STEWART COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Stewart County schools faced starting this school year short more than a dozen employees. We first brought you this story in July. A week later, a new superintendent was hired.
News Leader 9's Tyrone McCoy went to Lumpkin on Wednesday, Sept. 17 to see how things are going now.
Before their July 30 start date, new Stewart County Superintendent Dr. Valerie Roberts tells me all of the vacancies were filled. The new team says now that everyone is in place, the school district can focus on providing a quality education to all its students
"When you have a school district that has the leadership that has a common focus and a common vision about where we are and where we're going, then the sky is the limit," Superintendent Roberts explains.
Dr. Roberts says the Stewart County School District is moving forward, not looking back. And the employees who left, are not a reflection of the school system.
"Some of the teachers that left were teachers that we didn't invite to come back," Dr. Roberts said. "There were some teachers that got married and moved away. There were some teachers that got jobs that were closer to their homes."
Administrators say the faculty changes have just added fuel to their fire.
Stewart County Middle and High School Principal, Sajuana Williams adds "because of the things that were said, we are determined to show that we are above that. We are the best kept secret in the state of Georgia."
Just yesterday all three of Stewart County schools were named Reward Schools by the Georgia Department of Education. To keep the ball rolling, Superintendent Roberts has implemented a host of things ranging from AP and gifted programs, to applying for grants to improve nutrition and after school programs for all grades. The leadership teams say these plans fit the specific needs of their schools
"We are educators," explains Markus Taylor, principal at Stewart County Elementary School. "We can never lose our position based on the prospective of people who are not working with our students everyday."
Creating an environment that incorporates students, teachers and parents throughout the county.
Dr. Roberts adds "This is truly a village that is working to educate all of the children here."
Superintendent Roberts says the primary objective now is holding true to the school's new mission statement: to provide a quality education to all students and getting students ready for the new statewide test the Georgia Milestones.