Dr. Mark Petersen now has his right hand.
For years, McDuffie County Superintendent of Schools Ed Grisham called his Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Gwen Rountree his right hand. Now that Dr. Grisham and Ms. Rountree are both settling into retirement at the end of the school year, incoming Superintendent Dr. Petersen was given the chance to help choose Ms. Rountree's successor.
And the current Dean of the Paine College School of Education, Dr. Margie Waters, was chosen to fill that void. Dr. Petersen and Ms. Rountree gave high marks to Dr. Waters, who will begin her duties in McDuffie County on July 1.
"I think that her personality will fit very well with us," Dr. Petersen said. "I think she would be a good representative recruitment-wise, and that's what that position entails. So we're real excited to have her on board."
"She has a tremendous amount of experience in educational administration," Ms. Rountree said. "She's well respected ... among her peers and other faculty and staff at the college and across the state of Georgia. We feel that we are getting a gem in this person."
Dr. Waters is a former elementary school teacher in the Richmond County School System. She has also served in human resources while working for the United States Department of Defense.
In her current job, she is in charge of the School of Education at Paine College in Augusta. According to Ms. Rountree, a portion of Dr. Waters' job as dean is similar to what her duties will include for McDuffie County Schools.
"She has served in the administrative roles at the college working with the higher education faculty and staff," Ms. Rountree said. "She has done the job of human resources as the administrator of the college of education there at Paine College."
With a connection to the college world, most feel her job of recruiting new teachers for McDuffie County out of colleges across the country will be a good fit.
"I think that by having some experience at the college level she understands not only the process, but also I think we'll be able to get involved with deans of education and chair people," Dr. Petersen said. "That may be able to get her foot in the door."
Currently Dr. Waters' job duties at Paine College include being the coordinator of professional development, running the faculty mentor program, coordinating grant writing and faculty workshops. She also serves on the Professional Standards Commission and numerous academic committees.
Dr. Waters said Monday she wanted to talk to school system officials before talking to the media.