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LEADERSHIP CHANGES FOR THE 21-22 SCHOOL YEAR

In a called meeting on May 25, the Gordon County Board of Education approved some changes to the leadership at schools within the district.

Amy Stewart will step into the principalship at Sonoraville High School beginning the 2021-2022 school year. This decision comes following the retirement announcement of the current principal, Jennifer Hayes.

Stewart has served as principal at Red Bud Middle School since 2018, and she is no stranger to Sonoraville High School. In 2005, Stewart transferred to SHS as a member of its inaugural faculty from Gordon Central High School where she started her career. During her teaching tenure, Stewart was named District Teacher of the Year on two different occasions, once going on to be named a state finalist. She has presented on multiple occasions on both state and national stages to share her expertise with colleagues across the nation. In 2008, Stewart took on the role of assistant principal at Sonoraville High School. In this capacity, she served as a Fellow for the nationally recognized Schlecty Center and conducted multiple professional development sessions for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Stewart is a Gordon County native and graduated from Gordon Central High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Shorter University, a master’s degree from Berry College, and an educational leadership specialist from Lincoln Memorial University.

Stewart said of her return to Sonoraville High, “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead a school where I previously served as a teacher and administrator for more than a decade. I look forward to working with the staff, parents, and Sonoraville community to ensure the best educational experience possible for our students.”

Replacing Stewart at Red Bud Middle School will be Justin Timms. Timms has served as principal at Belwood Elementary School since 2017. He is a native of Gordon County and an alumnus of Gordon Central High School. He began his teaching career at his alma mater before moving into administration as the assistant principal at Red Bud Elementary School. He later moved to Red Bud Middle as assistant principal, where he assisted in the opening of the new facility in 2014.

Timms is a graduate of Shorter College and holds graduate degrees in educational leadership from Kennesaw State University and Georgia College and State University. He is an active member of the community, where he has served on the board of directors for the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce, the Voluntary Action Center, and the United Way of Gordon County. His professional recognitions include being named 2006 Gordon Central High School Inclusion Teacher of the Year, 2009 Gordon Central High School Teacher of the Year, and 2009 Gordon County Schools Teacher of the Year.

Timms is entering his 18th year as an employee of Gordon County Schools. As he returns to Red Bud Middle, he expressed his gratitude for the opportunities he has had in the district, “I am very thankful to be a part of the Gordon County School System. I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to serve as the principal of Belwood Elementary School for the last 4 years. I am excited about the future and looking forward to getting to work at Red Bud Middle.”

Stepping into the role as principal at Belwood Elementary will be Red Bud Elementary’s assistant principal, Monica Holt. Holt, a native of Gordon County and an alumnus of Fairmount High School, has worked for the school system since 1994. She has served in many capacities and schools throughout the district.

Early in her career, Holt served as a paraprofessional at Red Bud, Swain, and Belwood elementary schools. After obtaining her teaching certification, she became a teacher at Belwood Elementary before moving to Sonoraville Elementary in 2009. In 2013, she began serving at Red Bud Elementary, where she worked as a math instructional specialist before being named assistant principal in 2016. “I am excited to begin the 2021-2022 school year as principal of Belwood Elementary. I am eager to serve the community where my teaching career began. As principal, I am dedicated to continuing the standard of excellence in education by building exceptional students," said Holt.

Holt holds a bachelor’s degree from Covenant College, a master’s degree from Piedmont College, and a specialist degree in educational leadership from Berry College. She also recently completed the district’s Aspiring Principal’s Academy and has completed Leadership Gordon County.

Holt resides in Calhoun with her husband Mark and children Madison and Morgan Holt who are graduates of Sonoraville High School.