MONROE, Ga. — George Walton Academy has tapped Gary Hobbs as its next head of school.

The retired superintendent of the Walton County School District will take the reins at the Monroe private school effective immediately, the school announced.

In a letter to faculty and parents, the school’s trustees said Hobbs agreed to serve as long as needed.

“Gary Hobbs is committed to continuing the historic success of GWA as the premier educational institution in our region and to ensuring that our mission remains the focus of each student’s daily experience,” board Chairman Roy Roberts Jr., a George Walton alumnus and parent of two recent graduates, said.

“He appreciates the role and importance of our school in the community and is dedicated to focusing on our students’ experiences, to fostering a united school community, and to joining our faculty and students in crafting the excellent GWA academic environment we all know and love.”

Hobbs served as superintendent of the county’s public school district from 2008-16.

“He set the gold standard for public service in Walton County,” state Rep. Bruce Williamson of Monroe said when Hobbs retired. Williamson serves on the GWA board of trustees.

That board voted in late May to move on from Head of School Dan Dolan, whom it brought on in 2016 in a transition from longtime Headmaster Billy Nicholson, a former neighbor of Gary and Linda Hobbs.

Dolan served as head of school from 2017-21.

Hobbs was born in Athens and is a graduate of Talbot County High School, with a Bachelor of Science in education from Georgia Southern in 1971 and master’s in education in 1976.

He started his teaching and coaching career at Warner Robins Junior High School in 1972 and earned his Education Specialist in administration in 1982 at the University of Georgia.

The Hobbs family moved to Walton County in 1986, and he was in his fifth year as the principal of Loganville High School when he was plucked to the central office as associate superintendent.

Hobbs became the superintendent on Sept. 15, 2008, when Tim Lull resigned as part of an agreement with the county school board.

In addition to his work in education, Hobbs was in the Georgia Army National Guard from 1971-99. He attained the rank of colonel, serving as the state personnel director.

During his retirement, Hobbs has been involved in efforts to bring the YMCA to Walton County. He is a co-chair of the leadership council for the Building a Healthy Walton campaign.

He also has been involved with the United Way of Walton County, Communities In Schools of Walton County (now the Student Success Alliance) and the Walton Foundation. He is active in First United Methodist Church in Monroe.

GWA officials said the search for a permanent head of school generally takes 18-20 months.

“In an effort to diligently and collaboratively prepare for the years to come, at the appropriate time, the board of trustees will begin the search for Mr. Hobbs’ successor,” Roberts said in a statement Tuesday.

(4) comments

Demographicshift

GWA needs to disclose the severance package for Dolan. They let him go for holding a football coach accountable and then hire the NEIGHBOR of a previous headmaster. Nepotism, favoritism, and scamming at its finest, Look no further than this board of director’s behavior for a live view of what’s wrong with the leadership in this country....no leadership in general. Pathetic.

Best move

Getting rid of Dolan was a great move. The man divides communities and has the track record to prove it. The Board didn’t do the research needed when they hired him and this school paid for that.

goodRiddance

Let's not forget that it was Dolan who hired the football coach in the first place. Let's also not forget the many other suspect moves that he made while he was here. To suggest that because he was a good fundraiser made him a good leader, is very shallow reasoning, if not laughable. Dan Dolan is far from a good leader, and because of the decisions that he made, we are now in a huge mess. Think of all the negative articles about our school and the impact that this will have on the academy in the future. A good reputation can take years to build but can vanish overnight.

annrkey

Great move by the GWA Board of Trustees! Gary Hobbs is a wonderful man and an excellent educator and GDub is lucky to have him!

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