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Bowler to succeed Hildreth as superintendent

 

 

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent 

  Less than a decade ago, Ryan Davis was a Union Grove High School student who called Rodney Bowler his principal.

  Last week, as a member of the Henry County Board of Education, Davis had the opportunity to nominate Bowler to be the district’s next superintendent. He was confirmed by the entire board and will succeed Dr. Ethan Hildreth, who is retiring at the end of March.

  “Rodney Bowler is a great example of leadership and dedication,” Davis said after the meeting. “As a student I was the benefactor of a school that had the expectation of success in everything we did, whether it was academics, athletics or any of the many extracurricular options. I credit Mr. Bowler’s leadership to my own success, as well as that of many of my classmates’. I know he will bring the same attitude to this level, and I am excited for the future of our school system with him as superintendent.”

Rodney Bowler named superintendent.

Special photo

  Since starting in the school system as a special education teacher at Eagle’s Landing High, he served as an assistant principal at that school and principal of Union Grove High. He also served as the district’s human resources director before assuming his current role as assistant superintendent for administrative services in 2011.

  “We are excited to have Mr. Bowler as our next superintendent,” said the school board’s chairman, Dr. Pam Nutt. “He is familiar with this system and the employees are familiar with his strong leadership.  We know that great things will continue to happen for our students, staff, and community with him leading the charge.”

  With the decision coming nearly four months before Hildreth’s departure, the current superintendent and his successor will have ample time for “further transition planning and collaboration to ensure a smooth transfer of leadership,” according to a spokesperson for the district.

  But the two men have worked together far longer than just during their tenure as senior administrators in the central office. Their professional relationship goes back more than two decades.

  “We have worked together as teachers, as high school principals, and as school system leaders. [Bowler] is a man of integrity and an able leader who has successfully served the students, families, and community for many years,” said Hildreth.

  More than 20 applications were received for the position after Hildreth announced his upcoming retirement in September. Two finalists were announced in recent weeks before the board made its decision last week.

  Board member Erik Charles spoke at the meeting just before the vote, saying that he was opposed to the selection. He added that he had already talked privately with Bowler, and that he felt the board had not done enough to assure that the most qualified applicant available was chosen.

  Fellow board member Mike Griffin immediately spoke up, saying that Bowler was a leader and had the experience, integrity and trust that the school system needed in its top administrative position.

  At the time of the announcement Bowler made the following statement:

  “Being named as the fourteenth Superintendent for Henry County Schools is indeed an honor and I am truly humbled. It is with great respect, humility and passion that I look forward to serving the students, staff and community of Henry County as superintendent.

  “Henry County Schools is a destination school system.  Our mission, vision and goals are strong.  Our staff members and students are among the top in the nation and are well-positioned for continued greatness; this is evidenced each and every day both in and out of our classrooms.  Even in the face of tough economic times, the staff of Henry County Schools adheres to our motto of ensuring success for each student.

  The one constant factor that cannot be removed through some of the most challenging times in education is our staff’s love for children.  The staff of Henry County Schools is committed to each and every member of our family, and that first includes the nearly 41,000 students in our district.”

  A search will begin soon for a person to fill Bowler’s assistant superintendent post.

 

 

©Henry County Times, Inc.