Houston & Peach

Middle Georgia educators among finalists for state’s Superintendent of the Year award

Two Middle Georgia school educators are finalists for Georgia’s 2020 Superintendent of the Year.

Houston County’s Mark Scott and Baldwin County’s Noris Price are among four finalists chosen by the Georgia School Superintendents Association from among 24 nominations.

“Dr. Scott is a visionary leader with proven performance,” Fred Wilson, board chairman, said in a news release from Houston County schools. “He is dedicated to the highest standards of excellence and committed to producing high-achieving students.

“Our board believes he is very deserving of this recognition and strongly endorses him for Georgia’s 2020 Superintendent of the Year,” the release said.

An educator for 31 years, Scott has served as superintendent since June 1, 2014, according to the school system’s website.

He previously served as assistant superintendent for human resources from 2011 to 2014 and Northside High School principal from 2008 to 2011.

He’s also served as a principal at Oak Hill Middle School in Milledgeville and as an assistant principal at Baldwin High School, also in Milledgeville. He previously spent 10 years in the classroom.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition from GSSA,” Scott said in an email. “It’s a reflection of the dedicated leadership provided by our Board of Education members, the great work done throughout the district by our employees and students, and a community that truly supports public education.

“It’s a privilege and a joy to lead this district, where our teachers and administrators believe in and practice our motto, ‘All means all,’ every day in the classroom.”

Price was nominated by the Baldwin County Board of Education.

“Dr. Price has a clear passion for children ... and for eliminating any of those roadblocks that prevent kids from being successful in school,” said Lyn Chandler, vice chairman of the school board.

For example, Price was instrumental in opening the Bee Well School-based Health Clinic at the Baldwin County Early Learning Center, Chandler said.

The clinic is a partnership among the Baldwin County School District, Communities In Schools and Georgia College and offers healthcare for district students and their families as well as district employees, according to the school system’s website. The clinic is part of a $2.3 million federal grant.

Price has served as superintendent for Baldwin County schools since July 1, 2014, according to the school system’s website.

With more than 35 years of experience in public education, Price was an elementary school teacher in New York City and Fairfax, Virginia, and an assistant principal and principal in Fairfax, Virginia. She moved to Georgia in 1997. For 10 years, she served as principal for Woodland Elementary Charter School in Fulton County.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as a finalist for Superintendent of the Year,” Price said in an email. “We have been able to make some truly incredible and comprehensive changes to our entire district and I’m very proud to see the work that we have done here these past few years is being recognized in this way.”

Among those achievements was an increase in graduation rates from 66% to 92% over the past four years, according to the school system’s website.

Price, Scott, Newton County Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey and Forsyth County School Superintendent Jeff Bearden were each “singled out for their leadership abilities and their excellent skill set in working with their boards, staff, and local communities,” according to a GSSA news released posted on its website.

Finalists were also lauded for their communication skills and other achievements.

The 2020 Superintendent of the Year, which is expected to be named in December, will next compete at the national level.

The national winner is to be announced in February 2020 in San Diego, California, at the School Superintendents Association Conference.

Bibb County School Superintendent Curtis Jones holds that distinction for 2019.

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Becky Purser has covered breaking news as well as crime and courts primarily in Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. She’s now exploring topics that impact the lives of children, parents and the family. A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications/news-editorial sequence, Becky also has covered city and county government for Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia newspapers.
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