Special to the Enterprise
The Brantley County Board of Education this week announced the finalists in the search for a new school superintendent, including one former assistant principal at Brantley County High School, after several called meetings at which several candidates were interviewed and discussed in executive session but no action taken.
Anthony Smith, who currently serves as the principal of Pierce County High School (PCHS), is one of three candidates from whom the new superintendent will selected — a group which also includes a former student teacher at the local high school and the maintenance director for the Walton County school system.
Smith was the Lady Heron basketball coach, a social studies instructor and a football coach at BCHS before he was promoted to the position of assistant principal and athletic director in 1994 and then named principal at PCHS in 2001.
He earned his bachelor’s degree at Georgia Southern College in 1988 and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Valdosta State College in 1997 and finally a specialists degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2000.
His teaching experience includes a stint at Appling County as a social studies teacher, head coach of the girls’ basketball team, and a football coach, followed by his time at BCHS during which he was named the coach of the year by an area newspaper.
Smith was a Golden Gloves boxer from 1977 to 1986, winning two southeastern championships and making it to the finalist level in two national championships.
He was named a high performing principal by Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2008, and was among the final three contestants for the GASSP principal of the year in 2009, during which he was a speaker at the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement, followed by s speaking engagement at the Nation at Risk Youth Conference in 2011, and he was asked to speak at the Indiana Youth at Risk conference in 2011 as well as the National at Risk Youth Conference in spring 2012.
Smith has the most experience of the three candidates with 25 years and according to his application can begin the job on May 28.
Candidate John Ramsey also has a link to Brantley County schools, having completed his student teaching in the eighth grade math class under the supervision of former school board member Linda Marion.
He has the least amount of experience with 10 years but is one of two candidates with a doctorate degree. He graduated in 1994 from Douglas County High School just west of Atlanta, earning his bachelor’s degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Mercer University, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Mercer.
He began his career in 2002 at Pierce County Middle School but relocated to Atlanta in 2003 as a seventh grade math teacher until 2004, then became a seventh-grade gifted and collaborative math teacher in Clayton County in 2005 and an eighth-grade Georgia studies and geography teacher in Henry County in 2006 before becoming a fifth grade teacher this year.
Third candidate Russell Brock received his bachelor’s degree in history from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, his master’s degree is in educational leadership from the University of Georgia in 2003, and his doctorate is in educational leadership from UGA which he earned in 2003.
He began his teaching career in Greene County as a social studies teacher in 1993, then went to Madison County as an assistant principal in 2002 and to Oglethorpe County High School as associate principal in 2006. He also served as principal of Loganville Middle School beginning in 2008 and currently serves as the maintenance director for the Walton County school board.