IN BRIEF: Mary Ann Suddeth, the director of the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology since 2005, was unanimously approved as the next principal of Rockdale County High School. Dr. Debra Arnold, RMSST's assistant director since 2005, was unanimously promoted to head the Magnet school by the Rockdale County school board Thursday.
In a letter to parents sent out Friday, July 11, Suddeth said, "It is an honor to introduce myself as the new principal of Rockdale County High School. I am excited to kick off the new school year and feel fortunate for the opportunity to lead this school as we strive for excellence."
"I have worked at RCHS since 2001, first serving as a mathematics teacher and later as a member of the administrative team. Serving as an administrator on campus for twelve years and Director of Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology for the past nine years has allowed me to fine tune my skills as an instructional leader, and I am anxious to bring my expertise to Rockdale County High School on a larger scale... I am passionate about meeting the needs of all students through individualized instruction and academic advisement and feel confident that Rockdale County High School will become a model school in Georgia over the next five years as we integrate an innovative and engaging approach to education."
Prior to becoming the Magnet school director, Suddeth had been the Magnet school assistant director and had also taught math at the Magnet school and in Newton County and Clayton County.
Arnold had previously taught as an technology education teacher in RCHS and in Illinois.
Current RCHS principal Georgi Nour, who has headed the school for five years, alerted parents and students June 20 that she was leaving for a position with the Metro Regional Educational Service Agency.
In a recorded phone message sent out to parents, Nour said, "I have accepted a position and will not be returning to Rockdale County High School for the upcoming school year... This position will provide me with a broader scope of experience in high school instructional leadership... The principal position was posted today and the county office is working quickly to find the best candidate for my replacement... It has been a pleasure serving as your principal for the past five years."
The Metro RESA serves public school systems in Rockdale, Forsyth, Cobb, Gwinnett, Douglas, Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb.
The Rockdale County school board had previously been scheduled to vote on the RCHS principal position but a finalist reportedly withdrew. The school board voted 6-0 (board member Sharon Pharr was not present) on the positions after Thursday night's regular worksession.