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Meet your government: Official delights in diversity
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World Language Academy first-grader Nitzia Guzman reads a book in Spanish to Dave Moody, director of elementary education.

Meet your government
Every Monday, The Times takes a look at someone who keeps local government running smoothly.

Dave Moody has been an educator for more than 17 years, but he said the past five years directing elementary education in Hall County schools have been the best.

The Newark, Del., native began teaching math in Cobb County elementary schools and then worked in gifted elementary education systemwide. He moved on to serve as principal of Emerson Elementary in Bartow County for two years.

It was during his year with the state Department of Education, where he worked with principals as a leadership facilitator, that he first encountered Hall County schools.

He began working with Eddie Millwood, then-principal of East Hall Middle School, to help boost student achievement.

"That’s how I met the people in Hall County and the people in the system," Moody said. "I fell in love. It’s the best system I’ve ever been around or ever will be. It’s the people. Period. They’re focused on kids."

He said the sense of community in Gainesville is unparalleled.

"The Gainesville community is truly special," he said.

Since 2004, Moody has helped implement the Singapore Math program in Hall schools and has worked closely with parents and administrators to develop the World Language Academy and foster more charter schools in the district.

"That has probably been the neatest thing — not the one size fits all, take it or leave it (concept)," he said. "And that’s (Superintendent) Will (Schofield’s) leadership and the school board’s."

Moody oversaw the World Language Academy through its first school year last year, and has returned to the academy this year.

He said he enjoys the diversity of students at the academy. Some are from other countries while others are from the Midwest and bring different dynamics to the multicultural school.

"The thing that I no doubt enjoy the most is learning about other cultures and learning about where people are from," he said. "... I’ll never forget that."

Moody and his wife, Beverly, have a 7-year-old daughter, Carragan, and a 3-year-old son, Brock.

An avid fisherman, Moody said his dream is to go trout or salmon fishing in British Columbia.

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