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Mance named GHS principal

POSTED: November 8, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Chris Mance

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It’s official — Chris Mance is the new principal of Gainesville High School.

The Gainesville City Board of Education appointed Mance, who has been serving as the interim principal of Gainesville High School, after a closed session at the board work session Monday.

Mance was named interim principal in late June when Mike Kemp, former campus principal of Gainesville High School, took a job as assistant superintendent for student achievement for the Glynn County school system.

Before serving as interim principal, Mance was an academy principal, or the assistant principal, of Gainesville High School for seven years.

Merrianne Dyer, superintendent of Gainesville schools, said the Gainesville High School Governing Council recommended the school board appoint Mance as the permanent principal. The school board approved Mance for the position with a unanimous vote.

Dyer said the high school governing council recommended she relay its support of Mance’s permanent appointment to the school board. She said students and parents at Gainesville High School have expressed "overwhelming support" for Mance’s permanent appointment.

"He leads by example," Dyer said. "He is thoughtful in making decisions. He leads in a quiet way."

Dyer said she and the board support Mance’s initiative to explore better ways to teach and learn at the high school in an effort to motivate students in the classroom and ultimately improve the school’s graduation rate, which stands at about 80 percent. Dyer said Mance also is planning to implement a more rigorous course sequence and is reviewing alternative ways to better use school time.

Mance is now in his eighth year as a Gainesville school system employee. Last year, he served as principal of Gainesville High School’s Civil International Academy following six years as assistant principal for the high school.

Before Mance came to Gainesville High School in 2000, he served as the assistant principal at Elbert County High School.

Prior to becoming an administrator, the Rabun County native was the boys’ head basketball coach at Rabun County High School for 13 years. He also coached golf and baseball and assisted the football coach at Rabun County High School.

Mance earned his undergraduate degree from Piedmont College, and went on to earn his masters in administration and leadership, as well as his specialist degree in administration and supervision, from Clemson University.

Mance said he feels he’s been fortunate enough to have a supportive faculty and student body at Gainesville High School.

"I was ready to make that jump," he said of the promotion.

Mance said he hopes to integrate a roughly 45-minute remedial enrichment period into the school day to allow students who are unable to stay after school to spend more time on their studies.

"My No. 1 goal is to continue the traditions and build on them and try to make schools fun, to make sure that they’re successful, to prepare (students) for whatever world they choose," Mance said. "That’s the ultimate goal of schools, is to prepare them for the future. So our teachers are going to touch the future every day."



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