The Gainesville City Schools Board of Education is prepared to offer a new contract to Superintendent Jeremy Williams, a full year before his current deal expires.
In an email to The Times, board chair John Filson said, “It is the board’s intent to bring forth a new three-year contract starting the next fiscal year, 2020.”
“The details of the contract are currently being finalized and once finalized the contract will be voted on as required by law,” Filson said. “We remain positive about the direction and leadership Dr. Williams has provided to the Gainesville City School System and look forward to working with him in the years to come.”
Williams, whose current contract pays him $160,000 annually, was hired in Spring 2017 to replace Wanda Creel when she resigned after three years with the school system.
Williams left the classroom in 2007 to join the staff of the Pioneer Regional Educational Service Agency, where he served in different capacities over five years, where he worked with 14 Northeast Georgia school districts, including Gainesville. During those years, he led Pioneer RESA teams that did Georgia Assessment on Performance and School Standards visits at Gainesville High, New Holland Elementary and Centennial Arts Academy.
In 2012, he was named assistant superintendent for Union County Schools and was promoted to associate superintendent two years later. He credits Gary Stepp, the superintendent who hired him in Union County, with giving him a wide range of opportunities during the past five years.
Board member Andy Stewart said Williams has shown in his first two years that he takes the job “seriously.”
“I’m excited about the direction we’re heading under his leadership,” Stewart said. “He’s the face we needed after a tough three years. I look at him and I see him on a mission.”
In an August 2018 performance review by the board after he finished his first year on the job, Williams received high marks and praise for his organization and delegation of duties; his preparedness for meetings and public events; his active measures to provide new social support services and address the needs of all students and families of all races and backgrounds.
Recommended improvements, which served more as spotlight on initiatives the board wanted Williams to pursue, included continuing to address campus safety and security; continuing to develop better public relations; continuing to address career pathway programs; and preparing a comprehensive budget that includes input from community “stakeholders.”
While Williams has one year remaining on his current contract, Stewart said he thought it was important to go ahead and extend a new contract now.
“Entering his last year, it shows a commitment from us that we want to go another three years,” he added.