The Bulloch County Board of Education approved the promotion of Bernard Bodison to lead Mattie Lively Elementary School as its principal beginning July 1.
“I see this as an opportunity to continue to foster a positive learning environment where students and educators have the ability to thrive,” Bodison said in a news release after the Board made the decision at its regular Thursday meeting.
Last month, it was announced that current Mattie Lively principal Al Dekle would take over as principal of Langston Chapel Elementary on July 1.
Bodison said he has learned the importance of effective communication, empathy, and strategic decision-making from working with Dekle.
“These qualities have undoubtedly shaped my leadership style, and they will continue to guide me as I take on this new role,” he said.
Bodison served as one of two assistant principals at Mattie Lively during the current school year. Though new to Bulloch County, he has nearly 10 years of experience as an administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels, according to the release.
“Being here (MLES) this school year has allowed me to learn about the school, its students and staff, and the great community that supports us,” Bodison said.
He previously served the Savannah Chatham County School System for 17 years beginning as a mathematics teacher at Bartlett Middle School in 2005. Bodison was a science teacher and athletic director at Derenne Middle School for two years before becoming an administrator. From 2015-2020 he was the assistant principal at Islands High School and later Derenne Middle School.
Bodison served as the center leader of the Building Bridges Academy High School in Savannah from December 2020 to December 2022, which was the school system’s alternative learning center.
Bodison received his bachelor’s degree in health science, community health from Georgia Southern University. He later earned his master’s degree in middle grades education from Armstrong Atlantic State University, a specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from Brenau University, and an additional specialist add on in educational leadership from Columbus State University.
Dekle became Mattie Lively’s co-principal and later principal in 2021. He previously served as an assistant principal at Langston Chapel Elementary in the 2018-19 school year.