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Forensic science class to be offered at new Hall high school
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Not too many years into the future, a forensic scientist may process a crime scene for evidence that proves crucial in solving an important case and bringing a dangerous criminal to justice.

And the path toward that forensic science career may have started at Cherokee Bluff(s) High School.

A job posted on the Hall County Schools website last week lists an opening for a criminal justice/forensic science teacher at Cherokee Bluff(s), which is scheduled to open in August 2018. The school has not yet decided whether the name will be singular or plural.

“Criminal justice is much more popular than it used to be,” Principal Wes McGee said Wednesday. “Look at all the CSI-type shows that you have that are out there and when you tie the forensics in and the science piece of it and even the technology, it’s just a tremendous opportunity to fill a niche and provide those opportunities for students.

Available at Cherokee Bluff(s) High School

2018-19 school year

Law, public safety, corrections, and security cluster area

Law enforcement services/forensic sciences pathway

Introductions to law, public safety, corrections and security

Criminal justice essentials

Forensic sciences and criminal investigations

Law enforcement services/criminal investigations pathway

Introductions to law, public safety, corrections and security

Criminal justice essentials

Criminal investigations

“That’s what we’re looking to fill and provide, something that’s relevant and real and give that to the students. I do look at it as we’re going to be a school that has some opportunities that kids may not get in other places.”

Kevin Bales, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for Hall County Schools, said Cherokee Bluff(s) will have a law, public safety, corrections and security cluster area that has two specific pathways with three courses each. Bales said the cluster area, pathways and courses have been approved for use for the first time in Hall County during the 2018-19 school year. The cluster includes a law enforcement services/forensic science pathway and a law enforcement services/criminal investigations pathway.

The criminal justice/forensic science teaching position is among more than a dozen teaching positions currently on the Hall County Schools site for the new school. Head coaching positions are posted separately for football, baseball and boys and girls basketball, wrestling, volleyball, softball, cross country, boys and girls golf and boys and girls soccer.

In addition to traditional teaching positions like mathematics, social studies and English, the new school has also posted other less traditional jobs like an engineering teacher and a metals technology teacher.

New school hiring

For a current list of job postings for the new Cherokee Bluff(s) High School, visit

“I believe that this is just an opportunity to do something not only amazing, but unique and offer some things that you don’t see out there everyday,” McGee said.”There’s actually an engineering class at Flowery Branch, so you do see some of those. The forensic science contained within criminal justice, that’s definitely unique. It something that I’m sure there’s a school out there that has it, but there’s not that many.”

Dawn Jordan, assistant principal at Gainesville High School, said in an email Wednesday afternoon that her school has two ways students “can take courses that relate to forensics.” One is a fourth science course designed to build upon science concepts and to apply science to the investigation of crime scenes. Gainesville High also offers a course in criminal investigation and forensics, which she said is part of a  three-course law enforcement services pathway.

McGee’s job post is looking for someone with a teaching certificate in law, public safety, corrections and security. Among the requirements for the job are two years of “verifiable occupational work experience in the field.”

McGee said a teacher with field experience in an area like forensic science makes the class “relevant for kids” by bringing “those real-world experiences into the classroom … and being able to share from that perspective.”

He added he hopes to be able to bring in representatives from the FBI office in Gainesville to “be a part of what we’re doing here.”

McGee said he has had “interest in every single area” from people who would like to be have a job in the new school. That interest has been from more than just Flowery Branch and Johnson high schools, which are also located in South Hall.

“From the moment that I was officially announced, my phone blew up,” he said. “Hall County is just an amazing place to be, and the opportunity presents itself in the new school. There’s a lot of people outside of Flowery Branch and Johnson that would love to be a part of it. That’s within Hall County and outside of Hall County as well. This is a high-profile situation. There’s a lot of interest in it.”

McGee said the coaching positions have generated interest and applications and said he expects to have more interest once seasons are completed for sports like football.

“I anticipate that as the (football) season winds down that many, many, many more applications will come through,” he said. “That’s the way that it generally works for all of your coaching areas. Typically, you don’t get a lot of in-season inquiries.”

McGee added that he and others, including a parent committee, are working on finalizing a mascot for the school and school colors. He said he plans to announce the mascot and colors and unveil the school’s new website simultaneously.

He added that he hopes to have all faculty and staff selected by the end of the 2017-18 school year.

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