The current Henry County Schools superintendent, for Mary Elizabeth Davis as the sole finalist for superintendent in Cherokee County Schools.

At a called meeting Wednesday night, the Cherokee County School board voted 4-3 to name Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis as the sole finalist for superintendent. Davis has been the superintendent of Henry County School since Nov. 2017 and before that was the chief academic officer in Cobb County Schools and the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning in Gwinnett County Public Schools.

After the announcement, Davis expressed her excitement for the position in a statement to the board and community.

“I am honored to be named by the Board of Education as the finalist for the Superintendent of the Cherokee County School District. Cherokee County, known for the extraordinary commitment to educational excellence, aligns perfectly with my beliefs about the role of public education in communities today.  As my family and I prepare to become part of the Cherokee community, I am committed to engaging with and learning from the rich history, the experiences, and perspectives of our community. Together, we will work tirelessly to not only uphold but elevate the district’s performance, ensuring Cherokee County Schools stand as a beacon of educational leadership and excellence.”

In the split vote of 4-3, the School Board Chair, Kyla Cromer, and board members John Harmon, Susan Padgett-Harrison, and Kelly Poole supported the appointment. Other board members: Patsy Jordan, Erin Ragsdale, and Rick Steiner voiced their concerns if Davis was a “fit” for Cherokee County.

If appointed, Davis will take over for outgoing superintendent, Brian Hightower, who will retire on May 31.

According to the Henry County website, Davis’ time as Superintendent has been marked by significant academic achievement including all “F’ rated schools have been moved off the governor’s failing schools list and an 11-point gain in CCRPI rating. Just this last year, Davis was named one of the four finalists for Georgia Superintendent of the Year.

In a letter to families in Henry County, Davis focused on the journey since coming to the district in 2017.

“This announcement comes at a significant point in our collective journey in Henry County. Together, we have navigated extraordinary growth, our share of challenges, and remarkable successes. Our commitment to ‘Winning for Kids’ with ‘More Learning, More Growing, and More Celebrating’ is more than a slogan, it defines who we are.  It defines our collaborative spirit and our optimistic belief in what is possible when young people have access to a quality public education.I am excited for the future of Henry County Schools and believe this school district will set the pace for what is possible in public education today.  As we transition into this new phase, I am committed to ensuring a smooth and thoughtful process, and my focus will remain on our students, our staff, and the community.  Thank you for your support as we prepare for the next steps in our journey.”

The Cherokee County School Board will vote on whether to confirm her appointment as superintendent on Feb. 15.

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