “Then a lot of the parents didn't like the busing plan; that was really a big issue. They burned buses, threw rocks at kids, it got really nasty and they came to the board meetings and wanted to set each other on fire, so we had to have security."

That was 1975 when Haddad was just 36-years-old.

"And Judge Gordon said he didn't care, as long as they rode the buses, he didn't care what they did at school,” said Haddad. “So I had two children in school, one going into high school one in elementary, so I said I didn't like that. So I ran for the board. I never dreamed I'd ever run for political office and I won."

Haddad served three years and then came back in 1990.

Big changes during her tenure included the creation of clusters and the controversial student assignment plan. Technology also evolved through the years, and student population continued to grow.

In her 28 years, Haddad's served alongside five superintendents, four commissioners of education, 40 board members, and attended more than 650 meetings.

When asked about the biggest misconception about being on the school board, Haddad said, “That we get paid. That's the biggest misconception because we don't. You know we don't have a salary, we get paid $75 dollars a meeting.

No pension, no staff and no office. But that, she said, didn't matter.

"To me, it was the best volunteer job ever," said Haddad. “I think my greatest gift was helping people."

Haddad lost her re-election bid to Lisa Willner back in November. And earlier this month, accepted an award, with her family by her side, for her many years of service.

"I did what I did for the kids. Not for any power, not for any glory, but just to make a difference for kids," said Haddad.

Haddad has no plans to run again for the school board. Instead, she says she'll help out if and when she's needed.

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