A longtime administrator with the Gainesville City School System has been named the new President and CEO of Elachee Nature Science Center.
Sarah Bell, who currently serves as Deputy Superintendent with the Gainesville City School System, will take the reins from Andrea Timpone on May 1, 2021.
"I am honored to have been selected to lead this great organization,” said Bell in a statement released by Elachee's Board of Trustees. "This community has afforded me so many opportunities and I’m excited to use the skills I have learned while also returning to my first love – science education."
Bell is a native of Gainesville, and she had worked for Gainesville City Schools for 29 years.
"“Being part of Elachee feels like things are coming ‘full circle’ for me. Everything that I believed as a teacher about the importance of hands-on, outdoor learning is represented in Elachee’s core values," Bell said.
The Elachee organization officially launched a national search last fall in anticipation of Timpone's retirement. She served at Elachee for 35 years.
"The selection process began in the fall of 2019 with a Search Committee of 10 individuals chosen from current and former Elachee Trustees and Elachee staff,” said Search Committee Chair Mike Whitmire, a former Elachee Trustee Chair who served nearly 20 years on Elachee’s Board of Trustees. “After conducting interviews with the most qualified of the dozens of applicants from around the country, the committee was extremely confident in recommending two highly qualified individuals to the Elachee board for their selection of the organization’s next President and CEO.”
Bell's was named to the post for a number of reasons, including her work in the educational system and her close ties to the local community.
"Sarah Bell’s years of work in the K-12 educational system, her knowledge of the community and love of nature make her highly qualified to lead Elachee, as our organization is focused on providing environmental education and developing an appreciation of nature for all ages," said current Elachee Board of Trustees’ Chair Emily Bagwell.
For the full statement from Elachee, follow this link.