Crawford County BOE selects new superintendent

The Crawford County school board has plans to hire a new school superintendent Monday.

Brent Lowe, currently the assistant superintendent of Pulaski County schools, was announced as a finalist for the position earlier this month. Lowe will be offered a contract at the regular board meeting Monday evening to make his employment official, board Chairman Raymond Dickey said Wednesday.

“After thoroughly looking through everything, we felt that he would be the best person to lead our school system,” Dickey said of Lowe. “One thing that we liked about him, among several things, was the community oriented (way) in which he tried to bridge the gap between the community and the school system.”

The Middle Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency aided with the search by narrowing the number of applicants to 13. Dickey said Lowe stood out because of his accomplishments, experience and activity within his community.

Lowe, 39, will fill the job last held on a permanent basis by Superintendent John Douglas, who retired after eight years. In June, the board appointed Rhonda Harris, a longtime employee who is in charge of the school system’s Title I program, as interim superintendent.

A native of Thomaston, Lowe began his teaching career in Crawford County schools and said he’s excited to move closer to home.

“I taught there for a year in 1999,” Lowe said of Crawford schools. “I feel like Crawford (County) is right on the verge of breaking out and being a great place to be in school. They’re showing some gains in a couple of areas on the (College and Career Ready Performance Index). They still have some low spots on the CCRPI, but I believe we can get those kinks worked out and make Crawford County a diamond in the rough. I’m just really excited about getting up that way.”

Lowe studied history education at Brewton-Parker College before he began teaching in Crawford County. Then, Lowe became a social studies teacher at Hawkinsville High School where he coached football and baseball.

“I decided I wanted to get out of the classroom and get into administration, so I went to Albany State and got my master’s in educational supervision,” Lowe said.

Lowe began working as Pulaski County schools’ director of operations in 2007 and was named assistant superintendent in 2012. He said the knowledge he’s gained from working alongside experienced superintendents has prepared him for the job.

Assessing the Crawford County school system as a whole will be the first task Lowe said he will take on as superintendent.

“I’m not going in there to start changing things for the sake of change until I see what the issues are ... and what the strengths are,” Lowe said. “After seeing where they’re at and digging into the data, I’ll try to set some micro targets with the help of the leadership team from the school, ... then start forming a strategic plan.”

Lowe, a self-described outdoorsman, said he’s looking forward to the challenges that come with learning a new school system.

“The most important thing that I’m really looking forward to is just ... forming these new relationships,” Lowe said. “I feel like in Hawkinsville I’ve got some people in this town that really trust me and really rely on me, and I’ve got to build up those kinds of relationships in Crawford.”

Lowe is currently living in Pulaski County with his wife, who is a kindergarten teacher, and 7-year-old triplets. However, next year, he will “definitely move (to Crawford County) because it’s just hard for a superintendent not to live in the county in which they are superintendent of the schools.”

To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4334 or follow her on Twitter @Lauraecor.