Currently serving as director of the Downtown Development Authority, Bass has put her passion for downtown Adairsville to work and strives for a vibrant, bustling business district.
Beyond her volunteer work with the city, she's a student of the world. With a love for learning and imparting knowledge, Bass filled her career in the classroom teaching language skills and taking students to Europe. It could be said that a penchant for exploration is in her blood. Her mother, originally from England, met her father during World War II.
At home, her parents too instilled in her the fascination with education which shaped her life. Her father, a school teacher, made Bass accustom to being in school. She shared an anecdote from her childhood when an injury temporarily separated her from school, "I didn't know where else to be. ... School was always in my heart."
Title/Occupation: I have served on a volunteer basis as the Director of the Adairsville Downtown Development Authority for the past five and a half years. As for my occupation, I am a retired teacher. I taught French and English at Adairsville High School for 34 years and French for one year at Cass High School.
Education: I graduated from Carrollton High School in 1965. I received my BA degree in French in 1968 and my master's of education degree in French/Secondary Education in 1975 from West Georgia College.
Family: Married to Kenneth Bass for 42 years; one daughter Chelsea, age 33. Kenneth is also a retired teacher having taught at Adairsville Elementary School for 35 years and at St. Mary's School in Rome for two years. Our daughter Chelsea is a first grade teacher at Garden Lakes Elementary in Floyd County.
City of residence: Adairsville for 43 years.
What led you to become involved in the city?
A. I was appointed to serve as a member of the Adairsville Downtown Development Authority in 2004. In 2006 the six-year term of the previous director, Gary McCranie, ended in April. I was then appointed by the city to serve as the DDA director. My term will end in April 2012.
What motivates your passion for the downtown district?
A. When I first came to Adairsville in 1968, the historic downtown area was the business center of Adairsville. There were only a few businesses on U.S. 41 -- two car dealerships, three motels, and three or four service stations -- and nothing on highway 140. I would love to see the historic downtown become a thriving business center again. Our historic downtown is so unique and the city has really done a lot over the past 10 years to make it not only pedestrian friendly but also aesthetically pleasing. We have so much history here in Adairsville, especially in the downtown area, and those people who travel only on U.S. 41 and highway 140, miss out on the best part of the city.
What would you consider your greatest personal or professional achievements?
A. Professional: I was selected as Star Teacher once and Adairsville High Teacher of the Year twice.
What is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
A. Barnsley Gardens -- hands down! I have been intrigued by its history ever since I first came to Adairsville. One of my French students in my first year of teaching actually lived there. Her family owned the property, so I learned from her the stories associated with the estate. I used to love to ride down Barnsley Gardens Road and try to catch a glimpse of the ruins hidden under the kudzu vines long before the estate became the renowned resort it is today. Although I have eaten at the Woodlands Grill numerous times, I have yet to spend the night in one of the cottages. That is definitely on my to-do list.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A. When I was 4 years old, I accidentally drank turpentine. When I was 6 years old I was bitten by a copperhead. I guess I'm lucky to still be here.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
A. Ready to Go! Say the word go and I'm half way out the door. Whether it's hiking mountain trails, traveling to foreign countries, seeing as much of the USA as I can, or just going for a Sunday drive in the country, I love to go. I have had to curtail my going a bit the last three weeks as I recuperate from knee surgery, but hopefully that won't last too much longer. I'm getting a bit antsy.