Schools to hire new superintendent

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

The Henry County School System is about six months away from having a new superintendent.

Rodney Bowler, who has been in that office since the spring of 2014, announced to the Board of Education at its April 10 meeting that he is retiring. The news reportedly came as a surprise to the school board but Bowler said his last day on the job would be Sept. 29, meaning there is plenty of time to plan the transition.

Bowler’s successor will be the fifth superintendent for the district in a decade. Jack Parish spent eight years in that office until his retirement in the summer of 2008, after which Michael Surma served there for two and a half years until his retirement. Ethan Hildreth took over from January of 2011 until retiring and being succeeded by Bowler.

Starting his Henry County career as a teacher as Eagle’s Landing High School in 1990, Bowler was the first principal of Union Grove High School when it opened in 2000. He later served in various administrative roles before being chosen as superintendent.

In other news from the school board meeting, a $1,912,500 contract was approved with Kennesaw State University for coaching of school system personnel in instructional technology training. The plan to be implemented at all 51 schools calls for district-level training and planning with administrators, instructional coaches, and personalized learning coaches at each school as well as district-wide training/workshops, according to a staff report.

“Coaches will spend 70 percent of their time alongside teachers in the classroom, providing a peer relationship and partnership approach to professional learning. This time will consist of co-planning lessons as the technology liaison, relying on the content area teacher to be the lead,” according to the report. “Coaches will follow a gradual release approach by first modeling a tool or strategy, then co-teaching, and finally allowing the teacher to independently deliver more blended and personalized learning.”

More detailed information about the plan can be found at the school system’s website.

The school board also approved breakfast and lunch prices for the 2017-2018 school year. Prices are mostly unchanged from the current year.

For students in kindergarten through fifth grade, breakfast remains $1.15 while lunch increases from $2.30 to $2.40. Students in grades 6-12 will see the same $1.15 breakfast cost with a bump at lunch from $2.40 to $2.50.

Staff prices will not change, $1.75 for breakfast and $3.00 for lunch. There is also no change for adult visitor prices, which are $1.75 for breakfast and $3.25 for lunch.