Sixty-four year old Dr. Jessie Shields Strickland was Bulloch County’s first female superintendent. She also had the distinction of being the first female school superintendent in the Elizabethton, Tennessee, city school system.
After graduating from East Tennessee State Strickland was an educator for more than 43 years. During that time she worked in Elizabethton and Kingsport, Tennessee, and Claxton and Statesboro in Georgia.
While in Statesboro Strickland was assistant professor in school law and leadership theory at Georgia Southern University, supervisor of instruction and vice president for academic affairs at Ogeechee Technical College and a reading specialist at Claxton High School.
Bulloch County school superintendent Charles Wilson told a group who gathered last night to remember her she was “truly a good person with a good heart” and cared about her students and the community.
Ogeechee Tech President Dr. Dawn Cartee remembered Dr. Strickland as a “dedicated educator whose enthusiasm was evident in everything she did.” Cartee said she loved Statesboro and Bulloch County and “left an indelible mark on many lives.”
Survivors include her husband of 39 years, Robert “bob” Strickland, a daughter and son-in-law, grandchildren, a sister and brother-in-law and other relatives and friends.
A memorial celebration of life is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, September 22, at Wilmington Island United Methodist Church in Savannah.