After four years as a principal in Habersham County, Wes McGee is headed back to the district where he spent 19 years as a teacher and administrator.
McGee, who has been principal at Habersham Central High School since 2013, was unanimously named principal of Hall County’s new seventh high school that will open at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
“I’m extremely excited about it,” McGee said Monday. “It’s like coming home.”
School board members unanimously approved Superintendent Will Schofield’s recommendation of McGee at its meeting Monday night. He will begin work July 1 and will have offices at both Johnson and Flowery Branch high schools for the 2017-18 school year, according to school district spokesman Gordon Higgins.
“We’re just as excited as we can be,” said Schofield, who added that Habersham Central has made improvements in several areas under McGee’s leadership during the past four years, including a graduation rate he said was up “double digits.”
“Wes is quick to say it was a team effort, and ‘that’s not me,’” Schofield said. “That is the kind individual we want in our school district.”
The currently unnamed seventh high school will be on a campus with a seventh middle school at the current Flowery Branch High School when it opens in a little more than a year. The new school will be taking students from Flowery Branch and Johnson, both of which are over capacity from recent population growth in both school communities, according to a statement from the school district.
McGee was a science and math teacher at East Hall Middle School from 1994-2005 and then an assistant principal at East Hall High from 2005-2013. He said he has not worked on a campus with both middle and high school students before, but McGee is looking forward to it.
“I am familiar with both middle and high schools, and I think it will be a wonderful blend,” he said, adding that he likes to look at “challenges as opportunities.”
“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity,” McGee said of his new job. “I look at it as an artist with a blank canvas and you’ve got a team that you’re going to work with that puts all the colors together and makes a beautiful portrait.”
He will be responsible for putting together a team of teachers and staff and working with others to develop a vision for the new school.
“I believe that relationships are the foundation,” he said. “Given that, it’s taking the time to build those relationships with the faculty, with the staff, with the students, with the parents and with the community as a whole. I believe that’s one of the most important pieces in the foundational aspect of making everything work together.”
Schofield said the principal for the new seventh middle school would likely not be selected until toward the end of the first semester of the 2017-18 school year.