By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools
Sometimes life comes full circle.
It certainly has for Lauren (Walker) Bush.
Bush -- a lifelong resident of Murfreesboro and 2007 graduate of Siegel High School -- has joined Rutherford County Schools as its new staff attorney.
The staff attorney role assists district and school administrators with legal matters and policy development and ensures the district remains in compliance with the many state and federal regulations affecting public education.
"It's a little surreal," Bush said. "I can't express the full appreciation I have to be back home. That was my ultimate goal when I went to work for Sumner County. I knew I wanted to come back eventually to Murfreesboro and practice."
Most recently, Bush worked as a staff attorney with the Sumner County Law Director's Office, which provided legal services to a variety of government departments. She previously interned and clerked for several organizations, including Turner Publishing, Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, the Tennessee Attorney General, and with the Middle Tennessee State University's Office of the Legal Counsel.
As a child, Bush attended Mitchell-Neilson Elementary, Central Middle School, Siegel Middle School and was in the first four-year class to graduate from Siegel High School, which opened in 2003. She then earned a bachelor's degree in English from MTSU and her law degree from Belmont University.
"As a school system with over 5,000 employees and almost 45,000 students, our staff attorney is beneficial to parents, students and staff when navigating the myriad of regulations we encounter," Director of Schools Don Odom said. "Lauren is a Rutherford County Schools graduate with an understanding of the culture and opportunities of living in one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. She is personable, accessible, and shares our belief of providing quality educational opportunities for our students."
Bush had always sought to break into education law and jumped at the chance to work for Rutherford County Schools, she said.
"Education is the great equalizer," Bush explained. "Everybody has the same opportunities and Rutherford County offers really great opportunities to its students. I received a world-class education here that I wouldn't have received anywhere else. I got to participate in things that prepared me for college -- and not just college -- but life in general. I made relationships that I still maintain today with my teachers and support staff."
Bush added: "Education and the opportunity to serve a purpose that is greater than yourself is very important to me."
Bush also worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Rutherford County for nine years and spent two as the organization's program director.
"That's really where a lot of my passion about education comes from because we serve a disadvantaged population there. Watching them excel and being part of that, and giving them opportunities to excel in that way was very eye opening," said Bush, who attended the club as a kid and then was hired when she turned 16.
Bush officially started with the school district during fall break and spent the week acclimating to the various district policies and procedures. She succeeds former staff attorney Angel McCloud, who left the district for private practice in August after serving many years.