New staff prepare for upcoming Worth Co. school year

New staff prepare for upcoming Worth Co. school year

SYLVESTER, Ga. (WALB) - A new principal, finance director, and staff members coming into one Southwest Georgia school system all said they are ready to take the school district to the next level.

“Change is a part of life,” said Worth County Superintendent Bill Settle.

Bill Settle (Source: WALB)
Bill Settle (Source: WALB)

Settle said the changes coming to his school district are for the best.

“No matter how good we are today, we want to be better tomorrow,” Settle explained.

Settle said it’s time for everyone to play their role.

This comes after a semester full of packed parent and school board meetings and student led protests.

“Their job is not to be concerned about the adult stuff,” Settle said.

Worth County High was at the center of the controversy, which is now under new leadership.

“I’m thinking about the future. And the bright future that we’re going to have here,” said Principal Scott Kersh.

Scott Kersh (Source: WALB)
Scott Kersh (Source: WALB)

Kersh said he’s in the right place.

“From the time that I interviewed here to the time that there was an offer made to me and an acceptance, I never had any doubt this was where I wanted to be,” said Kersh.

The completion of the new school helps too.

Seth Freeman, the new finance director for the district, said they’re in a good spot.

Seth Freeman (Source: WALB)
Seth Freeman (Source: WALB)

“Improving our transparency and improving our internal control. Just trying to improve everyday and we’ve already come a long way in the time that I’ve been here,” said Freeman.

By putting data online and reporting to leadership faster, Freeman said better prepares them for the future.

“We’re using the counties money, the tax payers’ money, and I want it to be used in the way that makes the most sense,” said Freeman.

Freeman said they gave teachers a $3,000 pay raise, students test scores have gone up and this is over the fifth year with no millage tax rate increase.

“We’re excited. Worth County Schools I think, I don’t know if it’s the best kept secret or the worse kept secret,” said Settle.

The high school also has a new band director, Johnny Hallman, and students are eager to get started.

Johnny Hallman (Source: WALB)
Johnny Hallman (Source: WALB)

Hallman said he’s also excited about a band program starting at the elementary school, directed by a Worth County alum.

“Mr. Settle really wanted to implement this elementary band program and not many schools in Georgia much less South Georgia are doing this. So I am really excited because through Mr. Lumpkin’s elementary band, he’s going to be introducing them to this and that’s only going to pay dividends for all of us down the line,” said Hallman.

Teachers will be back on campus in two weeks.

School will begin on Aug. 1.

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