October 15, 2018

Friends and colleagues honor retiring superintendent

Mr. Prince with his school board office staff (L-R): Jackie Grover, Sheri Calhoun, Marianne Cole, Jenny Googe, Mr. Prince, Tammy Alford, Mike Roberts, Rodney Kay, Anita Wood, Ashley Lasseter, and Sabrina Lawson

Mr. Prince with his school board office staff (L-R): Jackie Grover, Sheri Calhoun, Marianne Cole, Jenny Googe, Mr. Prince, Tammy Alford, Mike Roberts, Rodney Kay, Anita Wood, Ashley Lasseter, and Sabrina Lawson

(Franklin, GA) — Current and former teachers, administrators, students and staff joined community leaders and school board members Sunday afternoon to bid farewell to longtime Heard County educator and superintendent Mr. Jerry Prince.

The gathering was held in the cafeteria at the Heard County Middle School, and appropriate venue to celebrate the retirement of the very first principal of the middle school.

Prince was the first to take the reigns at HCMS when it opened in 2002, but his history as an educator started way back in 1987 as a math teacher at Heard County High School.

Along the way, he also served as an assistant principal at HCHS (1992-2002) and an associate superintendent at the central office (2004-2010) before taking on the superintendent’s role in 2010.

Outside of the school walls, Mr. Prince was also active in the community. He taught Sunday school and sang in the choir at the First Baptist Church in Franklin and served in the same roles more recently at Glenloch Baptist Church.

Prince was very thankful to all those that stopped by the celebration to wish him well.

“Today was just unbelievable,” Prince said Sunday afternoon at the event. “I am humbled that so many people came out — it was so good to see people that I haven’t seen in such a long time — especially a lot of the people that I worked with when I first came here and a lot of people I worked with through the years. I am just honored.”

The retiring educator says he will miss so many of the people, but he is looking forward to spending more time with his family. Prince is married to Katrina and has one son, Jason.

“More than anything else I am most looking forward to spending more time with my family. This job is very time-consuming and there are many nights and weekends that you spend away from them,” said Prince. “But I will miss the people. I have formed friendships that have lasted 30 years. I am especially proud of the folks that I taught in school that now work here. I am especially proud for them and of them.”

One of those people that Prince has both taught and worked with is middle school teacher Ginger Cornelius. Mrs. Cornelius has been a student of and worked with Mr. Prince throughout most of his time at Heard County.

“I’ve been blessed to have known Jerry for almost 30 years in so many capacities, and I will always cherish his friendship, leaderships, and the priceless memories we have shared,” says Mrs. Cornelius. “I know his legacy will live on, and that we will continue loving Heard County kids. May God now bless his retirement and much-deserved time with Katrina and Jason.”

One of the most missed contributions of Mr. Prince will be his regular Friday email he would always send to out to faculty members county-wide.

Prince has spent a large amount of time over the past few months working with the next superintendent Rodney Kay. He says the time spent with Mr. Prince has been invaluable to him.

“The biggest thing about Jerry is just him being such a genuine guy,” says Kay. “He has taught me so much about education — but more importantly is to be able to watch a guy that lived out his faith each and every day. Jerry’s motto was putting the kids first, and it wasn’t just a motto — it’s something that he did on a day-to-day basis. I am extremely grateful to have learned from him and had the opportunity to spend so many years with him.”

Mr. Jerry Prince with his wife Katrina and son Jason at the retirement celebration

Mr. Jerry Prince with his wife Katrina and son Jason at the retirement celebration

Another person to have spent many years working closely with Mr. Prince is current Heard Elementary counselor June Barber. She became choked up while trying to put into words what Mr. Prince has meant to her personally.

“Jerry Prince is one of the most Godly and best men I have ever met in my life,’ said an emotional June Barber. “I thank God for him giving me a chance and never giving up on me and for the support and love he has shown me through the years and for the love he has had for every kid at Heard County since 1987.”

Barber added that she hopes Prince will still visit all the schools on a regular basis and remember to ‘be at the bus stop when the bus stops.’

The large gathering enjoyed a slide show of past photos as well as appetizers and refreshments from Great Events out of Carrollton.

Some of the Prince’s past teaching colleagues in attendance included Ed Brown, Kenneth Redding, and Stephen Daugherty along with many others.

Kay will assume the role as the new Heard County Superintendent on January 1, 2017.

Prince’s Friday email message on December 2 echoed his philosophy and motto as an educator. “This is my message to you and will be until I walk out of this place, LOVE OUR KIDS!”

Comments

  1. Holly Barton says:

    Thanks for understanding why i was late so many days Senior year Mr. Prince! You helped me out more than you will ever know that year in particular. Enjoy your retirement. You deserve it. I wish I had been there. The trifecta of my favorite teachers was there!

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