Pickens County Board of Education named Dr. Rick Townsend as the only finalist for Superintendent in a special called meeting Tuesday. Four members voted for the motion while Sue Finley cast the only vote against in a meeting that was held partially in-person at the Board of Education building in Jasper with two members attending by phone.
As required by Georgia statute, a 14-day public comment period is now in effect.
On April 7, the Pickens County Board of Education voted to name Dr. Rick Townsend as the single finalist for the position of Superintendent. As required by Georgia statute, a 14-day public comment period is now in effect since a finalist has been named.
Townsend currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Golden Isles College and Career Academy in Brunswick, where he has been since 2010. He began is career as a teacher and coach in 1991 at Winder-Barrow Middle School. He has served as assistant principal at Jefferson High School from 1997 to 2002 and principal of Banks County Upper Elementary School from 2002 to 2005. He was then named principal of E.T. Booth Middle School in Cherokee County. He then served as principal, Assistant Superintendent and Acting Superintendent in Appling County schools prior to serving at the Golden Isles College and Career Academy.
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A Lithonia native, he and wife Carolyn have been married for 29 years. She is a kindergarten teacher and they have three children, Haley, Emily, and Molly. Townsend is a graduate of Reinhardt College, the University of Georgia, and the University of West Georgia, where he earned his doctorate of education in school improvement.
The decision was made after the board received 34 applicants from across Georgia and several other states. Of those, 14 candidates were interviewed and reference information gathered, leading the board to have in-depth interviews with four applicants. During this process, the board surveyed more than 200 school employees and more than 500 members of the community to determine which qualifications and characteristics were considered most important.
During the 14-day public input period, the board will finalize terms of employment. For more Pickens County school news, read our story about Tate Elementary.