SOCIAL CIRCLE — When they met in person for the first time Monday, Charcia Nichols and Carrie Booher felt they were reuniting in a way.
The two marveled at a variety of similarities — both grew up in the Atlanta area, both graduated from the University of Georgia, both have been in the education field for 18 years, both shared a supervisor when working at a system at different times and more.
Now, after finally meeting one another, they have another experience in common, as the two are both principals in Social Circle.
Replacing departing principals Theodoris Gibbs and Keith Everson, Nichols and Booher have been hired as the new principals for Social Circle Middle and Social Circle High schools, respectively.
Nichols comes to the middle school from Atlanta Public Schools, where she served as a high school principal. But while she was born and raised in the city, she said she’s looking forward to the paradigm shift into small-town life in Social Circle.
“This is an opportunity to go to a small school district,” Nichols said. “I like it here. Everyone has been very personable and there’s definitely a camaraderie here. The support is just great.”
Nichols’ career in education was essentially just a way to join the family business.
“I come from a history of educators,” Nichols said. “Both my parents were teachers, some aunts and cousins. It’s in my blood.”
She’s remained in the field – teaching for three years in Paulding County then serving as an administrator at both the middle and high school levels in Atlanta – because of her love of the students she serves.
“I love children,” Nichols said. “I love to see them grow and prosper. We have the responsibility to help them become who they are.”
A married mother of one son, 10, Nichols said she hopes to keep SCMS on the right track.
“There’s going to be a true focus on learning and collaboration,” Nichols said.
Her primary collaborator will be her new colleague, Booher, who comes to the high school after working in the central office for Gwinnett County Public Schools.
The married mother of two – a 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter – grew up in Snellville and spent the years of her education career in the Gwinnett area but said she’s pleased to be coming to Social Circle.
“I’ve always been intrigued by this place,” Booher said. “We’ve eaten at the Blue Willow Inn a lot and driven through town and I loved the small-town feel of the place. I love the concept of being at a very small school.”
Booher said her vision for the high school is one of ensuring the success of all students.
“We are only successful when all of our kids are successful after high school,” Booher said. “We have to prepare them for what they will face after they leave here.”
The best way to do that, Booher said, is to work closely with the other schools, including the primary and elementary schools.
“We have to work together, hand-in-hand,” Booher said.
But she said the closest partnership will be with the middle school, enclosed in the same building as the high school, and where her long-lost “twin” takes the reins of leadership up next fall.
“We’re excited about it,” Booher said.