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Superintendent finalists announced
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The Newton County Board of Education named its top three finalists for the system’s superintendent position, including a current administrator in the Newton County School System, a superintendent from Illinois and a deputy superintendent from Athens.

The finalists are Samantha Fuhrey, the deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction for NCSS; Samuel Light, the superintendent of the Illini Bluffs Community Unit School District #327 in Glasford, Ill.; and Noris Price, the deputy superintendent for the Clarke County School District in Athens.

The three choices will vie to be the next superintendent of the Newton County School System and replace Superintendent Gary Mathews, who will retire June 30 after three years at the helm.

Board of Education member Shakila Henderson-Baker announced the finalists at the end of the board’s work session Tuesday.

BOE Chair Abigail Coggin said the board has to wait 14 days by law before they can make a decision on who will be named the next superintendent for the NCSS. The delay is meant to give the public time to weigh in and vet the finalists.

Coggin explained how the board arrived at the top three candidates.

“We reviewed all of the applications that met the qualifications set out by the board through Georgia School Boards Association and were very impressed by the caliber of applicants,” Coggin said. “We interviewed six of those candidates over a three-day period and have narrowed it down to our final three.”

Board of Education members met in executive session each day April 2–4 at 3:45 p.m. during spring break to review a list of 34 applicants for the superintendent position. During that time, Coggin said six qualified candidates were chosen and then the board’s top three candidates were selected.

“The board members will now work together to determine who would be the best person to lead our school system. Our next step will then be to negotiate a contract with that person. Our hope is to have this done as soon as possible,” Coggin said.

Samantha Fuhrey
Fuhrey has served as the executive director for secondary education, the director of secondary education and the director of professional learning for Newton County Schools. Fuhrey has also served as the principal and assistant principal of Indian Creek Middle School.

Prior to her employment with Newton County Schools, Fuhrey worked for the DeKalb County School System as an assistant principal and an English teacher.

Fuhrey has a bachelor’s degree in secondary English from Marywood and a master’s degree in educational leadership from State University of West Georgia. She also holds an education specialist’s degree in educational leadership from Georgia College and State University.

Samuel Light
Light has served as superintendent of the Illini Bluffs Community Unit School District #327 in Glasford, Ill., since 2008. Prior to his move to Illinois, Light served as the superintendent of Elbert County Public Schools in Georgia. He also served as an associate superintendent of accountability and assessment for the Savannah Chatham County Public Schools.

Light has a bachelor’s degree in technology leadership from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Jacksonville University. He also has a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Noris Price
Price has served as the associate superintendent for Clarke County Schools for five year prior to her promotion to the deputy superintendent for the Clarke County School District.

She was previously a principal in both the Fulton County School District in Atlanta and Fairfax County Public Schools in Falls Church, Va.

Price has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Wilmington College and a master’s degree in elementary education from Lehman College of the City University of New York.

She also has a leadership certificate from George Mason University and obtained her doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University.