Lynne McWilliams graduated from Daleville High School in 1973, began working for Daleville City Schools in 1995, and 25 years later, she will retire from the same school system.
Like many Daleville students, McWilliams found her way to this city through the military.
“I was one of the Army brats, so we moved here in my junior year of high school from Germany,” she said. “Frank Moore was my history teacher, then he was my summer school history teacher and my 12th grade history teacher.”
Moore would later become the superintendent of the Daleville City Schools system and hire her after her time as a stay-at-home mom and bookkeeper at the former Army Aviation Credit Union.
“He hired me December 1995,” she said. “At the time, my job was personnel, payroll and the school bookkeeper. Then, I moved here in December 2005 as the chief school finance officer.”
She has served as the CSFO for the system ever since.
McWilliams said Daleville became her home, and her family has followed in her footsteps by staying with DCS.
“I love Daleville,” she said. “I grew up military, from the time I was born until I lost my ID card when I was 23. Fort Rucker was home to me, and this became my home. It’s my school; its my home.
“I have a daughter that teaches special education over at Windham Elementary School. I have a sister that’s a school nurse over at Windham, and I have a granddaughter that has been attending Windham since second grade and another granddaughter that will start Pre-K 4 over there this year.”
She has seen many changes over the years working in the system, but she has stayed “a constant” for the board.
“She’s been with the schools for years, but when I came on the school board, she was the biggest source of information, the one to go to if you had a question about what was going on or who to go see,” DBOE Chairman Steve Kirkland said. “To me, she was the person to go to because for so many years we’ve been through several different superintendents, and she was the one constant there.”
Even through tough times, Strickland said McWilliams helped the board make the best decisions for the system.
“At times when we were forced to make cuts, she was, again the one to go to,” he said. “She’d say, ‘Okay. This is what I think,’ and then we’d talk about it. Nine times out of 10, that was the way we needed to go.
“She knew where the fat was that could be trimmed or stuff that could be done that wouldn’t hurt the kids or the school system.”
During her tenure, McWilliams has also worked under many great superintendents: Frank Moore, Eddie Hill, Andy Kelley and Dr. Diane Flournoy. She even saw the first days of new Superintendent Dr. Lisa Stamps.
“I love my superintendents,” she said. “I have always been very loyal, and they’ve been loyal to me as well as the board.”
She has also come to appreciate several teams found throughout the school system.
“There’s my maintenance crew,” she said. “I say mine because I’ve been running them for a while now, and they’ll tell you that.
“Lunchroom staff, I love them. They love seeing me that one day a month when I bring payroll checks over to them. Then, of course, my administrators. I call them mine, and they are mine.”
She has become such a figure in the school system, that she even leaves with a special title.
“A lot of these people around here think of me as Mama Lynne,” she said. “I’m the mama they go to.”
For Jessica Anderson, the new CSFO returning to her Daleville roots, McWilliams offered her luck.
“She’s going to do great,” she said. “She’s got the knowledge and the strength and the energy to come in like I did 25 years ago, and take this on and make it hers and make it so much better.”
Though she hopes that Anderson “flies” as the new CSFO, Kirkland said the system will miss McWilliams.
“It’s going to be a big change,” he said. “Nobody can replace Lynne.”