I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Ware County Board Members for entrusting me in this position of leadership for such a prestigious school system. I am both honored and elated to have been chosen to lead so many fine educators. My wife, Cheryl and I have been educators for a combined 55 years. We have served in the trenches like many of you and we have seen great hardships, like many of you, as well as tremendous challenges, as you have. We have fought the tough fights and we have come out the other side. No doubt, we all face many future challenges including new budget hurdles, new testing issues, and of course new teacher evaluation instruments. Not to mention ongoing critics and attacks from external sources both economic and political. Through dedication, commitment, and teamwork, we will succeed!
I began my career as an educator 28 years ago upon graduation from Mercer University. I attended Pembroke State University in North Carolina, Mercer University, Georgia College and The University of Georgia. I currently hold a Bachelor of Science, a Master’s in Education and a Specialist in Education. I performed my Doctoral studies (ABD) at the University of Georgia. My beautiful wife, Cheryl will be teaching first grade at Wacona Elementary. We have four daughters, two sons and one grandson.
I have served as a teacher (elementary, middle, high, and college), a coach, an Athletic Director, an Assistant Principal, a Principal, and a Director of Education for the Department of Corrections. I am now entering my tenth year as Superintendent. My skills, knowledge, and experience have prepared me for this position. I am entering my tenth year as a school superintendent. These have been some of the most tumultuous years in public education. I understand full well how the political assaults have impacted classroom teachers and how the $7.6 Billion in cuts to Georgia’s public schools have hurt all system employees and students. I have had to deal with each budget cycle when those cuts were made out of Atlanta.
I also realized a long time ago that we must have a priority, a focus, a true North. It must always be pointed towards the needs of the students. In all that we say, think or do…we must always keep the first thing first, and the first thing must always be the students. They are our priority, our focus, our reason for being here.
School safety will always be one of the areas that we pay particular attention to as we continue on the path of school improvement. Students and staff need to be able to learn and work in an environment free of disruption, harm, and fear. This does not occur by chance. Like instructional improvement, school safety and emergency preparedness must be incorporated into both system and school level planning.
I consider myself a servant leader. To me these are more than mere words. Some serve their mission, and their beliefs by traveling to far corners of the world. I applaud those that do.
Cheryl and I prayed long and hard before our journey brought us to Ware County. We know that this is God’s path for us to be in Ware County. HE guided us in this direction.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Superintendent of Schools. Cheryl and I look forward to getting to know the community, the teachers, the students, and the parents both on a professional and a personal level.
Jim L. LeBrun