Gordon County Schools is proud to announce that Jennifer Hayes, current Red Bud Middle School principal, will be stepping in as principal at Sonoraville High School, while current SHS assistant principal, Amy Stewart, will take over as principal at Red Bud Middle School.

"With the opening of the principalship at Sonoraville High School, we have the opportunity to showcase the talented pool of leaders we have in our district," said Dr. Susan Remillard, Gordon County Schools' Superintendent. "Mrs. Hayes has done a tremendous job with the opening of the Red Bud Middle School facility, and her knowledge of the Sonoraville High School communities and the relationships she has built throughout her tenure with our district will serve her well in her new role. Additionally, I am confident that Mrs. Stewart will combine her vast educational experience with her tremendous heart for the communities she serves to continue the level of excellence the families of Red Bud Middle School have come to expect."

Jennifer Hayes is a proud native of Gordon County. A product of the Gordon County School system, Hayes is a graduate of Gordon Central High School and Kennesaw State University, where she earned her undergraduate degree. She also holds a master's degree from Piedmont University and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from Lincoln Memorial University.

Additionally, Hayes has spent her entire career in Gordon County Schools, most of which has been in service to the students of the Red Bud community, where she served as an elementary teacher, assistant principal and principal at Red Bud Elementary. She currently serves as the principal of Red Bud Middle School, a position she has held since the school opened in 2014. Since that time, Red Bud Middle School has consistently boasted a school climate rating of 5 stars- the highest score given by the Georgia Department of Education.

Hayes is married to Gordon County native and Gordon Central graduate, Clint Hayes, and they have two daughters. Lily is an SHS graduate attending Western Carolina University on a softball scholarship, and Esther-Anne is a sophomore at SHS.

"I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue to work with the students, families, and stakeholders of the Phoenix Nation," said Hayes when asked about her new role. "As a parent of two Sonoraville High School students, I truly appreciate what the Phoenix Nation means to our community. I am eager to continue

the great work that has been done at SHS and look forward to working with the students who I came to know during my time at Red Bud Middle School. These students are my students (many I have been involved with since Pre-K) and I am excited to have the opportunity to support them during the high school phase of their educational careers."

Amy Stewart has also called Gordon County Schools home her entire professional career. A native of the Red Bud community and a product of the school district, Stewart attended Red Bud schools before graduating from Gordon Central High School, where she returned to begin her teaching career, shortly after earning her undergraduate degree from Shorter University. Stewart went on to advance her education by earning graduate degrees in education and leadership from Berry College and Lincoln Memorial University.

In 2005, Stewart transferred to Sonoraville High School as a member of its inaugural faculty. During her teaching tenure, Stewart was named District Teacher of the Year on two different occasions, once going on to be named a state finalist. She has presented on multiple occasions on both state and national stages to share her expertise with colleagues across the nation. In 2008, Stewart took on the role of assistant principal at Sonoraville High School. In this capacity, she has served as a Fellow for the nationally-recognized Schlecty Center and has conducted multiple professional development sessions for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Stewart is steeped in the community, serving as a member of the Gordon Optimist Club and Fairmount Kiwanis. She and her husband Jody, also a native of Gordon County, have two children. Luke is a senior at Sonoraville High School, and Zane is a part of Red Bud Middle School's eighth grade class. The Stewarts are members of Rockbridge Community Church, where Amy serves on the worship team.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead a school where I have so much history and family connection," said Stewart. "I have been blessed to serve the Phoenix Nation for more than a decade, and I look forward to continuing my service to this community and upholding the high expectations established by Mrs. Hayes and her staff."

The two leaders will assume their new roles effective Feb. 26.