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Board member, superintendent sworn in Tuesday
Clements Middle principal hired
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Dr. Gary Mathews, new superintendent for the Newton County School System, was sworn in Tuesday morning by Newton County Superior Court Judge Samuel Ozburn.

Mathews was approved by the Newton County Board of Education in March to take the place of Dr. Steve Whatley who retired June 30. He came from Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools in Virginia, where he served as superintendent for five years.

Mathews has more than 18 years of experience as a school district superintendent. He previously served as superintendent of Carroll Independent School District, Texas; Rockwood School District, Missouri; East Baton Rouge School District, Louisiana; and St. Johns County School District, Florida.

He also served as an assistant superintendent for instructional services for the Spring Branch Independent School District, Texas and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum for Jackson Public Schools, Mississippi. He also has experience as a high school principal. Mathews began his education career in 1976 as a high school teacher at JFK High School in New Orleans.
Mathews thanked the board members in attendance for the chance to serve as superintendent.

"I look forward to a long tenure of service here," he said. "I am very committed to teaching for learning for all kids."

Also sworn in was Greg Proffitt who will fill the seat vacated by Dr. C.C. Bates until Jan. 1 when a new board member is sworn in for District 5. Bates announced in January that she would resign her seat after the June 15 meeting after taking a position with Clemson University.

Proffitt is the vice president of Newton Federal Bank in Covington, a position he has held for five years. He has worked in finance since 1992 and holds a degree in economics from the University of Georgia and a master's of business administration from Georgia State.

Following the swearing in of Mathews and Proffitt, the board held a called meeting and made the decision to hire Joy S. Scavella to serve as principal of Clements Middle School for the 2010-2011 school year.

According to a press release from the NCSS, "Scavella has been employed by the Peach County School System in Fort Valley, Georgia, since 2003. Most recently she served as the principal of Fort Valley Middle School from 2008 to 2010. From 2003 to 2008, Scavella was an assistant principal at Hunt Elementary School. She began her career in education as a teacher at T.J. Elder Middle School in Washington County Schools and taught fourth grade from 2002 to 2003 at Burdell-Hunt Elementary School in Bibb County Schools."

She has both a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education and a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Georgia College and State University in 1997 and 2000 respectively. She is currently working on her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.