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Schools chief will leave
Todd McGhee

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — The Social Circle City Schools district is looking for a new superintendent after the current occupant of the seat announced his tenure would end with the school year.

Todd McGhee, who has served as the superintendent of the Social Circle school system for seven years, announced at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Social Circle Board of Education he would be departing the system after the end of the current school year.

“This will be my last year in Social Circle as superintendent,” McGhee said. “The board will begin a search for a new superintendent immediately.”

McGhee’s tenure will end June 30, meaning the board must have someone ready to fill the position on July 1 when the new year begins for the district.

McGhee came to Social Circle as the principal of Social Circle Middle School but left the school system to become the principal at Elbert County High School.

He would return to Social Circle in 2012 when he was selected as the new superintendent to replace retiring Superintendent Bettye Ray.

John Callahan, chairman of the board, said McGhee had done an excellent job in guiding the system for the past seven years.

“In the years Dr. McGhee has been here, we’ve made great strides in all areas,” Callahan said.

Callahan said the job posting would be up soon and the board would begin identifying and interviewing candidates in the months ahead to have someone in place by summer.

McGhee thanked the board for letting him lead the system and making a difference in Social Circle.

“I’ve certainly cherished my work and relationships here,” McGhee said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here.”

In other board news, the board is considering using school resource officers from the Social Circle Police Department again, rather than the Walton County Sheriff’s Office as it currently does.

Chief Tyrone Oliver came to Thursday’s meeting to discuss the possible change and said his officers would be ready to take on the responsibility.

“I think it would be a great partnership,” Oliver said. “I’m thrilled about it.”

The school system contracted with the SCPD in years past but changed over to the sheriff’s office several years ago. Now, though, McGhee said he feels the SCPD is ready to take on the job again, and at a lower rate.

“It will be a little bit more expensive than what we pay now, but the sheriff’s office was going up, too,” McGhee said.

The system currently pays $46,000 per officer, but adjustments by the Sheriff’s Office will bump that cost to $55,000 per officer, as opposed to the $53,000 the SCPD will charge per officer in the system.

Oliver said the WCSO would continue to assist at the schools as needed, and the agencies would work together when necessary to keep all the schools as safe as possible.

“We have a great relationship with them,” Oliver said.

No vote was taken at the meeting.

The board also proposed a change in how to manage pre-kindergarten registration, moving to abandon the current first-come, first-serve approach to a randomized list that would give all applicants an equal chance at enrollment as long as they turn in their paperwork in the specified time. The board also moved to apply to the state to add a fourth pre-K classroom this fall.

The board approved its calendar for the 2019-20 school year at the meeting, with almost all major dates lining up with the same holidays at the Walton County School District. School will begin at Aug. 1, with fall break falling Oct. 14-18, Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 25-29, Christmas from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, 2020, and spring break from April 6-10.

School will end Friday, May 22, one day after WCSO, which ends Thursday, May 21.

Finally, the board voted to appoint a new vice chairman, replacing Sabrina Sanford-Flint after her one-year tenure in the seat. The board unanimously selected Patrick Dally to fill the role for the year.