County forum allows residents to meet candidates for superintendent

In the second of two town forums at Dutchtown high school, community member were granted the opportunity to meet and question finalists for superintendent.


Taylor Watkins

Crowds gather at Dutchtown High School. This was the second of two town forums for the finalists.

Taylor Watkins, Editor-in-Chief

On September 14th the application closed, on October 9th the finalists were announced, and now in an effort to introduce to the community the two individuals in the running for superintendent, the board of education organized two town forums at Henry County High School and Dutchtown High School.

Superintendent is a position appointed by the board of education in a county, and Dr. Douglas Hendrix of Clayton County and Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis of Cobb County are the current selection for this top county position.

“Hopefully these candidates both are good, and hopefully the most qualified will be selected,” Kasey Carroll, Ola High Alum, said before the session Monday.

Though many at the forum were residents of Henry County, a few people showed up in support of a particular candidate like Selienia Johnson and Chariesse Williams from Clayton County who wanted to show their support for candidate Dr. Hendrix

“We’ve been around Dr. Hendrix for the past 12 or 15 years, he was in Clayton County, and that’s where our children grew up,” Johnson said.

“He would be the best choice,” Williams said.

Taylor Watkins
Dr. Hendrix waits for his introduction. He spoke first on Monday.

Last Thursday, Dr. Cobb spoke first at the Henry County High School forum, so on Monday Dr. Hendrix spoke first at Dutchtown. First the candidates gave an introduction and then answered pre-prepared questions from the audience.

Dr. Hendrix grew up in Gainesville in a single parent home. He went to Fort Valley State University for his bachelors, Columbus State for his masters and Nova Southeastern University for his doctorate. He has been a teacher, an assistant principal and a principal. Then he moved to the central office and was the director of human resource and then chief of human resources. He is currently an assistant superintendent.

Dr. Hendrix moves through the crowd. He moved to Locust Grove earlier this year.

“I bring a unique set of skills to this job. In my district all individuals who wear the title leader have to be involved in academics,” Dr. Hendrix said.

Dr. Davis has worked in both Gwinnett and Cobb county. She has been a teacher and education policy advisor as well as an assistant superintendent. She is coming from a job as chief academic officer.

Taylor Watkins
Dr. Davis speaks to community members. She used to work in Cobb County.

“I believe that all children deserve an exceptional learning experience and it is up to the adults in an organization to get it right for kids,” Davis said.

After the their introductions the candidates answered questions anywhere from their plans for new programs to extended lunchtimes, these questions allowed the community members a chance to know the finalist’s views on different issues.

There will be at least a two week waiting period before the superintendent can be appointed, this means that the earliest date by which the county would have a new superintendent in Oct. 23rd.