City honors retired director of Children’s Center
Published 11:14 am Wednesday, November 27, 2013
FRANKLIN—Just working every day at the Children’s Center – for all 30 years – was enough of an honor for Barbara Mease. Being recognized by the City of Franklin was just the icing on the cake.
“I thought that it was really sweet,” she said. “The Children’s Center itself has brought me so much joy, but to be honored on top of that is very validating.”
Mease was quick to add that the Children’s Center’s success was not just because of her, however.
“I told Rosalind (Cutchins), the new director, that it was she and I converging. We have been together since before the Children’s Center was established, which made it all happen. She has strength, and I have strength. You put it together, and you made it happen,” she said.
“Plus, there were so many people who were there for us in the community. There were too many people to start naming names.”
The city unanimously passed a resolution of honor and appreciation to Mease for being a children’s advocate, a leader in providing services that enhanced the lives of children, the continued development over the years of the Children’s Center, and her continued dedication to the health, educational and welfare of the children of Franklin.
City Manager Randy Martin said though he never got a chance to work with her due to his relative short time in Franklin, he has been impressed with her work.
“She is a legend in the area, particularly her role as a visionary for young children,” he said.
Franklin Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn also had praise for Mease.
“I think it’s great that she’s going to start her new life after retirement. She has dedicated herself to children for many years, and well-deserving of the recognition she was given,” said Johnson-Ashburn.
Mease said she was indebted to the city of Franklin for taking a chance on her, years ago.
“I was really grateful for Franklin for having taken the risk of housing the Children’s Center when we first came into existence,” she said.
“I was so proud of how the city of Franklin and the rest of Western Tidewater and how they have embraced the young child, in making the lives of young children better.
“I am also appreciative to the council and all they have done over the years.”
Looking forward, Mease has high hopes for continued growth at the center.
“This is something I told the staff, that as we go forward, I will not be looking for the Children’s Center to do anything but the mission,” she said.
“None of them should be saying, what would Barbara want to do — they should just strive to do the mission. If they do that, I will be delighted.”