Upon the conclusion of a called Emanuel County Board of Education meeting last Thursday, Swainsboro High School had a new principal and four other individuals were selected to serve in similar administrative positions throughout the district.
Brandon Andrews, a born and raised Swainsboro man with a storied history as a Tiger, will return to Swainsboro High in a few weeks for his first day as principal of his alma mater.
Prior to the promotion, Andrews served as one of Swainsboro’s two assistant principals.
The 37-year-old takes on the role with 14 years of experience in the profession. He holds a bachelor, a master’s, and a specialist degree.
A born-and-raised hometown product, Andrews graduated from Swainsboro High School in 2001. A shining student-athlete, he was a member of the school’s 2000 state championship football team.
“‘I am extremely elated and grateful,” Andrews said about being named principal. “It is with the absolute utmost esteemed honor, distinction, and prestige to be named principal of Swainsboro High School. SHS has a storied history of some of the best educational leaders to grace its halls. To be a part of such a rich history is truly beyond any words of expression.”
He continued about his goals for the school, “My goal is to serve our students, faculty, staff, and community and to help them reach their maximum potential to achieve ultimate success.”
Also at the called meeting, the board named Swainsboro’s two new assistant principals: Jonathan Moses, who has a story similar to that of Andrews, and Lindsey Sconyers.
Moses comes to Swainsboro from Columbia County Schools’ Evans High, where he taught social studies and coached football as well as soccer. He, too, was born and raised in Swainsboro. He is an SHS Class of 2002 graduate and a former member of Swainsboro’s 2000 state championship football team. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Augusta University as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership from Georgia College & State University.
About being hired, Moses said, “It’s an honor to be able to return home and serve as one of the assistant principals at Swainsboro High School. I would like to thank Superintendent Mr. [Scotty] Hattaway and the Emanuel County BOE for making this opportunity possible. I look forward to working with all staff at Swainsboro High and all the communities in Emanuel.”
Moses is married to his wife, Daphne, and enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and being an educator.
The remaining assistant principal position will be filled by Sconyers. A Bulloch County native, she graduated from Portal High in 2003. Sconyers has a bachelor’s in middle grades education from Georgia Southern and is on track to complete the graduate program there in 2022. She has spent 14 years teaching math in the local system with that tenure being divided between time at both Swainsboro Middle and Swainsboro High. In the past, she has chaired her grade level, coached softball, chaired her department, and worked on the school improvement leadership teams. She is married to Ted Sconyers, with whom she has two children: 12-year-old Emma and an upcoming fifth grader, Colt.
“I am what can be described as a ‘transplant Tiger.’ I may not have graduated from SHS, but I have fully embraced the concept of “once a Tiger, always a Tiger” over the last 14 years. When we are not at a baseball field or cheer competition, my whole family can be found sporting the Black and Gold of SHS at the many athletic events we attend,” Sconyers said. She continued, “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve the stakeholders of Emanuel County Schools in my new role as assistant principal of Swainsboro High School. Throughout my career, I have been lucky to have been mentored by the best educators and administrators in the state of Georgia. It is my greatest pleasure to be able to serve SHS in this capacity. I am excited for the chance to lead by example alongside our new principal, Mr. Brandon Andrews, and fellow assistant principal, Mr. Jonathon Moses.”
The principal role at Swainsboro was left vacant Dr. Denise Warnock’s promotion to assistant superintendent to fill the retirement of Toni Terwilliger. The two assistant principal roles were vacated by Andrews’ promotion to principal and Ron Hirst’s promotion to principal at Swainsboro Primary following the retirement of Maribeth Clark.
The board then proceeded to shuffle three others into leadership positions at various locations. Sarah Tapley will assume the assistant principal role at Swainsboro Primary, Dondrea Geter will be the new head of alternative education, and April Woods will serve as instructional coach.
Tapley graduated from Swainsboro High School in 1999. A 17-year educator, she worked 11 years in the classroom before dedicating the last six as instructional coach for SPS. She has a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern, a master’s in elementary reading and literacy from Walden University, an add-on to that master’s from Columbus State University, and will finish her Ed.S. in December from Augusta University. She and her husband, Andy, have two sons, 15-year-old son Caden and 12-year-old son Cullen.
Tapley fills the assistant principal role left vacant by Geter’s move into alternative education. His stint as Swainsboro Primary principal lasted three years. Prior to that, he worked for Wheeler County High School in his hometown of Alamo. He holds a bachelor’s from GC&SU, a master’s from Cambridge College, and a Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University.
Additionally, seven new teachers were hired by the board last Thursday.
Carneshia Bell will teach at SMS, Brionna Flood will instruct at SES, Candice Hadden will be in the classroom at SES. Additionally, Holly Harkins will teach at SES, Felecia Harris at SMS, Schuyler Johnson at SMS, Linda Kelly at SHS, Davont’e McCall at SES, Morgan Obodoako at SMS, and La’Tina Rountree at SES. [Editor’s note: These hires and their locations are subject to change.]
The board also made Molly Pollock media specialist at ECI and moved April Woods into the position of instructional coach at Swainsboro Elementary School.
In other meeting news, board members unanimously approved the consent agenda, which consisted of the 2021-2022 Custodial Vendor Management Program with Kamo in the amount of $99,600 and the 2021-2022 Pest Control Services Contract with Parrish Pest Management in the amount of approximately $10,780.
Superintendent Hattaway also went over modifications to Policy GARH, which covers employee leaves and absences, as well as Policy EDE(3). According to Board Bits sent out by the system on Friday, June 25, this particular policy saw a change “allowing home study students to participate in extracurricular or interscholastic activities in enrolled in and attempting to complete one qualifying course as defined in state law for each semester of participation. These changes will be voted on by the board [on] July 20.”
Other approved personnel changes included the following:
• Classified employments — paraprofessionals Alexis Dickens, Caleb Fields, Tamy Hughes, Elizabeth Sanders, and Brianna Tapley; substitute teacher Donna McKenzie; and custodian James Walker.
• Certified resignations — teacher Marissa Thompson and Head of Alternative Education Rusty Kea.
• Certified transfer — teacher Sheena Hill from Swainsboro Middle School to Swainsboro High.
• Classified transfer — Human Resources Specialist Lynn Stevens to Accounting Specialist.
The Emanuel County Board of Education’s next meeting will be held Tuesday, July 20, at 5:30 p.m.