Gilmer BOE takes first steps in new Superintendent Search

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EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – With official approval having come on April 15, 2021, in their monthly meeting, the Gilmer County Board of Education has begun its search for the next Superintendent with King-Cooper and Associates search firm.

With a press release, Gilmer Schools made a statement about the search saying that they would accept applications for the position until May 21, 2021. They stated, “The vacancy will be advertised by electronic postings on the school system web site, the search firm’s web site, and on the web sites of the Georgia School Superintendents Association and the Georgia School Boards Association.”

King-Cooper an d Associates was approved as the firm by a memorandum of understanding during the board’s April regular meeting. They are a small search firm based in Thomaston, Georgia. According to their release, “King-Cooper and Associates specializes in customized and affordable superintendent searches for small and medium size school systems. The firm assisted the Board in their last search in 2015 and has conducted over 65 successful superintendent searches in Georgia.”

Because they will accept application until late May, this date falls in conjunction with the previously reported final day of current Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs on May 28, 2021. In the time after, Gilmer’s Board of Education named Ms. Kim Cagle to serve as Interim Superintendent.

Steps of the search will include advertising the position, receiving and processing applications, verifying reference and background information, sorting applications based on the Board’s selection criteria, and the scheduling and facilitation of interviews. Dr. Sandy Addis will serve as the lead facilitator of the search.

“Our job is to secure a strong pool of applicants and to assist the Board to select the very best superintendent for Gilmer County,” Addis said. “We handle the details of the search and provide the best possible information for the Board to make a good choice but we don’t tell the board who to hire,” Addis stated. “There will be strong interest in the position because of the positive reputation of the school system, the community, and the Board. Gilmer County is one of Georgia’s most desirable and attractive school systems.”

According to their press release, the Board hopes to review applications and conduct interviews in late May and early June and to select the next Superintendent by July. During April, the Board will conduct surveys to determine what characteristics and qualifications the community and school system employees think are most important in the selection process. A survey for parents, students, and community members will be posted on the system web site at www.gilmerschools.com. A similar survey will be emailed to all school system employees.

They stated, “The Board will utilize survey results in the interview and selection process to employ a superintendent that meets the needs and expectations of the community.”

Stephens High Named AP Honor School

Announcements, Board of Education, Community, Education, Press Release
high school named AP Honor School
Stephens County High School has been named as an AP Honor School by the Georgia Department of Education. Specifically, SCHS was awarded for being an AP School of Expansion for showing 25% growth in AP student participation from 2019 to 2020.
We are tremendously proud of the hard work and dedication of our students and faculty to the Advanced Placement program at SCHS!
Stephens High named AP Honor School

CCMS shuts down 6th Grade in response to COVID-19

Board of Education, News
CCMS Clear Creek Middle, Grade

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Starting today, Gilmer County Schools has shut down the 6th Grade of Clear Creek Middle School to attempt to stem a rise in numbers of positive cases within the grade level.

Grade, Shanna Downs, Superintendent

Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs

Those numbers are coming from both students and staff according to a letter from Gilmer County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs stating that they would be closing due to the increase.

Effective until November 4, 2020, students will be at home with learning devices as a part of the distance learning platform that the school has had in use since the early spring outbreak of the virus. However, it is not exactly the same program as the school system has since improved and evolved their distance learning programs with added software and procedures.

Since August, some students have already been a part of the virtual classrooms and students in school have received instructions on using Google Classroom as well.

At this time, Downs states that all of the system’s other schools and grade levels will keep operating as they have been, remaining open for students.

In a letter to parents, Downs said, “Recognizing the challenges closures pose for many families in our community, we are making this decision with a heavy heart but for the greater good. Our priority is always the safety and well-being of our students and staff.”

As of last Friday, October 16, 2020, the school system had 7 students absent with positive tests for COVID-19 and 133 students quarantined for possible exposure.

According to the school system’s website;

  • 4125 – Students enrolled in GCSS

  • 7 – GCSS Students Absent with a Current Positive COVID-19 Status

  • 133- GCSS Students Quarantined for Possible Exposure

  • 526 – Total Number of GCSS Employees

  • 7- GCSS Employees Absent with a Current Positive COVID-19 Status

  • 32 – GCSS Employee Who Has Been Exposed and is Quarantined or Reporting to Work as an Essential Employee*

The Board of Education is holding meetings this week as their regularly scheduled monthly meetings. FYN will update new stories if new information becomes available.

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