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Class Notes: Centennial Arts Academys Frierson to serve as principal
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Leslie Frierson, assistant principal at Centennial Arts Academy, will assume the role of principal at the end of the year.

The personnel change was approved at the Gainesville City Board of Education meeting last week. Frierson will replace Principal Charlene Williams, who is retiring at the end of the year.

“I’m honored to be named principal of Centennial,” Frierson said. “Having served as assistant principal to Charlene Williams for the past six years, I believe I’m prepared to lead the school in continued success.”

Frierson said the school’s students, dedicated staff and supportive parents make the opportunity to serve “very special.”

In other news at the school, the Centennial PTA recently offered a donation of $11,220 to purchase 30 iPads for student use in school. The monetary donation was accepted at the district level at the same school board meeting last week.

UNG nursing program expanding to Gainesville

Prospective nurses will have a greater opportunity to study nursing in Northeast Georgia, thanks to an expansion at the University of North Georgia.

The university is expanding its four-year nursing program to its Gainesville campus, according to a release from the university. The first cohort on the campus will begin in spring 2016, and applications have already outnumbered the available slots.

Currently, nursing students on the Gainesville campus must transfer to the Dahlonega campus or another school after completing two years of core classes. The expansion will allow these students to remain on campus all four years.

Dr. Kim Hudson-Gallogly, nursing department head, said about 50 more registered nurses will graduate from the Gainesville campus per year initially, but the eventual goal is to graduate approximately 120 nurses per cohort, same as the Dahlonega campus.

To support the expansion, three more full-time nursing faculty positions will be added and a “virtual hospital” will be constructed on the campus, with the hopes it will be complete by fall 2017.

Hudson-Gallogly said the expansion is ideal in part because Gainesville is a medically oriented area.

“This, coupled with projected nursing shortages nationwide and especially in the South, makes our Gainesville Campus a critical location for nursing education,” Hudson-Gallogly said. “This expansion is a direct response to help meet those current and projected needs. Also, the presence of so many medical facilities, including the top-ranked Northeast Georgia Medical Center, provides a number of opportunities for partnerships.”

Kristen Oliver covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: