SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Social Circle City Schools' superintendent since 2019 will be leaving for the same position in Athens-Clarke County.
Robbie Hooker was named the sole finalist for superintendent of the Clarke County school district, the Clarke Board of Education announced Monday, Aug. 8.
As SCCS superintendent, he led a four-school district with about 1,850 students.
Hooker helped develop a five-year strategic plan to fulfill the schools’ mission to empower students with an equitable and excellent education, led his team to cultivate a unified, performance-based culture, and secured a Facebook grant that provided Chromebooks for every student, a news release stated.
Under Hooker’s leadership, the Social Circle Governance Team received the Georgia School Board Association (GSBA) Leading Edge Award in 2020 and 2021 as well as the 2021 Quality Board Award.
“I am excited to return and join the leaders, teachers, and staff at the Clarke County School District. I look forward to working with our governance team to focus on our students and make this the best educational experience possible,” Hooker said.
Pending school board final approval later this month, Hooker will assume full responsibilities for his new role effective Oct. 10.
He will replace Xernona Thomas, who announced last year that she would retire at the end of 2022. A news release stated the Board "carefully weighed options for filling this crucial role"
"Those options included appointing an interim superintendent while conducting a search or moving directly to appoint a superintendent. Given Dr. Hooker’s unique experience and qualifications, the latter option provided the best opportunity for a seamless transition.
“Dr. Hooker has worked in complex communities, including many years in Clarke County. He has a strong history of building leadership capacity and relationships, which are critical to our culture and climate as well as other strategic priorities,” said LaKeisha Gantt, Board of Education president.
“The Board is excited about the direction of education in Clarke County under Dr. Hooker’s leadership. We are also grateful for Dr. Thomas’ leadership, as she has led the district through significant transitions.”
Hooker had more than a decade of administrative experience in Clarke County schools before working as assistant superintendent for High Schools in Henry County from 2016-2019 and superintendent of Social Circle City Schools.
Hooker began his career in education as a classroom teacher, a role that brought him to W.R. Coile Middle School in Clarke County where he was named Teacher of the Year for 1995-96. From there, he went to Westside Middle School in Barrow County, where he served as assistant principal from 1997-2003, before returning to CCSD as principal of Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School from 2003-2008.
In 2008, Hooker was named principal of Clarke Central High School, a position he held until 2016. In that role, he received many honors, which included being named Georgia High School Principal of the Year in 2013 by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals.
Hooker became assistant superintendent for High Schools in Henry County from 2016-2019 before assuming the role of superintendent of Social Circle City Schools in 2019.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Behavior Disorders from Valdosta State University and earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Clemson University.
Additionally, he holds certifications in Educational Leadership from the University of Georgia and School Counseling from the University of West Georgia.