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March 29, 2014

For schools secretary, home is where her heart is

AMESBURY — She is a well-known Bartlett in Amesbury, but she has nothing to do with the museum.

“Amesbury is a really special place,” Amesbury Public Schools’ Central Office secretary Carol Bartlett said. “It’s a wonderful town and I love it. It’s got everything. It’s got the beach, it’s got the mountains, it’s got the city. We don’t have the horrible snow like Worcester does, and we’ve got some really nice people here.”

Except for a brief stint away at college, Bartlett, 66, has been in and around the Carriagetown her entire life. She was a junior at Amesbury High School when it burned to the ground in 1965 and, when everyone else was running out of the building, she was running in.

“I had just gotten my learner’s permit the week before,” Bartlett said. “And black smoke is coming out of the roof and I remembered I had left my pocketbook in there. So I went in against everybody and saved my learner’s permit.”

Bartlett spent a year away at Lasell College but soon found herself right back home. She married former Amesbury selectman and then-state Rep. Bernie Flynn, and the two raised a pair of adopted kids together (Brittany and Ohjae) before Flynn passed away in 1998. Along the way, Bartlett began working for the school system in the superintendent’s office where she has been for the past 20 years.

“It’s just my home,” Bartlett said. “When I went away to school, I came back and I remember thinking that Amesbury is special. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, you can always fit in. You are always accepted.”

Although she has been a fixture in town, a majority of Bartlett’s education career had been spent away from the students, that is until she came full circle in 2009 when the Central Office moved to the new high school building.

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