I bid farewell to our managing editor, Kerri Bartlett, who has been at the helm for the past four years and has spent six years with the Herald.
Bartlett is leaving us for The Tennessean, where she will serve as that publication’s Williamson County education reporter.
Bartlett started out covering the local school boards and County Commission for us under the leadership of Pam Horne, who was managing editor at the time. When Horne left us, Bartlett was her logical replacement.
Bartlett did a great job for us. With our small paper, the managing editor also tends to be our chief reporter. Bartlett covered the county legislature, Franklin’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the Franklin Special School District and, when we needed her, she would also cover the Williamson County School Board and County Commission.
At times during her career, she covered every local government entity for us. I give her credit for always working hard with a desire to always do a great job with a fair and balanced story.
When Bartlett was reporting on the controversial school board election of 2014, she and our paper came under attack from several radical school board candidates who also had a very aggressive following. Many of them did not like the way we reported on several forums and came after us directly and on social media.
We stood by what we reported despite their bully tactics. Most of those school board candidates are not around any longer, but the Herald remains despite threats of taking us down. I knew then that Bartlett was tough and could handle the pressure of being managing editor.
She developed great relationships in the county. Elected officials such as Charles Sargent, Sam Whitson and others were always quick to return calls from her. She is respected by those in county offices as well as those who lead the city of Franklin. She has a passion for the less fortunate and has done a great job covering issues related to Franklin’s homeless population, bringing awareness to a problem that some folks still refuse to admit exists.
Bartlett was also the driving force behind our involvement in local political debates for the state legislature, County Commission, Franklin and Brentwood city elections. She developed great working relationships with our partners at Williamson Inc. and WAKM.
Bartlett has also done so many things behind the scenes, things that many readers may not realize, such as posting stories on our website, editing the writers’ stories, managing and editing our columnists and taking photos. And the list goes on. She worked long hours into the night. It would not be uncommon to have emails from her at 4 a.m. and texts as early as 5:30 a.m.
I appreciate her hard work and dedication to the Herald and wish her well in her new role.