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In the Loop

  • CCSD Names New Principals at Cedar Shoals, Clarke Central, Chase Street, Stroud and JJ Harris

     

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    Derrick Maxwell.

    Derrick Maxwell is returning to Cedar Shoals High School. Maxwell—the former Whit Davis Elementary principal who led Cedar Shoals through the unpleasant spring of 2016 after Tony Price was suspended—was named Cedar Shoals’ principal once again. Maxwell had applied for the permanent job two years but was passed over in favor of DeAnne Varitek, who is moving on, and became a middle-school principal in Commerce instead.

    Maxwell was among five of Means’ personnel recommendations the school board approved Thursday night. Chase Street Elementary assistant principal Andrea Neher will move up to replace Adam Kurtz. Stacie Carson and Beverly Harper had the interim tag removed at Stroud and JJ Harris, respectively. Harper replaces Xernona Thomas, whom Means promoted to chief of staff earlier this year. And Swade Huff, a former Clarke County educator who most recently served as principal of a Newton County middle school, is the new principal at Clarke Central. The principal position at Whit Davis remains unfilled.

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  • Bertis Downs on the State of Athens Schools

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    Photo Credit: Screenshot via Vimeo

    Best known as R.E.M.'s lawyer, Athens resident Bertis Downs has been an advocate for—and become something of an expert on—public education for many years.

    With new superintendent Demond Means shaking things up (see Karen Sweeney Gerow and Tommie Farmer's recent op-eds for two differing perspectives on Means' reforms) Downs had some thoughts he wanted to share. But he had difficulty putting them on paper, so instead he made this video and sent it to Flagpole.

    In it, Downs advocates for continuing the decentralized approach that the Clarke County School District agreed to pursue when it became a charter system. 

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  • Gaines Slams Gonzalez at Oconee GOP Meeting

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    Houston Gaines.

    Steven Strickland and Marcus Wiedower are competitors in the Republican primary on May 22, but they made it clear in comments to the Oconee County Republic Party late last month that they share the goal of taking back Georgia House District 119 from the Democrats in November.

    Both blamed “complacency” for their and the party’s defeat in the four-person special election held last November to fill the unexpired term of Republican Chuck Williams. The election was won by Democrat Jonathan Wallace.

    Houston Gaines, who has no competition in the Republican primary for Georgia House District 117, formerly held by Republican Regina Quick, was harsh in his criticism of incumbent Democrat Deborah Gonzalez, who defeated Gaines in another special election last November for the 117th Georgia House District.

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  • Forum Sheds Light on Athens Judicial Candidates

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    Law professor Kent Barnett asked six questions of each of the four candidates seeking to be elected as a Superior Court judge for the Western Judicial Circuit at a candidate forum held at the University of Georgia Law Library late last month.

    The first two of the questions seemed like they could have been taken from a law school quiz, and the remaining four dealt with administrative issues the two winners of the May 22 nonpartisan general election are likely to deal with on the bench.

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  • Richie Knight Releases 21-Point Plan, Loses Another Campaign Manager

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    If you liked Kelly Girtz's five-point plans on affordable housing, economic development and the environment, you're gonna love this, comrade: Fellow mayoral candidate Richie Knight has released a plan with, as LeBron James might say, not five, not six, not seven, but 21 points. You can read it here.

    In other Knight news, another of his campaign managers, Cameron Jay Harrelson, has resigned. He follows on the heels of Monika Ammerman, who left last summer, and Loran Posey, who was hired to replace Ammerman, then left last fall and went to work for the Girtz campaign. (In a rather extraordinary move, Knight sued Posey for a libel over a Facebook post that was critical of Knight, a lawsuit that Knight recently dropped.)

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  • Kelly Girtz Releases Environmental Plan

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    Commissioner Kelly Girtz is the kind of guy who has a five-point plan for brushing his teeth in the morning, so of course he has one for the environment, too.

    Scheduled for release on Earth Day, it just went out a few days ago, and we are just now getting around to posting it. Oh, well. Here it is:

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  • Harry Sims (Finally) Responds to A4E Questionnaire

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    Mayoral candidate and former commissioner Harry Sims has been feuding with Athens for Everyone over the D- grade it gave him, based in part on his failure to fill out the group’s questionnaire. Well, Sims finally filled it out last week.

    In it, he gets in a couple of digs at his favorite foil—activists who speak out—as well as opponent Kelly Girtz, and explains his concerns about various policies A4E favors, such as fare-free transit and Complete Streets.

    Here are his answers:

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