Bettye Mathis is very close to being able to say she has devoted her entire educational and professional career to Metro Nashville Public Schools. She is both a product of MNPS and a 36-year veteran employee.
Like her three siblings, Mathis started her time with MNPS as a kindergarten student attending Ransom Elementary before a rezoning shifted her to Eakin. She remained at Eakin and in what is now known as the Hillsboro Cluster, attending West End for middle school and then Hillsboro High School, where she graduated in 1984.
Mathis is now the administrative assistant with Student Support Services in the Discipline Office. Some of her duties include processing requests for students who are interested in pursuing the High School Equivalency Test (HiSet) and dispensation of student expulsion packets and appeals.
Almost immediately out of high school, in 1986, Mathis began her professional career with the school district. She recalls receiving a call from Eakin’s then-executive principal, Don Hudson, at her previous job.
“He called me at work, where we were not allowed to receive phone calls or even talk on the phone,” she said. “This was prior to cell phones, so I had to go home and call him back.”
Nonetheless, she was thrilled to be offered a position as an educational assistant at her old elementary school, Eakin.
Mathis spent time working at Hickman Elementary School as well in 1998. Then she was transferred to the MNPS central office (now known as the Support Hub), where she worked in the school counseling department, middle schools, curriculum and instruction, charter schools and priority schools before landing in her current position.
Working around children was something that came naturally for Mathis after watching her mother care for and nurture the children of working parents inside her own home.
“I grew to love children, as she did, when I saw how those children kept her vibrant and active,” Mathis said. “Seeing the children grow to love and respect her helped push my decision to accept Principal Hudson’s job offer. And to this day, I do not regret that choice.”
After serving under eight superintendents, Mathis cherishes the lifelong friendships she has developed over the years as she is making plans to round out her career with MNPS in a few years. Until then, she says she will continue to serve MNPS students and families along with her work family.
When Mathis is not working, she loves spending time with family, cheering on the Nashville Predators hockey team with her husband and spending time with her 5-year-old grandson, Wyatt.
“Watching him grow into his own person with such a big personality,” she said, “overshadows all of my wants, needs and hobbies.”