Dr. Trotter and Mr. Barnes Explaining the Law…

Dr. John Trotter and Mr. Ben Barnes explain the federal and state laws as they relate to Georgia teachers…and also explain how school boards and school administrators break these laws. Dr. John Trotter: “I cannot think of bigger offenders of laws than school boards and school systems. They regularly and systematically violate the law. They are extreme law-breakers…and yet they take on some high-and-mighty and holier-than-thou disposition toward a teacher who may stub his or her toe. They are quintessential hypocrites.”

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Meet with MACE Leaders. Just Call the MACE Office (770.716.2727).

John and Ben in Cobb


Dr. John Trotter (L), Chairman of MACE Board of Directors, and Ben Barnes (R), CEO of MACE, were meeting with Smyrna Elementary School teachers in Cobb County on the occasion of this photo. Dr. Trotter and Mr. Barnes have had two meetings with Smyrna teachers this school year. MACE leaders and associates are ready to meet with teachers whenever they are asked. Just call the MACE Office (770.716.2727) and make an appointment. MACE meets Georgia teachers literally all over the State. Unlike GAE and PACE, MACE only represents and defends classroom educators, not administrators and supervisors. And when you say “MACE,” the administrators listen. MACE has richly earned its reputation in 23 years. MACE empowers classroom educators…one member at a time. The Choice is Clear! Don’t wait too long to join MACE. MACE membership is strictly confidential.

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MACE Is Fired Up Against Teacher Abuse!

Lion on fire

     MACE. Fired up against Teacher Abuse. This condition is widespread and out-of-control. Little small-minded, insecure, petty, and vindictive administrators are provided lethal weapons — dumb-ass, circle-the-bubbles “evaluation” forms which are used in a manipulative, retributive, and punitive manner against any teacher who displays gumption, integrity, backbone, and character. These angry and abusive administrators become more dangerous than monkeys dancing on powder kegs with a handful of Bic lighters. But, there is one union that gives them much pause. When you say “MACE,” they listen. MACE. Don’t teach without it.

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MACE Explains Effective Education!

MACE Explains Effective Education!
MACE’s Effective Education Explained (E3): “Make the kids behave, and let the teachers teach. Period. You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. Period.” © 2018

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You Must Establish Discipline First!

“Are you telling me that you are going to focus on academic achievement and presume that the discipline will fall in place? This may offend you…but you are a complete nitwit. An educational dumbass. If you focus first on academic achievement, you will have neither academic achievement nor discipline and order in your school. But if you first establish discipline and order in your school, then you might also get academic achievement, depending on the motivation and capabilities of your students. I can assure you that order is the first law of the universe. In order to have any chance of establishing academic achievement at your school, you must first establish discipline and order” – Dr. John Trotter.

JT in Rome

John R. Alston Trotter, BA, MA, EdD, JD, MACE Chairman of the Board

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Teacher Blame Syndrome (TBS)

The Teacher Blame Syndrome (TBS) is a degenerative and degrading disease. It is epidemic. The Students-Administrators-Parents (SAP) Axis attacks teachers on a non-stop basis. Teachers have just one friend and advocate. That friend is MACE, the most feared and effective teachers union in the South. When you say, “MACE,” administrators listen. Unlike GAE and PAGE, MACE represents and defends only teachers, not administrators. The choice is clear. MACE. Don’t Teach Without It! Note: MACE membership is completely confidential.

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MACE Knows the Issues!

“MACE knows the issues in public education. There are essentially four issues: (1) Defiant & Disruption Students; (2) Irate & Irresponsible Parents; (3) Angry & Abusive Administrators; and (4) Systematic Cheating — not just on standardized tests but also when administrators force teachers to give students grades that they did not earn. Educrats try to treat a lack of learning as mechanical/technical breakdowns when they are really motivational breakdowns. The students just refuse to learn. They lack motivation, and the motivation to learn is a cultural phenomenon” — Dr. John Trotter.

John and Ben

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When We Had Discipline!

By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

     Fall of 1981. I was a 27 year old assistant principal of a large public high school and in charge of all student discipline. You could hear a pin drop in the halls. The teachers told me that all they had to do was to threaten a student with sending him or her to my office and the student would straighten up immediately. I learned from the best, Daniel D. Trotter, Sr., that discipline did not have to be severe but it had to be sure. And, it had to be fair and consistent. The bozos who run our public schools these days simply don’t get it. I call them EDAs (educational dumb asses). They think that they should indulge the students, coddle them, and listen to their “side” as to what happened in the classroom. They even take the student’s word over the teacher’s. This is unconscionable, unfathomable, and outright stupid and idiotic. The students who were sent to my office knew that they were going to get something for being sent there — a paddling, detention after school, suspension, etc. There was never a free trip to my office. Never. The teachers knew this but more importantly the students knew this. When the school year first started, students would say, “Let me tell you what really happened.” I would stop them in mid-track, stating: “You don’t have to tell me what happened. Mrs. Smith already wrote it down.” [At the beginning of the school year, I asked the teachers to do two things: (1) when they sent a student to see me for a disciplinary infraction, to please write me on paper at least one complete sentence telling me about the infraction and (2) close their classroom door when the bell rung and not let any student into the classroom without a note signed by me.] I would ask the student, “Do I have on a black robe?” The student would respond, “No, sir.” I then stated: “I’m not here to judge. I’m here to execute.” [These days, the nitwit administrators conduct a mini trial on each incident, ignore the write-up entirely, or just blame the teacher.] They occasionally would respond in a bewildered fashion, “You always believe the teacher.” I would casually respond: “You are exactly right. Now put that on the streets.” The word spread very quickly: “Don’t get sent to the office. You gonna get something!” Did any teacher ever get it wrong? Of course. Very occasionally. But, I met quietly with the teacher and behind closed doors. I NEVER chewed out a teacher. [Again, I learned this from my father. Always generously and publicly praise the the teachers but gently and softly criticize them in private.] The teachers diligently work their tails off when they are treated professionally. When, as an administrator, you respect the knowledge, discretion, judgment, and wisdom of the teacher, the teacher wants to work untiringly because the teacher does not want to disappoint you. If the teacher screws up, let the teacher save face by personally admitting to his or her class or privately to an individual student that he or she made an honest mistake. The students respect this honesty.

WACO High School
Today, the teacher’s dignity is assaulted. In disciplinary actions, the teachers are abandoned by administrators or even blamed by the administrators for the malevolent actions by the students. It is truly unconscionable the way these petty, ignorant, insecure, angry, and abusive administrators treat teachers. This is why our public schools are out of control. This is why they are war zones. The students and their parents are essentially in control. The teachers have been disemboweled. They have no authority. They have no power over the students in the classroom. The administrators will not support them. In fact, if the teacher writes up a student and sends the student to the administrator, the administrator takes umbrage at what the teacher just did and starts writing up the teacher. The administrator will put the teacher on some kind of numbskull self-improvement plan. Finally, the administration will begin the corporate execution of the teacher. This is pure evil. This kind of outrageous assault on teachers resulted in the foundation of the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE) in 1995. MACE doesn’t play, and administrators know this. Quite frankly, MACE scares the hell out of administrators. MACE’s mantra has always been this: “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.” MACE protects and empowers classroom educators…one member at a time. MACE is the most aggressive and most effective teachers union in the South. MACE is for teachers teaching in tough situations. MACE. Don’t Teach Without It! Don’t wait too late to join. MACE. Mad Advocates Creating Empowerment (MACE).

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You Cannot Ape MACE!

John R. Alston Trotter, BA, MA, EdD, JD

Recently I was talking to a friend who manages a Marriott Hotel in North Carolina.   He told me that a teacher was checking out of his hotel and he struck up a conversation with the lady.   The lady told my friend that she was heading back to Georgia, and she also mentioned that she was a school teacher. My friend asked this teacher if she had heard of MACE.   The woman got excited and told my friend, “MACE saved my job!”   My friend was excited to tell me this.   This story could be repeated countless of times because in MACE’s 22 years, MACE has saved many teachers’ jobs, and MACE has empowered teachers throughout Georgia to do their jobs without a snoopervising and petty and vindictive administrator breathing down their necks.   This is what MACE does. MACE does not purport to do anything other than to protect and to empower classroom educators…one MACE Member at a time.

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Dr. Trotter relaxing after a Clayton County picket.

MACE doesn’t do spelling bee contests for students.   MACE doesn’t give apples to school board members during American Education Week.   MACE doesn’t give teachers cute little tote bags or raffle smart TVs during new teacher orientations.   Quite frankly, MACE is flatly not a tea and crumpet group flitting around and giving out Peanut M&Ms during pre-planning week.   These cute and fluffy activities are not our thing. MACE doesn’t do this.   Pure and simple…MACE kicks ass, and this is why you came to MACE!   You want MACE to fight for you when an administrator comes attacking you.   Or, when an unruly student and his or her unreasonable parents blame you for all of the student’s shortcoming and actions, and your administrator just sits blithely by and allows them to attack you…and then proceeds to start giving you negative evaluations for the whole damn mess.   This is why you join MACE! MACE protects and empowers Classroom Educators…one MACE Member at a time, and MACE does this better than any teachers’ union in the South!

In recent years, people have looked at MACE’s phenomenal success and have tried to mimic MACE’s success.   They apparently think that they can go to the MACE website and use a MACE brochure, steal MACE’s terminology and classic phrases, and simply ape MACE.   They cannot do it.   They do not have the knowledge, understanding, wisdom, chutzpah, insight, or courage to do what MACE has been doing since 1995.   They do not have that magical portfolio, so to speak, to be able to ape MACE.   The depth of MACE’s understanding of educational issues coupled with the ability to break down what is happening in the public schooling process and to identify the motivation for certain crazy actions by superintendents is unmatched and simply cannot not be duplicated. Phrases like “snoopervision,” “educrats,” “educational sluts” (for superintendents), and “Leadership by inspiration, not intimidation” are MACE originals.   MACE’s original mantra since MACE’s inception in 1995 is this unalterable, inexorable, and unchallenged principle of action:  “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.”   This is the MACE Law of Learning.   You will not find this law anywhere except in the literature of MACE.   As the MACE Founder and Chairman of the Board, I have been interviewed and discussed in newspapers, journals, and blogs throughout this country (from Savannah to San Francisco, literally), in Bermuda, public television, and even in the White House Rose Garden (by a reporter from Education Week asking President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about my stated opinion about removing the staff from a “failing school” but not addressing the real problem, viz., lazy and unmotivated students who refuse to do any work).

A Cobb Picket 1

Darryl Plenty picketing Principal Horton at North Cobb High School.

MACE has real opinions about public education, and, as Chairman, I am not afraid to state MACE’s positions, and I am called upon for MACE’s position on educational matters by local news media and by far-flung media like The Christian Science Monitor. In fact, this past week, a production assistant for CBS called me, wanting me to be on an upcoming program about a changing America, including a changing public education.   I told the young lady that if we can work out the logistics, that I would be willing to be on the program.   Why do they call MACE?   Because MACE has a distinct voice and a clarion vision about public education, not because MACE serves the best coffee rolls at a teacher orientation.

Other organizations and would-be organizations do not have a philosophy of learning.  None.   They do not have a clarion vision of what is being done in the public schooling process and what should be done.   For example, they do not grasp how administrators use the evaluative process manipulatively, retributively, and punitively.   The angry and abusive administrators impose a crazy-ass, stupid, and completely ineffective Five-Step disciplinary process on teachers simply because they are too afraid to deal with the defiant and disruptive students and their irate and irresponsible parents and/or they are too lazy and incompetent to support the teachers in disciplinary matters.   MACE understands what is happening and why it is happening.   MACE clearly understands that order is the first law of the Universe and that teachers have to have order in the classroom.   Order in the classroom cannot be established if the students and their parents perceive (and they do) that the teachers do not have the backing from the school’s administration.

A Brandon Picket 1

At Morris Brandon Elementary School in Atlanta.

MACE has richly earned its reputation as the most aggressive and most effective teachers’ union in the entire South.   MACE invented and promulgated the D-QuadA System.   The D-QuadA System stands for Direct Action Against Abusive Administrators.   When MACE perceives that an administrator is abusing a teacher, MACE jumps into action.   MACE intervenes and/or pickets the administrator; writes a scorching and enlightening letter to the superintendent or against the superintendent and copies this letter to the elected school board members’ home addresses; writes or assists the teacher in rebuttals against skewed and biased evaluations; writes articles about the situation; files grievances and represents the teachers during the grievance hearings; and/or evaluates the administrator(s) on MACE now-famous Administrative NI List on http://www.theteachersadvocate.com.   MACE guarantees its members in good standing representation in any job action against the teacher.   (Of course, if a teacher comes to join MACE with a train wreck, so the speak, MACE has to evaluate each such case separately.)   I guess you could say that MACE has its own multi-step process. Administrators seem to get the point.   Therefore, when you say “MACE,” administrators listen.  MACE’s keen understanding of the educational issues is beyond question (see The MACE Manifesto:  The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education, 2014, 615 pages) and MACE’s rock solid commitment to its MACE Members have been established from the very beginning, as noted by a school board attorney who told a school board very early on in MACE’s existence, “MACE terrorizes the principals.”

A Cobb Picket 2

MACE is the real thing.   MACE is the Hope Diamond of “aggressive representation when you need it” (another original MACE phrase which was brazenly stolen by one of these dubious groups).   MACE is not an aluminum ring with mounted glass that you get out of a bubblegum machine when you leave the Piccadilly Restaurant.   MACE is the true diamond, and we know that diamonds can cut steel.   MACE has brought low many administrators who thought that they had reputations of steel, but the MACE Diamond cuts through that false façade like a hot knife cutting through soft butter.   This kind of effectiveness and reputation cannot be copied, mimicked, or imitated.   You cannot ape MACE…no more than a person can drop a teaspoon of brown sugar into faucet water and then call it bourbon or brandy…or drop a slab of baloney in a skillet and call it a Porterhouse Steak.

MACE has a sterling reputation for fighting for its members, making things happen, and securing positive results.   MACE.   Don’t teach without it!   MACE is truly the teachers’ union for teachers teaching in tough situations, and MACE is undoubtedly the most aggressive and effective teachers’ union in the entire South!


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What has MACE Done for Me Lately?


Note:  Recently one of MACE’s longtime Members posed this question to me, and I took the time to provide her, I think, a thoughtful answer.  We essentially learn by space repetition and sudden impact.  So, I certainly do not mind repeating what MACE stands for and how MACE provides an invaluable service for each MACE Member.  I would certainly not want to see a longtime MACE Member give up his or her membership, and then suddenly need MACE’s services because of a frightful and unexpected and undeserved accusation from a petty and abusive administrator, an irate and irresponsible parent, or a lying, defiant, and disruptive student.  Here is what I wrote back to the teacher, with names (including schools) redacted and changed).  MACE certainly hopes that this Member and all of its Members steadfastly remain MACE Members.  MACE values all of its Members.

Ms. Smith,

I am sorry to hear that you apparently feel so disgruntled about MACE.  I am sure that no one made you join MACE, but perhaps you were feeling a bit more vulnerable in your first three years of teaching at Jameson High School.  I am sure that the student discipline is a bit more challenging at Jameson than Willow Junction High School, but each school has its own personality, quirks, idiosyncrasies, etc.  Although the student discipline may be more challenging at one school (especially with little or no support from the school’s administration) whereas at a school with higher socio-economic status, the parents can be more demanding, capricious, and unreasonable.

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MACE speaks before the Atlanta School Board on issues that affect teachers.

MACE is a no frills union.  MACE makes no bones about this.  None whatsoever.  MACE does not put on spelling bee contests each year for students…like the other unions do.  MACE never has.  MACE has its occasional Holiday BASH and Spring Fling to help teachers release the tensions of teaching in terrible situations.  MACE has its Teacher Rights Seminars.  But, putting on the conventions, giving out tote bags and coffee cups, doing the spelling bees, etc., is not the MACE shtick.  You can get this at the other unions/associations…but you won’t get the same kind of protection that MACE provides.  The administrators join and are members of GAE and PAGE.  So, who is going to be defended when there is a conflict?  There is a built-in conflict of interest.  MACE aggressively defends the teachers…from verbal (and physical) and evaluative assaults from petty, small-minded, insecure, vindictive, abusive, and anal-retentive administrators; from irate and irresponsible parents; and from defiant and disruptive students.  And when an administrator starts giving you skewed and biased evaluations because you simply will not give a grade (whether on an assignment or a test) to a student or because the administrator believes that “you give too many bad grades,” you will be wanting MACE to represent you, not GAE or PAGE.  Schools are fraught with this kind of systematic cheating.  Systematic cheating is not just the purview of standardized tests.  And it is this type of cheating that puts much undue pressure on teachers.   It was MACE which first exposed the cheating scandal in both the Atlanta City and DeKalb County school systems.  The media and the Governor’s Office came in a slow second and third.  MACE had been on the streets for years and writing for years about the “miracle growth” on standardized test scores.  In fact, I think that MACE coined the phrase “systematic cheating” on picket signs in Atlanta and DeKalb.

Article Photo 2

The media contacts MACE on a regular basis.

Now if you want protection and empowerment to do your job, you stay with MACE.  If you want to go to a convention in Savannah or Macon and try to be a big shot in that organization, you got to GAE or PAGE.  But, if you have an issue with a student, a parent, or an administrator, you stick with MACE.  When you let the administration know that you are represented by MACE, you will get a different kind of respect.  I have witnessed administrators “get religion” very quickly when they find out that the teacher on whom they were picking was a MACE Member.  A complete turn-about takes place.  The MACE Membership is strictly confidential.  But, there might very well come a time when you want your administration to know that you are a MACE Member and not the one to be messed with.

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The MACE Team makes an impromptu visit to the Hart County superintendent on behalf of a teacher.

Ms. Smith, I know that you grew up in the idyllic setting of ______ but teaching in Georgia (or any state for that matter) is not always so idyllic.  You want to have MACE as your ace in the hole, so to speak.  I am wondering if you have ever asked MACE to assist you in any way.  I don’t think that you have.  The MACE response time is remarkable.  The goal of MACE is to respond to each teacher the very day that he or she calls the MACE Office.  (Other organizations will take up to thirty – yes, thirty – days to respond, if they respond at all.  I am hearing now that one or two of the other organizations are requiring their members to leave emails.  In other words, no more direct talking to representatives.)  Ms. Smith, you have been a loyal Member of MACE for 10 years now.  You pay on time.  There are no issues with your MACE Membership.  It could be that you are thinking of becoming an administrator.  That’s no problem.  We quietly stop your MACE Membership.  No fanfare.  No ballyhoo.  We simply wish you the best and hope that you become a great administrator and very supportive of classroom educators.  My nephew went back into administration this year.  So, again, we stopped his MACE Membership.  (His wife who teaches remains a MACE Member.)  And he is one heckuva an administrator!  The teachers and the students like and respect him.  There is no conflict with you being a MACE Member while you are still teaching and still having the goal of becoming an administrator one day.  As I previously mentioned, when you become an administrator, MACE simply quietly stops your membership.  There are and have been school administrators all over Georgia who are former MACE Members.  I think that a few have even gone on to become Assistant Superintendents and even Superintendents.  But, when you are a teacher, you need to belong to a teachers union that represents only teachers, not administrators.  Heck, the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA) and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL) do not allow teachers to join.  They have strictly an administrative agenda.  Then, why not be a member of a teachers union that strictly has a teacher’s agenda?  Ms. Smith, when you call the MACE Office, you don’t have to worry about whose side MACE is on.  Everyone knows.  MACE doesn’t waffle.  MACE doesn’t vacillate one scintilla.  MACE doesn’t leave your side.

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The MACE guys with a happy teacher after MACE aggressively represented her before the Atlanta Board of Education.

I remember back in 1997 when a MACE Member was falsely accused of telling a high school student that she would give him an A for his grade if he would have sex with him.  This scandalous accusation was covered on national news.  MACE defended the teacher before the school board in a hearing, then before the Professional Practices Commission (before the Professional Standards Commission took over this role), and in a three-day trial in the Clayton County Superior Court.  The jury verdict was “Not Guilty.”  This teacher thought everything in her career was just fine.  She had been a successful teacher in Clayton County for about 15 years before this little thug falsely accused her of this reprehensible action.  The case was very controversial and tinged with many racial overtones.  But, this teacher stated, “MACE never left my side.”  (You can read her full testimony on the MACE website.)  After these grueling three hearings (the last of which could have sent her to prison for many years, if she had been found guilty), she finally went back into the classroom and taught about 15 more successful years before retiring.  MACE was very, very aggressive in her defense, and Ms. Walker was extremely grateful.  She never once asked about a tote bag or a spelling bee contest.  Why do you really join a teachers union…for an alleged discount on tires or some alleged ineffective lobbying at the Capitol…or for job protection and empowerment?  This is the issue.  This is the question.  If you are looking for fluff, then, yes, join the other organizations.  But, if you want to have the peace of mind that you will have aggressive representation when you need it, then by all means stay a Member of MACE.  We value your membership.  We really do.  At MACE, we love teachers, and we do not apologize for this!

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The MACE Picket Squad is always ready to picket an administrator(s) on behalf of a MACE Member.

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MACE is the only teachers union/association that has the proper vision and accurate mantra for teachers:  You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.  This has been the inalterable and unchallenged mantra of MACE since MACE’s founding in 1995.

Now about stopping your bank draft:  You simply send a short letter to the MACE Office, send an email to MACE, or send a note to MACE via facsimile, explicitly telling MACE that you no longer want to be a member and want your bank draft stopped.  You understand that it has to be in writing to avoid anyone fraudulently posing as you on the phone.  This communication needs to be in the MACE Office by the 15th of the month previous to the month in which the bank draft will stop.  This two-week notice is needed because MACE has to notify the bank well in advance before the next scheduled bank draft.  It is painless, Ms. Smith.  Goodness.  We would love for you to remain of Member of MACE.  By remaining a MACE Member, you will have the backing of by far the strongest and most aggressive teachers union in Georgia.  By far.  And when you say, “MACE,” the administrators listen.   I remember back right after MACE was founded, a school board member in Clayton County told me that the school board attorney (who was also the school board attorney in DeKalb County) told the school board that “MACE terrorizes the administrators.”  I remember a teacher who was a good friend with a middle school principal in DeKalb County telling me that his principal friend was approached about taking the principal job at Southwest DeKalb High School.  His friend turned down the job, saying words to this effect:  “Nope, I don’t want to go there.  MACE is there, and once MACE gets after you, they don’t ever let up!”  Now, Ms. Smith, if this is not important to you, then you are indeed in the wrong union.  You need to be in the tea and crumpet groups.  That’s OK.  We are not mad at you.  But as soon as someone comes after you (and someone will, no matter how good a teacher you are; in fact, sometimes it is because you ARE a good teacher), you’ll realize then that you should have stayed a member of Georgia’s toughest and most aggressive teachers union.  On a regular basis, MACE receives nice letters of thanks like the one below…

“Mr. Barnes, I wanted to let you know how thankful I am that you worked everything out for me!  Not only did you send a letter for me (thanks Mr. Haynes and Dr. Trotter), but you helped me get a contract, and on top of that, negotiated with central office to get my transfer approved.  Words cannot express how thankful I am!  Every dime that I have spent for my membership is well worth it!” – Jackie Warren.

We wish you well in your career, and we hope that you remain a loyal MACE Member.


John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD


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