MONROE, Ga. — George Walton Academy has tapped Gary Hobbs as its next head of school.
The retired superintendent of the Walton County School District will take the reins at the Monroe private school effective immediately, the school announced.
In a letter to faculty and parents, the school’s trustees said Hobbs agreed to serve as long as needed.
“Gary Hobbs is committed to continuing the historic success of GWA as the premier educational institution in our region and to ensuring that our mission remains the focus of each student’s daily experience,” board Chairman Roy Roberts Jr., a George Walton alumnus and parent of two recent graduates, said.
“He appreciates the role and importance of our school in the community and is dedicated to focusing on our students’ experiences, to fostering a united school community, and to joining our faculty and students in crafting the excellent GWA academic environment we all know and love.”
Hobbs served as superintendent of the county’s public school district from 2008-16.
“He set the gold standard for public service in Walton County,” state Rep. Bruce Williamson of Monroe said when Hobbs retired. Williamson serves on the GWA board of trustees.
That board voted in late May to move on from Head of School Dan Dolan, whom it brought on in 2016 in a transition from longtime Headmaster Billy Nicholson, a former neighbor of Gary and Linda Hobbs.
Dolan served as head of school from 2017-21.
Hobbs was born in Athens and is a graduate of Talbot County High School, with a Bachelor of Science in education from Georgia Southern in 1971 and master’s in education in 1976.
He started his teaching and coaching career at Warner Robins Junior High School in 1972 and earned his Education Specialist in administration in 1982 at the University of Georgia.
The Hobbs family moved to Walton County in 1986, and he was in his fifth year as the principal of Loganville High School when he was plucked to the central office as associate superintendent.
Hobbs became the superintendent on Sept. 15, 2008, when Tim Lull resigned as part of an agreement with the county school board.
In addition to his work in education, Hobbs was in the Georgia Army National Guard from 1971-99. He attained the rank of colonel, serving as the state personnel director.
During his retirement, Hobbs has been involved in efforts to bring the YMCA to Walton County. He is a co-chair of the leadership council for the Building a Healthy Walton campaign.
He also has been involved with the United Way of Walton County, Communities In Schools of Walton County (now the Student Success Alliance) and the Walton Foundation. He is active in First United Methodist Church in Monroe.
GWA officials said the search for a permanent head of school generally takes 18-20 months.
“In an effort to diligently and collaboratively prepare for the years to come, at the appropriate time, the board of trustees will begin the search for Mr. Hobbs’ successor,” Roberts said in a statement Tuesday.