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Clarke Co. schools superintendent announces plans to retire

By Joe Johnson

Clarke County Schools Superintendent Xernona Thomas has announced plans to retire at the end of next year.

Her planned retirement on Dec. 31, 2022 will mark the end of 31 years of service in public education in Athens-Clarke County.

“Though my tenure may be coming to a close over the next year, I will approach each day with the same commitment that I have in the past,” Thomas wrote in a message to the Clarke County School District community. “The expectation that I hold for myself and each of you is that we give our best every day to ensure our students reach their full potential.”

Thomas’ entire career centered around serving students and families. After earning three degrees from the University of Georgia, she began her career as a school social worker in the Clarke County School District. Her roles included school social worker, assistant principal, principal, and chief of staff. Thomas was the first principal to lead Judia Jackson Elementary School.

In December 2019, the Board of Education named Thomas as interim superintendent and then appointed her superintendent in December 2020.

“We appreciate the stability Dr. Thomas provided during the last two years and look forward to her continued leadership, "Board of Education President LaKeisha Gantt said. “The Board of Education will begin discussing the superintendent search process when it meets in December.”

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