LUMPKIN, GA (WTVM) - Just three weeks before classes start, the Stewart County Board of Education reveals that 15 faculty members have either resigned or retired, including last year's interim superintendent. Board employees say they're optimistic the system will rebound.
"We have 13 so far that have either resigned or retired for next school term," explains Robyn Fant, administrative assistant at Stewart County Board of Education.
The Board of Education in what the 2010 Census ranked as Georgia's poorest county finds itself going bankrupt for educators and administrators in 2014.
"We do not have a superintendent as of today," Fant adds. "We do not have a high school principal."
That leaves a total of 15 vacant positions that could potentially send Stewart County students heading to a classroom with no one in the driver's seat.
Fant, who has been with Stewart County Schools for three decades, says changes like these are not uncommon for the school system.
"We've had personnel to leave in the past, a pretty good number, but like I said we always replace and get going in time for school," she adds.
Last school term, Stewart County Public Schools were run by interim superintendent Dianne Watkins. Fant tells us Watkins' term expired on June 23, leaving the county without a superintendent for the second time since 2012. The middle school also has had a new principal since 2012.
Fant says that these changes should not discourage the students or parents in Stewart County School system.
"The school system is probably in the best shape it's ever been in. So, I really don't think tax payers have anything to worry about. I think all these positions will be filled and school will go forward," Fant confirms.
We did attempt to contact Stewart County School Board members for comment. Our requests have not yet been answered. A superintendent is expected to be appointed at the school board work session tomorrow, July 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Stewart County Elementary School.