Gordon County Schools will see several changes in district and school leadership positions during the 2021-2022, according to an announcement made earlier this week.

Dr. Amy Parker, who currently serves as the Director of Communications and Community Engagement for the district, will transition to the position of Director of Leadership and Secondary Education.

In her new role, Dr. Parker will work with other system and school leaders to develop and facilitate the system’s Aspiring Leaders program. Additionally, she will provide system-level support to middle and high schools.

To fill the vacancy in communications, the Board of Education has approved Kendra Pannell as Communications Coordinator. Pannell comes to Gordon County Schools from Kennesaw State University, where she has worked in marketing and communications management for the university’s box office and athletics department.

Pannell said she is looking forward to the opportunity to lead the promotional efforts of the school system.

“I am excited to be joining Gordon County Schools in this capacity, as we strive to provide a clear, transparent flow of information to our stakeholders and to promote the achievements of our students, teachers and school district,” she said.

Pannell is a long-time resident of Gordon County, and her children attend Fairmount Elementary School. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management.

Replacing the recently-promoted Chuck Langston as Instructional Technology Specialist is Whitney Prather. Prather comes to Gordon County Schools from Cobb County Schools, where she has served as a Technology Training Integration Specialist since 2015.

Prather holds a master’s degree in Instructional Technology, with educational leadership and online learning concentrations, from Kennesaw State University. She also holds numerous educational technology certifications.

Prather is certified in gifted education and holds a post-baccalaureate degree in education and a Bachelor of Arts in political science/history, with a minor in English. She has taught at the middle school level throughout her career and has provided numerous professional learning opportunities for teachers across Cobb County.

A new face to leadership but not to Red Bud Elementary School is new assistant principal Chrissy Smith. Smith taught at Red Bud Elementary from 2004-2015 and has served as the school’s instructional lead teacher since 2016. Smith stated, “I am honored to begin serving as Assistant Principal at Red Bud Elementary where I have been blessed to spend the past sixteen years as a classroom teacher and Instructional Lead Teacher. I look forward to working with the staff, parents, and Red Bud community to support our students and help them to reach beyond expectations.” Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education.

Following the recent retirement of Debbie Clance, long-time assistant principal at Belwood Elementary School, the system announced this week that Matt Fox has been selected to fill that position for the new school year. Fox will transition from his current position as assistant principal at Sonoraville High School and is excited about the new endeavor, “I am looking forward to working with our younger students as we set the foundation for their education. I have had the pleasure of working at the middle and high school levels, and I look forward to gaining experience in one of our district’s premier elementary schools.”

Jessie Martin will return to Sonoraville High School for 2021-2022 as assistant principal. Martin taught at Sonoraville High School for 14 years before transitioning to Red Bud Middle School in 2020 as assistant principal.

An additional change for Red Bud Middle School will be the addition of Becky Hulsey to the administrative team. Hulsey will serve as assistant principal for Red Bud Middle School, where she taught and served as the instructional lead teacher for several years before becoming assistant principal at Sonoraville High School in 2018.

These changes will become effective July 1.

Kelcey Walker is a reporter for the Calhoun Times in Calhoun, Ga.

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