Summer construction ramps up for Whitfield County Schools

·2 min read

Jun. 7—With the 2021-22 school year concluded, summer construction projects have begun for Whitfield County Schools, said Mark Gibson, chief operations officer.

"There's a lot of construction — well, right now, a lot of demolition so we can get to construction" — at several sites, Gibson said during Monday's Whitfield County Board of Education meeting. That includes Southeast Whitfield High School, where renovations of bathrooms, the gym floor and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are ongoing, and "it's going to turn out really nice."

Northwest Whitfield High School is receiving similar enhancements, although the gym floor there is "just refinishing," Gibson said. Northwest is also receiving substantial roof work both this summer and next summer.

Cohutta Elementary School is undergoing extensive repairs to the roof, bathrooms and HVAC this summer, Gibson said: "If you go over there, bring a hardhat."

Dawnville Elementary School completed a new gym floor earlier this month, Gibson said. The Whitfield County Board of Education voted 5-0 during May's meeting to pay Impact Sport Surfaces Inc. of Deerfield Beach, Florida, $82,284 for the gym floor replacement at Dawnville Elementary.

Also this summer, the school system's teaching and learning department is busy reviewing the 2021-22 year and planning for the 2022-23 year, said Deputy Superintendent Karey Williams.

"We do all that work in advance to be ready."

Teaching and learning employees "are an All-Star team, no doubt about it," said Superintendent Mike Ewton.

Members of the department are reviewing testing data of students, more details of which will be released later in the summer, Williams said.

"(We want to know) what our needs are, (what our focus) should be in professional learning, how are we going to fund (those professional learning communities) and how are we going to schedule them."

In mid July, Whitfield County Schools principals, assistant principals and instructional coaches will meet for two days for an instructional workshop at the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy, Williams said. The final week of July will be new teacher orientation — at least 100 new teachers will be entering the school system for 2022-23 — which is "fun, like a summer camp."

Whitfield County Schools will have four new principals in 2022-23, according to Kris Horsley, communications specialist for the school system. Carrie Bates will be the new principal at Antioch Elementary (previously the assistant principal there), Brittany Sewell will be principal at Valley Point Elementary (previously the assistant principal there), Rena Graham will be taking over the principal position at Beaverdale Elementary (previously the assistant principal at Pleasant Grove Elementary) and Tracie Dempsey is moving from her role as principal of Antioch Elementary School to be the new principal at Eastbrook Middle School.

"I am super excited about taking on this new role as principal and absolutely love that I'll be serving Valley Point Elementary again for the upcoming school year," Sewell said.