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Former N. Hall band director surrenders certificate
Kirkland will be able to petition for right to reapply for new teaching license after 3 years
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A former North Hall High School band director, who resigned in the spring following allegations of an improper relationship with a student, recently surrendered his teaching certificate.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission halted its ethics investigation of Alan Keith Kirkland, 37, as a result of the surrender Oct. 14.

The commission opened an investigation on Kirkland in June.

Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield said the district had an idea of how the matter would end.

"The fact that he no longer has a teaching certificate, we expected that to happen," he said.

Kirkland was hired as the band director at the school in 2004 and directed the marching, symphonic and jazz bands and taught music theory.

A fellow teacher reported suspicions of Kirkland's relationship with a senior girl.

Kirkland admitted he was confronted by administrators and resigned shortly thereafter, North Hall Principal Joe Gheesling said.

"We talked to him about some issues, and he chose to resign for personal reasons. We allowed that to happen," Gheesling said.

Gheesling said Kirkland was in good standing with the school before the allegations.

Voluntary surrender has the same effect as revocation, according to Hall County Schools Associate Superintendent Richard Hill.

Kirkland will be able to petition for the right to reapply for teaching certification after three years, Hill said.

The issuance of a new license will be at the discretion of the standards commission.

In the meantime, he will not be permitted to serve as a teacher, paraprofessional, substitute or volunteer.

The suspension was also reported in a national database.

"If a certificate was taken action against in one state, that's recognized by all other states," Hill said. "He can't go into another state and get a certificate."

Hall County Schools spokesman Gordon Higgins said the district had total confidence in the Professional Standards Commission to look into the matter.