Note: The following is part of an occasional series about “unsung heroes” in the Bulloch County school system.
More than 15 years ago, Southeast Bulloch Middle School Counselor Dr. Tracey Bazemore learned that a new middle school was going to be built in Brooklet. She made up her mind then that once that school was open and the school counselor's position was created, she wanted that job.
Bazemore said that when she finally came over to Southeast Bulloch Middle from Brooklet Elementary, she already knew most of the students and staff from all of her years at Brooklet. It was as if everyone was part of her extended family, she said.
Bazemore described her current job duties as numerous and emotionally draining. For instance, recently she was meeting on and off with different groups of students who had lost a fellow classmate over the weekend and were having trouble dealing with their grief.
In addition to the ever-present needs for both personal and group counseling
of her students, she monitors every student's academic progress as they prepare for high school and potential college careers.
Bazemore leads many of the "Pyramid of Intervention" programs, which include activities such as Red Ribbon Week, which promotes an alcohol-, tobacco- and drug-free lifestyle. Also, she serves on the School Leadership Team, the Employee and School Safety teams, and the Improvement Plan team.
Milton Williams, the interim principal of Southeast Bulloch Middle, said: "Tracey is an incredibly hard worker, and can multi-task with amazing speed. She goes way beyond what her responsibilities require her to do."
He added, "She is involved in so many extracurricular activities and serves on so many committees, that I don't think she has ever told anybody ‘no’ when asked to serve or to help out."
He said there are those who think she may be Wonder Woman in disguise.
A member of Lanes Primitive Baptist Church in Brooklet, her faith is at the core of her being.
"I feel that God gave me the tools I needed to do my job, and then prepared the way for the right job for me," Bazemore said.
After growing up in Savannah, she earned a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education from Armstrong Atlantic State University. She also received Master of Counseling and education specialist degrees from Georgia Southern University.
In addition, she recently earned her doctorate in counseling from Regent University in Virginia. With her Ph.D, Bazemore decided she was ready for another challenge: she is now teaching her first college course at Georgia Southern.
Titled "Family, School and Community Collaboration," it is a subject Dr. Tracey Bazemore is well-qualified to teach.