High school football: Johnson hires Hephzibah’s Harrell as new coach

The Hall County School District announced a number of personnel changes and departures from top administrative leaders on Friday, April 19.

Gordon Higgins, director of athletics and community relations who has served as the school district’s spokesman, will retire at the end of June.

Higgins has spent 47 years working in education, and 39 years with Hall County.

“It’s been a pleasure,” he told The Times.

Stan Lewis, principal of Johnson High School, will assume Higgins’ roles while continuing to lead the school.

Jonathan Edwards, who is currently the assistant principal, will be given the title of associate principal at Johnson High to reflect “a lot more of the school leadership duties,” Higgins said, so Lewis can meet the demands of his new roles.

Brad Brown, meanwhile, will retire from the role of assistant superintendent of human resources at the end of May. Superintendent Will Schofield, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Kevin Bales, Assistant Superintendent of Technology Aaron Turpin and Executive Director of Leadership Development David Moody will take over these duties on an interim basis.

Rhonda Samples, who already directs the school district’s Career, Technical & Agricultural Education programs, will take over for Moody as executive director of the Lanier College & Career Academy.

“We are implementing a plan to surround her with the support she will need to accomplish these roles with excellence,” according to a school district press release. “Jeff Jenkins will remain the chief operating officer of LCCA.”

A Hall County teacher has been named a finalist in the Georgia Department of Education’s annual Teacher of the Year competition.

Francisco “Frank” Zamora teaches U.S. History at Johnson High School. He is among nine other finalists from varying school districts in the state competing for the title of Teacher of the Year.

Zamora will join the other finalists at a luncheon Monday, where they will all give a speech and meet with a panel of judges for a formal interview.

The winner will be announced on May 2019.

Zamora was initially selected as Johnson High’s teacher of the year, then as the Hall County School District teacher of the year. Then, his application for the 2020 title was chosen from a pool of applicants and read by a panel of judges, according to a press release from the DOE. The applicants were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.

Other finalists include Kristen Applebee with the Georgia Academy of the Blind, Amy Arnold with Colham Ferry Elementary School, Dr. David Bishop Collins with Fernbank Science Center, Carlos Hernandez with General Ray Davis Middle School, Lewis Kelly with Newton High School, Tracey Nance Pendley with Burgess Peterson Academy, Stephanie Peterson with Westside Elementary School, Kiana Pinckney with Palmetto Elementary School and Teresa Thompson with South Tattnall Middle School.



Congrats to the Johnson Boys Soccer team as they become Johnson’s first State Champions.

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