New principals at seven Henry County schools

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

Seven veteran educators are taking the reins at various public schools in Henry County as new principals.

They are Dr. Sherri Edwards at Dutchtown Elementary, Shevy Glenn at Smith-Barnes Elementary, Brian Keefer at Hampton Elementary Charter, Jennifer Laughridge at East Lake Elementary, Ryan Meeks at Union Grove High, Dr. Attenya Scott at Locust Grove Elementary, and Derrick Thomas at Eagle’s Landing Middle.

They come from a variety of backgrounds in and out of the school system. Edwards is beginning her 22nd year in Henry County schools, most recently as assistant principal at Rocky Creek Elementary. Before that she spent nine years as a middle school teacher and nine years as an elementary school teacher.

She is now at the helm of a school with some unique initiatives, including the Chinese immersion program that is entering its third year and will serve students in kindergarten through second grade. She is enthusiastic about seeing the many young people coming through the doors in the next week and the families they represent.

“I haven’t met the students yet, but I’m told it is a very diverse population,” she said Friday. “I’m very excited about that.”

She is not looking to come in and make sweeping changes. “My main objective is to immerse myself in the culture and build relationships, then move forward from there.”

Union Grove’s new principal is in his first year in a Henry County school. Meeks was most recently an assistant principal at Spalding High School and has been an educator for 15 years, working in Butts and Spalding counties.

Like Edwards, Meeks is in the top job at a school for the first time. Since there are only two high schools in Spalding County, it stands to reason that an opportunity to become a principal would surface sooner in Henry. It was the opportunity, along with Union Grove’s reputation, that led him to work in McDonough.

“I was aware of Union Grove’s tradition of excellence,” he said. “I was excited to apply and certainly glad that I was selected.”

He has been on the job since June 1 and met throughout the summer with students, parents, faculty and staff. Only 11 new teachers have come to Union Grove this fall from elsewhere, a sign that he has a staff of veteran teachers who like where they work.

“I think it’s good to have a fresh set of eyes that can see things we can tweak and improve,” he said. “Those are the things I’m examining right now as we get the school year started. But I’m certainly not going to come in and change the world.

To learn more about each new principal, visit his or her school’s individual website. Select from the drop-down menu at the top of the school system’s home page,