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Gainesville City Schools Board names campus principal for Wood’s Mill

POSTED: March 19, 2013 12:51 a.m.

The Gainesville City Schools Board of Education announced the new principal for Wood’s Mill Academy on Monday and details of the school after Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School vacates the campus next year.

Daryl White, assistant principal of Gainesville High School, said the Wood’s Mill Academy currently houses Wood’s Mill High School and the alternative school. But next year the school will house both the Wood’s Mill High School and Middle School, along with the alternative school.

In an email to The Times, Superintendent Merrianne Dyer wrote that Wood’s Mill Academy will offer a grade six-to-12 program upon the evacuation of Fair Street with specially designed and self-directed hands-on learning.

“Wood’s Mill has a wonderful foundation of innovation, said Dyer. “Because Fair Street has shared the campus, it has remained small. We have not been able to expand it into a viable magnet option,” said Dyer.

She said the board is pleased that White accepted the responsibility.

“It is the cutting edge of education,” White said. He said it is following the state’s push for blended learning for students by using computers and teacher facilitators. If a student is having a problem on a computer, a teacher can take the student from the computer for individual work, he said.

The school can also offer more traditional classes that are not computer-based, along with more hands-on learning and smaller class sizes, he said.

White has worked for the Gainesville City Schools for eight years. He is also a social studies teacher at the high school. He also worked at the Franklin County school system for 11 years.

“I am not going anywhere yet. I will be finishing out the school year at the high school,” said White. He said he will be visiting the Wood’s Mill Academy at least once a week, for about a half a day.

“I want to observe and see all the things they are doing and build on their success,” he said.

Wood’s Mill Academy is a unique school that started four years ago, White said.

White will be covering all programs and communications for the schoolwide structure.

In addition to the board’s naming of a new principal, board member Sammy Smith announced a new community fund. It is called “Justice 4 Hannah” and it is to help find the killer of Gainesville High School freshman Hannah Truelove, who died in August 2012.

“She was one of ours,” said Smith.

Gov. Nathan Deal started the fund by authorizing $1,000 in reward money.

Truelove’s death was ruled a homicide by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office. She was found near Lake Lanier Club Apartments on Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville, where she lived with her family.

Smith said the reward fund was developed in hopes of encouraging more information for those professionals who are investigating her murder.

“Studies do show rewards help,” Smith said.

He told the board that the fund is privately set up and administered with the Independence Bank of Georgia.

“We need to encourage the investigation that will lead to an arrest and conviction,” Smith said.

Residents, friends, colleagues and family can drop off contributions to the bank on Green Street, he said.

“We have the blessing of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the attorney general’s office,” said Smith.

Other board activities included:

Recognition of Jerry Castleberry, director of transportation, for winning the Philip Wright Award for going above and beyond for disabled students.

Recognition of athletic achievement for student wrestlers Chastin Newman, Ken Flenoy, Tyrek Fleming, Triston Cantrell and Kash Jones.


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