The Bulloch County Board of Education approved Dr. Mary A. Felton of Rockdale County Public Schools as the school system’s new assistant superintendent of teaching and learning its work session meeting Thursday (January 23). Felton will assume the role previously held by Dr. Fran Stephens, who resigned October 18, in order to accept a position with Bryan County Schools.
Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson said “Dr. Felton’s experience, knowledge and personality are a great fit for the school system and the strategic initiatives that we are undertaking in order to benefit public education in Bulloch County. She’ll be a great asset to our team.”
Felton currently serves as both an assistant principal at Sims Elementary School in Conyers, and Rockdale County Public Schools’ district literacy coach. Felton was one of four finalists from an applicant pool of 88 educators.
Felton will lead a team comprised of seven program area directors and more than 30 employees. The position reports directly to the superintendent of schools and is one of only three assistant superintendent positions in the school system, along with the assistant superintendent of human resources and the assistant superintendent of organizational effectiveness.
In her new role with Bulloch County Schools, Felton will oversee the following: curriculum and instruction for grades pre-k through twelfth; gifted education programs; the Career, Technical & Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs; pre-kindergarten program; preschool disabilities program and services; school nurses; student services; the district’s Transitions Learning Center, which is the alternative education program; the Communities and Schools program; and all special education services.
Felton has served in her current position for five years and was seeking a promotion to the assistant superintendent level. She previously served with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools as a literacy coach and teacher for 21 years. While in Florida, Felton also served as an adjunct professor for Barry University.
She is a National Board Certified Teacher and a former teacher of the year (Howard Drive Elementary) and reading teacher of the year (Dade Reading Council – Florida). She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from South Carolina State University, and she received her master’s and specialist’s degrees from Barry University in elementary education and reading. She received her doctorate degree in educational leadership in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University.
A six-member committee made up of local and area secondary and post-secondary educators and administrators. Of the 88 initial applicants, 67 met all the criteria for the position. After further review of the qualified applicants' documentation, the committee narrowed the list to eight applicants to interview. These interviews took place at the Central Office during November and December. Committee members included the following: Dr. Kevin Judy, BCS assistant superintendent of human resources; Monica Lanier, BCS assistant superintendent of organizational effectiveness; Dr. Elazer Barnette, Savannah State University's associate vice president of academic affairs/planning dean for teacher education; Dr. Tom Koballa, dean of college of education for Georgia Southern University; Linda Evans, Statesboro High School counselor; and Marlin Baker, Brooklet Elementary School principal.
The committee recommended four finalists to Superintendent Charles Wilson, who interviewed the finalists and allowed employees within the Teaching and Learning Department, to have an opportunity for dialogue with them as well. Wilson recommended Felton to the Board during Thursday’s executive session.
Dr. Fran Stephens, who is now an assistant principal at Richmond Hill High School, served Bulloch County Schools for 22 years. She was an English language arts teacher for 13 years at Southeast Bulloch High School. She then spent two years as the school system’s curriculum director and eight years as assistant superintendent. The Bulloch County BOE also appointed her to serve as interim superintendent May 30 - July 19, 2012, during its seven-week search for a new superintendent. Stephens relocated to be closer to family in the Brunswick area.