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Danny Ellis stepping down as Calhoun County Schools superintendent

CCSS in the market for its next superintendent

Calhoun County School Superintendent Danny Ellis is retiring at the end of the school year after three years as the system’s chief. The district has launched a search for his replacement , whom they hope to have in place by April of 2014. (Special Photo: Joe Westbury, Christian Index)

Calhoun County School Superintendent Danny Ellis is retiring at the end of the school year after three years as the system’s chief. The district has launched a search for his replacement , whom they hope to have in place by April of 2014. (Special Photo: Joe Westbury, Christian Index)

MORGAN — After three years as the superintendent of the Calhoun County school system, Danny Ellis is retiring at the end of the school year and the district has launched a search for his replacement.

“(Ellis’) departure is not a surprise. He’d previously told us that he planned to retire on June 30, 2014,” Calhoun County School Board Chair Alvin Williams said Monday. “Personally, I hope that he uses his multitude of skills in some capacity for progressing public education here in the state of Georgia.”

The Board of Education has approved vacancy announcements and a plan for advertising the vacancy and is prepared to receive applications. The Board is advertising the vacancy across Georgia by posting notices with the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA), with the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA), and by mailings to all school systems and to all professional employment agencies typically monitored by aspiring superintendents both within the state and across the southeast.

The Board believes the already strong school system will help to attract applicants from both Calhoun County and from outside the region.

“The board is definitely looking for someone whose first priority is the best interests of students in the Calhoun County School System as well as keeping the taxpayers’ best interests in mind,” Williams said. “We are hoping that we get a qualified candidate who knows how to “squeeze a dollar” during these tough economic times.

An application deadline date of Jan. 15, 2014, has been established by the Board. The Board anticipates reviewing applications and interviewing the most qualified candidates in early February. A tentative time line for the search projects that the Board will name Calhoun’s next Superintendent of Schools in April 2014.

The Board plans to consider opinions of community members and system employees in the selection process. To collect input from community members, the Board has posted an electronic survey on the school system website. The Board encourages teachers, parents, students, and interested community members to participate in the selection process by completing the survey.

Ellis, who came to the Calhoun County School System from Clinch County, said the system has made great progress during his three years at the helm.

“During the past three years, we have increased instructional rigor, enhanced system-wide technology integration, fully implemented the middle school concept, and increased the graduation rate,” he said. “But the accomplishment that I am most proud of is the fact that Calhoun County Middle School and Calhoun County High School have both been named Georgia High Progress Reward Schools for two consecutive years (2013 and 2014).”

Williams said Ellis is an asset to the district and that he will be missed.

“Mr. Ellis established a framework for success. He established short-term and long-term goals for the district, created unity among the administration, encouraged & promoted community involvement, and maximized FTEs (full-time equivalency) for our financial gain, all while keeping our students first,” Williams said. “The board actually has a running joke with Mr. Ellis. At each meeting, we jokingly ask if he’s really sure that he wants to retire. In his usual modest demeanor, he smiles and politely declines.

“Under his leadership, our board has become an even tighter unit. He’s a consummate professional. The proverbial shoes that he will leave here are very large. Mr. Danny Ellis will be missed by the community, the board, the faculty, the staff, and the students of the Calhoun County School System.”

As to the legacy he will leave behind, Ellis kept it simple.

“Twenty years from now, I hope I will be remembered as one who genuinely cared for minority students and worked diligently to ensure that the quality of education in Calhoun County School System was second to none,” he said.