“We are Family” is the motto for Mansfield Elementary School, so it’s only fitting that the school system selected someone from that family to be the school’s next principal. On Tuesday, May 10, the Newton County Board of Education (BOE) unanimously approved Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey’s recommendation of current Mansfield Elementary School assistant principal, Chris Haymore, for the top job, effective July 1. Haymore will replace departing principal, Dr. Lori Thomas, who has accepted a job in another system as her family is relocating this summer.
“I’m extremely excited to have been selected to serve as principal,” said Haymore. “It’s an honor and I am grateful to Mrs. Fuhrey for the opportunity.”
Haymore added, “I have worked under six principals as a teacher and administrator and I learned a lot from each of them. I have had two very gratifying years with Dr. Thomas and I wish her the best in her new position with Camden County.”
Mr. Haymore earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Georgia (UGA) in 1990 and a Master’s in Education degree in educational leadership from UGA in 2003. He began his career as a teacher and coach at Rutledge Academy in 1991 before joining Newton County School System as a social studies teacher at Eastside High School in 1995. Haymore was promoted to assistant principal of Alcovy High School in 2006 and transferred to the assistant principal position at Mansfield Elementary School in 2012.
Mansfield Elementary School is very special to Chris Haymore, and not just because he’s a resident of the small town in eastern Newton County. Chris Haymore will not be the first Haymore to serve as principal of Mansfield Elementary School. That honor belongs to his father, Perry Haymore.
“My father became principal of Mansfield in 1976, I believe,” said Haymore. “His last year was 1981. It was his first principalship. It’s interesting that it is also my first principalship, but the school has changed a lot. I think he would stand in the one hall each morning and shout the morning announcements because there was no PA system in the school. I remember attending a fall festival and trying to win a pony that was being raffled. I spent all of my money on raffle tickets for that pony.”
According to Haymore, the pony ended up going home with someone else. But he didn’t leave the fall festival empty handed.
“I ended up winning two bags of green beans,” he said.
Having served as the school’s assistant principal since 2012, Haymore is thoroughly familiar with Mansfield Elementary and already has immediate goals in mind.
“Dr. Thomas put the plans in place for our STEM lab and our accelerated content,” he explained. “One of our goals will be to see that these plans become reality and are a benefit to our students. Another goal will be growth. For the past two years, Mansfield has been recognized as a high achieving school in the state, but with the increased rigor of the Milestones we, along with the entire state, have seen scores drop. Mansfield wants to get back to and surpass our previous levels of achievement. We have to be relentless in that pursuit. I know that is what our teachers and parents want.”
“The school is a source of pride for the community, and I know the teachers want to build on tradition while pushing the school forward,” Haymore added. “That’s the mark they want to leave. It’s a great place, but see if you can leave it better than you found it.”