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New superintendent
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On Tuesday night, the Newton County Board of Education will choose Dr. Gary Mathews’ successor as superintendent of the Newton County School System.

Mathews, in his three-year tenure, has managed to turn around an education system that was heading toward a failing grade. Proof of this progress is evidenced by state grades released last week that showed improvement in every school and almost produced a "B" average for all of the schools combined.

It’s comforting to know that Newton County schools are improving, and this improvement helps us economically and restores faith in a public school system that was at one time floundering.

Mathews was successful at changing the culture of the system through implementation of transparency, a system of accountability, and strategic investments in leadership and teacher training.

By providing all stakeholders with unprecedented access to information, all groups were engaged in the change process, and this brought about a hunger for excellence throughout the system.

With due respect to all three of the finalists, it seems the best choice to continue this path toward long-term success and excellence in Newton County’s public education system is Samantha Fuhrey, current deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Newton School System.

Both this newspaper and the community are proud of what has been accomplished under Dr. Mathews’ leadership, and we very much want to keep up the momentum and drive for increased standards of performance for our education system.

This newspaper feels Fuhrey will continue to build on the practices that Dr. Mathews has implemented, and thus keep the system heading toward receiving an "A" grade.

We encourage the Newton School Board to name Samantha Fuhrey as our new Newton County School superintendent.