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Habersham school chief to end 33-year career
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MOUNT AIRY — Judy Forbes’ 33-year journey in Habersham County schools comes to an end June 30.

The superintendent has announced her retirement "to pursue other interests."

She and husband Bruce "will spend more time with children and grandchildren, volunteering in our community and spending time at our beach home in St. Simons," said Forbes, 56. "I hope to have many more active years doing things that I haven’t been able to do while working."

Her husband, principal at Clarkesville Elementary School, also will retire in June.

Forbes began her career in the system as a 12th-grade English teacher.

She went on to work as a special education teacher in elementary, middle and high school and then as a special education director, curriculum director and assistant superintendent.

Forbes is in her fifth year as superintendent. She didn’t give the top job much thought until she was asked five years ago to serve as interim superintendent.

"Up until that time, I had never seen myself as being superintendent," said Forbes in an interview Monday at Habersham Central High School.

"I’ve always just enjoyed working in the school system and being part of what is going on here."

She said she felt blessed to give back to the "community that educated me and helped me become what I am."

Before going into administration, she was named the school system’s teacher of the year.

Forbes also is proud of how her daughter succeeded after receiving an education in the school system. Her daughter, Dr. Jennifer Jennings, is a Clarkesville pharmacist.

"Now I’m following my grandchildren and watching their successes," she said.

She has three grandchildren, Davis, Rebekah and Sarah.

Future challenges for the system center around the usual culprit, growth, and "responding to that growth and being able to accommodate the needs of children as we get bigger and bigger."

Forbes said the system also needs to adjust to the needs of a "very diverse population."