Dr. Kevin Judy will leave his current post as the Bulloch County Schools’ assistant superintendent of human resources for a new job as superintendent of the Emanuel County Schools beginning July 1.
“While we regret that Dr. Judy will be leaving us, we are very proud of him and wish him well as he pursues this new opportunity,” Bulloch Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson said Tuesday in a news release. “Dr. Judy has served this community well, and I believe he will perform equally well in Emanuel County. They are very fortunate to have him lead their school system.”
Judy will take the place of retiring Emanuel Schools Superintendent Erma Jenkins, who announced last fall that she would retire at the end of the 2013-14 term. Jenkins has been superintendent since July 2010 and completes a 40-year career as an educator, with 39 of those years spent in Emanuel County, said Emanuel County Schools Human Resources Director Terri Burke.
The Emanuel County Board of Education contracted with the Georgia School Boards Association for help in a regional search beginning in December.
After receiving 29 applications grouped by the GSBA on how well they met Emanuel County’s stated qualifications, the local board selected six candidates to interview. From these, the board named three finalists two weeks ago. The other finalists were Dr. James Luther Gibbs and Tammy F. Wilkes.
Meeting Monday evening in Swainsboro, the board unanimously voted to hire Judy.
Before their decision, members interviewed the three finalists a second time, noted Adam Lane, the vice chairman of the Emanuel County Board of Education.
“Both times he kind of rose to the top for us,” Lane said in an interview. “We’re very, very fortunate to have him. He comes with a very good reputation, previously being at Screven County and then, of course, in Statesboro and then moving up to the central office.”
Judy has 22 years experience as an educator, including 18 years with the Bulloch County Schools.
After starting in Bulloch County as a teacher from 1994 through 2001, he went to Screven County, serving first as assistant principal and then as principal of Screven County Middle School in Sylvania. He returned to the Bulloch County system in 2005 as principal of Mattie Lively Elementary School and remained in that role for four years before being named assistant superintendent, a post he has held for five years.
“He’s had from classroom experience to building-level experience and now central office experience, something we felt made him very well-rounded for the position,” Lane said. “He’s worked in multiple systems, so he’s familiar with a smaller program, in Screven, similar to what we have, and the bigger program over in Bulloch County.”
The Emanuel County Schools have about 4,400 students on seven campuses and a $48 million budget.
Judy spent part of Tuesday at the Emanuel County Schools office and could not be reached for an interview.
The Bulloch County Schools’ news release noted some of his accomplishments.
While Judy was principal at Mattie Lively, the school was selected as one of 16 featured schools statewide for the annual Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Bus Tour.
While assistant superintendent, he helped plan and implement a formula for staff reduction over a five-year period ending in 2013. Through retirements and other voluntary departures, payroll was reduced by 94 certified staff members. This prevented layoffs and saved more than $6.9 million, helping the school system operate through the economic downturn and a reduction of more than $11 million in state and local revenue, said the release provided by Hayley Greene, Bulloch County Schools public relations specialist.
Judy also implemented a new online application system for school system hires and new rules for substitutes, credited with further savings.
He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Southern University. His specialist degree in education is from Lincoln Memorial University, and his doctorate in educational leadership is from Nova Southeastern University.
Judy applied for the Emanuel County post Feb. 22. This means he was already a candidate there two months before the arrest of two Statesboro High School assistant coaches April 30 and May 1 on felony charges alleging sexual misconduct with teenage students and the subsequent arrest of SHS Principal Dr. Marty Waters by Statesboro police on a misdemeanor charge of failure to report child abuse.
The Emanuel County Board of Education was aware of this situation, discussed it with Judy and believes he had no blame in what occurred, Lane said.
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9454.