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Monday May 4th, 2015 4:08PM

Franklin to lead Habersham Ninth Grade Academy

By Rob Moore Reporter
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CLARKESVILLE - South Habersham Middle School Principal Connie Franklin has been tapped to lead the Habersham Ninth Grade Academy following the resignation of Principal Stan Rentz.

The transfer is effective Feb. 3, said Habersham County School Superintendent Matthew Cooper.

"We are excited about the transfer of Connie Franklin to the ninth grade academy," Cooper said. "We are certain that Ms. Franklin will provide excellent leadership to the students and teachers at NGA. Ms. Franklin is an excellent principal who has done great work in her time as the principal of South Habersham Middle School. Her experience as a veteran administrator and her experience as a high school teacher will serve her well as the principal of NGA."

Rentz will stay on at NGA until Jan. 31, Cooper said.

"Ms. Franklin has served as principal at South Habersham Middle School for the past eight years, and was also the assistant principal at South Habersham Middle for two years," Cooper said. "Now that the board of education has approved the transfer of Connie Franklin to NGA, we will immediately post a principal opening at South Habersham Middle School."

The board acted quickly to select a person to fill the top post at the ninth grade academy, and is expected to do the same for the opening at SMHS.

"Since these changes are occurring in the middle of the school year, we will move as quickly as possible to have a new principal in place at South Habersham," Cooper said. "Moving forward, the administrators of the ninth grade academy and Habersham Central [High School] will continue to work together to ensure that the students at NGA remain a vital part of the Habersham Central family. Mr. Doug Westmoreland will continue to serve as the assistant principal for the ninth grade academy, as well as the director of the alternative school and Success Academy."

Westmoreland is responsible for the duties at the ninth grade academy, alternative school and Success Academy, all located on the NGA campus near the high school.

"Connie Franklin and Doug Westmoreland will make a great administrative team at NGA," Cooper said. "Both of these leaders have a heart for students, and they will ensure that NGA continues to operate as an exceptional place for our ninth-grade students to learn and succeed."

Habersham County Director of Secondary Schools Pam Dalton also had good things to say about Franklin.

"She is a proven leader who has much to offer the students and staff of the ninth grade academy," Dalton said. "I look forward to working with her as she assumes her new role."

Rentz was hired by the Jeff Davis County Board of Education last week, and will serve as assistant principal of Jeff Davis High School in Hazelhurst, as well as the system's communications director.

After beginning his career in Johnson County, Rentz served as a middle school teacher in Jeff Davis County for 11 years before moving to Rabun County for seven years. He is in his sixth year at the Habersham Ninth Grade Academy, having served the previous five as assistant principal.

Rentz received a bachelor of communication in 1985 from Georgia Southern College, and also has a master's of education in leadership and a doctorate of education in leadership.
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