April 18, 2014

HHS principal informs faculty he will not return for 2013-14 school year

Russell Sowell, the current Heard High School principal, announced to his faculty last week that he will not be returning for the 2013-2014 school year.

Sowell spoke about the decision as well as his time here in Heard County during a Monday morning interview in his office: “Last Wednesday afternoon Heard County Superintendent Jerry Prince and I sat down and talked and it was decided in that meeting that the high school needed new leadership. Thursday afternoon, I let my faculty know that I would be resigning effective June 30, 2013.”

The principal has been in education for 22 years including administrative time at both Worth County and McIntosh County in South Georgia. He became the Heard High School Principal prior to the 2007-2008 school year.

Sowell stated that he expects to turn in his official resignation sometime this week.

Superintendent Jerry Prince issued the following statement on Monday: “Even though Mr. Sowell has told me he plans to resign and that he has met with his faculty and told them he is leaving, he has not officially tendered his resignation. Until such time that he does I feel that I do not need to make any type of statement.”

Sowell spoke fondly of his time here in Heard County where he resides with his wife, Hope and his young daughter, Anna Bay, a kindergarten student at Heard Elementary. “This is the best place I have ever worked. It is the best community I have ever lived in and I have no regrets. I know where the school was when I got here and I know where it is now,” stated Sowell.

Sowell noted the many changes the school has undergone during his tenure with the implementation of several new programs— including the Braves Block and the addition of a ninth grade academy. He also expressed a lot of pride in rising EOCT and other test scores during the past few years.

“For six years I haven’t taken credit for anything— that’s not my nature— I don’t do that. I have always given credit to these teachers and my assistants. It is kind of like athletics, you’re only as good as the folks playing for you and I have the best folks in the world working for me and with me,” added Sowell.

“The struggle that Hope and I are having now is trying to explain to my 5-year-old why she is having to say goodbye to her house and her friends. This community has welcomed our family with open arms. That is the saddest part about it. We now have a home. We have worked and been other places— but they were never home. We love it here in Heard County. I have been very fortunate— not many principals can say they have been able to work in a high school with facilities like this.”

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further details when they become available.

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