The Newton County Board of Education voted this morning to appoint Shari Thomas as principal of Livingston Elementary School. She will replace outgoing principal, Wendy Hughes, who recently resigned.
Thomas currently serves as an Assistant Principal at South Salem Elementary School. She taught fourth and fifth grade at Livingston from 1992-2007 before taking an assistant principal postion at Fairview Elementary. She was also named as Teacher of the Year at Livingston in 1997. She has also taught fourth grade at Fairview Elementary and at Mercer University from 1997-2000 as an adjunct professor for teacher education. She has also taught English Conversion at Han Nam University in Taejon, South Korea in 1984.
“I’m very excited,” said Thomas, in a press release. “I just can’t tell you. I taught here at Livingston for 15 years prior to going into administration in 2007. When I decided to pursue administration I left thinking in my mind, if the principalship here ever came open I would apply for it. I really feel like I’m back home.”
Thomas did express sadness at leaving South Salem, saying that she worked with other administrators to help open it.
“Of course there are children there that I checked on regularly and I’ll miss that,” she said. “Leaving the faculty and the children will be hard but this is such a wonderful opportunity and I look forward to working with the faculty and children here at Livingston.”
Thomas said that her goals for Livingston are, “right in line with the new superintendent’s. We will continue to improve student achievement and focus on all kids learning. We’ll use research-based strategies to get us where we need to be,” she said.
Thomas earned her Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in math, language arts, and social sciences, from Toccoa Falls College in 1985 and a Master’s in Education in Elementary Education from Clemson University in 1987. She earned her Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2007. In addition to her college degrees, Ms. Thomas earned her gifted education endorsement from Newton County Schools and Griffin RESA in 2004 and her Teacher Support Specialist from Newton County Schools and Griffin RESA in 1992. She is amember of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
She served as a mentor teacher from 1992 to 2007 and a student teacher supervisor in 1998, 1997, and 1991. She has also participated on numerous SouthernAssociation of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Review Teams and was also a member of the Rising Stars Program through Griffin RESA.
“Shari Thomas is an experienced elementary teacher, administrator, and college instructor,” said Newton County School Superintendent Gary Mathews. “Given her background, and depth of knowledge exhibited in her interview, I have no doubt that Livingston Elementary will be well-led when it comes to curriculum and instruction, parent involvement, and a focus on kids. She knows her stuff!”