Mavis Madsen has been chosen to be Citizen of the Season for Winter 2010. Mavis has been an important part of Springdale for many years, touching the lives of almost everyone in town. Though her title is Springdale Elementary School Secretary, she does so much more than that. She’s the school nurse, Special Ed teacher, librarian and more. “I plant the flowers,” she laughs. She is also the school librarian and she said it was ‘really hard’ to catalogue everything when the County Library moved, leaving the school district books behind. She has touched the lives of hundreds of students over the years and is beloved by all of them. She was recently designated as a ‘Classified Employee’ by the school district, which means she is authorized to work with the children, even though she is not certified through education.
“I only have an Associate’s degree, but I have always taken every opportunity I can to further my education through workshops and other trainings. I am a paraprofessional, and I help students with special needs.”
Mavis has been at Springdale Elementary for 23 years. When asked by others why she doesn’t retire, she says, “As long as I feel good, I never want to leave those children.”
For many years, Mavis was the librarian in the tiny branch of Washington County Library that existed in the Kiva room of the elementary school. In two short rows of shelves, she packed in as many good books as she could get - a collection that rivaled a much larger library. She was instrumental in the drive to build an addition onto the elementary school to enlarge the branch and worked part time at that library until the new library was finished at the Community Center.
Mavis has served on the Springdale Town Council, Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment, has held many positions of leadership in the LDS Church, and has been an active volunteer in the Z-Arts literary program. She has run one of the longest-running public book groups in Utah and has raised nine children while doing all of that. She and her husband, JR, have lived in Springdale 46 years and have always been important assets to the community.
When she was a Council member, she was chairman of the Parks Recreation department and planned the planting of all the trees behind what is now the Community Center as well as those in the Gazebo Park. The tall pine used for the Community Christmas tree was planted under Mavis’ supervision.
Mavis loves Springdale and the people who live here. “If I have done anything to benefit anyone, I am grateful, because this canyon has given me so much. I am so attached to people here – when they leave, whether it’s in a coffin or a car, I grieve for them.”
Springdale is proud to honor Mavis with this award and grateful for her many gifts to our community.