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New Superintendent speaks to Rotary Club of Conyers
New Rockdale Public Schools Superintendent Rich Autry (pictured on left) and School Board Chairman Wales Barksdale attended the Rotary Club of Conyers meeting Thursday, where Autry spoke about the future of the school system. - photo by Kathy Hooks

New Rockdale County Schools Superintendent Richard Autry was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Conyers Thursday.

School Board Chairman Wales Barksdale was on hand to introduce and welcome Autry.

In addressing the club, Autry said he was "proud and honored and vested to be your superintendent" and also explained he understands what the public school system means to this community. Autry said in the future the school system's focus has "got to be more than about test scores and AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), its got to be about producing young people that know how to give back, know how to serve their community and know how to become productive members of their community."

He said there will be also be stronger focus on key initiatives that include doing a better job of advisement, expanding college and career readiness, integrating professional learning plans and digital resources and expanding educational options to fit each student's interest, aptitude or talent. Autry also said the system plans to strengthen local government collaboratives to find measures to improve the quality of education and the quality of life for students.

Autry was selected as superintendent on June 25 and started his new position on July 1. He has over 23 years experience in education, the past 12 being spent in Rockdale County Public Schools. He was the chief academic officer and internal strategic plan facilitator before being selected as the new superintendent to replace Dr. Samuel King, who left for a position as Superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools in Norfolk, Virginia.