SYLVESTER -- After being one of three finalists in the 2007 Worth County School System superintendent search, Barbara Thomas became the county's next superintendent when she was promoted at a recent Board of Education meeting.
Thomas, who starts July 1, replaces retiring third-year Superintendent Jim McMickin. She is the school system's fourth female superintendent, following Lila Trammell, Lizzie J. Deariso and former state Rep. Earleen Sizemore, who were all elected to the post.
Thomas has been Worth County's personnel director since the 2007-08 school year. She was named the principal at Worth County High School from 2005 to 2007 and was the Career Technical and Agricultural Education director/assistant principal from 2001 to 2005.
"I am thankful for the opportunity and challenge of serving as superintendent for the Worth County School System," Thomas said in a news release. "My varied career experiences have prepared me to provide leadership for students, teachers and staff. While these are certainly very trying times for public education, my focus for the WCSS remains constant. We will continue to increase student achievement by providing a quality education for all students."
Worth County Board of Education Chairman William Jenkins said the board was happy about its selection of Thomas, who will be Worth's fifth superintendent since 2000. She was preceded by Alan Kimbro, who left in 2000; Donald L. Slate, who left in 2003; Gary Russell, who left in 2007, and McMickin, according to Worth County Public Information Director Heather Faircloth.
"We are excited about Dr. Thomas beginning her tenure as superintendent and look forward to working with her to progress our school system," Jenkins said. "We are confident that she will lead our school system with professionalism and uphold our mission to ensure a quality education for all students leading to graduation and productive citizenship."
Before joining the Worth County School System, Thomas worked in the Colquitt County School System from 1987 to 2001. She served as a health care science teacher at Colquitt County High School and was the department chair for trade and industry.
Before public education, Thomas was a registered nurse at Colquitt Regional Medical Center, nursing supervisor and the director of industrial nursing, which is a component of the education and training department.
Thomas earned an associate's degree in nursing from Abraham Baldwin College in 1969 and her bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Valdosta State University in 1990 and '92, respectively. She earned her doctorate through Nova Southeastern University in 1998, and completed the requirements for her leadership degree at Albany State University.
McMickin, who announced his retirement in February, has served in various roles in the Worth County School System since 1976. These positions included teacher, assistant principal, Title 1 coordinator, technology director, personnel director, assistant superintendent and superintendent.
Worth County has a high school, a middle school, an elementary school and a primary school. The school system has approximately 3,700 students.