The Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA) recently announced the recipients of the GSSA President’s Award at its spring Bootstrap Conference in Savannah, Georgia. These awards are given to superintendents for outstanding leadership in their school systems and communities. This year, GSSA recognized Ms. Samantha Fuhrey, the Superintendent of Newton County Schools, for the 2016 Georgia School Superintendent Association (GSSA) President’s Award.
“I am honored to have been selected to receive GSSA’s President’s Award,” said Fuhrey. “I am proud to be member of an organization made up of Superintendents and other school system and state leaders who are focused on meeting the needs of students throughout our state.”
Fuhrey added, “I am thrilled to be a part of an amazing school system team led by a school board with a laser-like focus on improving student outcomes. Together we are working to ensure that Newton County School System adheres to its mission of providing educational excellence for all students.”
Ms. Fuhrey has vast experience in the field of education having served at almost every level in public education. She has also held the following positions during her sterling career: teacher, assistant principal, principal, executive director of secondary education, director of professional learning and deputy superintendent. At every stop along the way, she has excelled in all of her areas of responsibility and established the reputation of being tireless, progressive, and innovative. She possesses exemplary interpersonal and leadership skills and is known for her outstanding judgment and problem-solving abilities.
During her tenure as Superintendent of Newton County Schools, Ms. Fuhrey has increased communication and support to schools. She established a school chat initiative based on teacher feedback indicating a need for teacher interaction with their superintendent. As a result, each year, Superintendent Fuhrey now schedules a chat at each school in the district to meet with each faculty personally to not only provide them with information that impacts the school system, but most importantly, to solicit their ideas on how the district can improve. In fact, she has already implemented several of their suggestions.
Ms. Fuhrey has also implemented new programs to enhance student learning and improve student achievement. Under her direction, Newton County Schools opened the Newton College and Career Academy STEM Institute (NCCASI). The institute recruits rising freshmen with a strong interest in engineering or healthcare as a future career choice. While students may vary in their background and represent the diversity of Newton County’s population, they are similar in their motivation to achieve academically and in their determination to prepare for professional careers and positions of leadership. Students will achieve this through exposure to a unique curriculum combined with project-based/problem-based learning.
John Zauner, the GSSA Executive Director had this to say, “Ms. Samantha Fuhrey consistently displays a passion for the children of this community. She works tirelessly in providing the best education environment for the children of the Newton County Schools. It is evidenced in the rising student achievement results the Newton County School System is producing.”
Dr. Stephanie Gordy, Executive Director of Griffin RESA stated, “I am fortunate to have the honor and privilege of working with this exemplary school superintendent. Our entire region benefits from her professional prowess and excellent leadership.”