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McDuffie schools get new leader

Jim LeBrun, the new superintendent of McDuffie County schools, is looking forward to the 2009-10 school year.

He is very interested in our school system's "tradition of excellence both inside and outside the classroom." He and his wife, Cheryl, like the "small-town feel with larger-city amenities," in addition to the friendly and welcoming attitude and the willingness of the community leaders to work together "for the benefit of the people." He has always liked McDuffie County's central location between Augusta and Atlanta, but the main reason they relocated to our county is that they believed our county needed them and they felt called by God to serve in McDuffie County.

He and his wife have four daughters and two sons. The oldest son, Chris, attends Georgia Southern. Jeff attends GMC, and Jamie Lynn attends GC&SU in Milledgeville. Katelyn attends ABAC in Tifton, GA, and his two youngest children are Heather, 11, who attends Thomson Middle and Ryan, 9, who attends Norris Elementary.

Mr. LeBrun graduated from Mercer University with a bachelor of science degree. He also graduated from Georgia College with a master's and specialist degree. He completed his doctoral course work at UGA, but he has not completed his doctoral dissertation.

However, Mr. LeBrun did not always want to be in the field of education. He worked his way through undergraduate school in construction and was in the Navy for a short period before becoming a coach and a teacher. He has always wanted to have a career in which he could "give back to society and help others find ways to be successful."

Mr. LeBrun has been a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, superintendent, athletic coordinator, and a college professor. He taught math, science, and physical education to grades four through 12 in Sparta. He taught sixth-grade science in Jasper County. He also taught high school math and science in Baldwin County. He coached football, basketball, baseball, softball, golf, track and tennis and was the athletic coordinator at Baldwin County High School. He was the assistant principal at Baldwin High School and the principal at Boddie Middle School in Baldwin County. He was superintendent at Jones County for four years. He taught college algebra at Mercer. He was also the head of the Department of Education for the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Mr. LeBrun's vision for our school system is to continue improving the services that we provide the taxpayers and their students. He wants all students to have the best chance of success that we can offer. He believes that technology can enhance and support learning. He also believes that we need to prepare our graduates for tomorrow's jobs "within the spectrum of a global economy." He also remarked, "We need to teach our young people to be life long learners, and we need to provide our graduates with the skills necessary to adapt to a constantly changing society."

As a follow-up to our interview with Mr. LeBrun, we asked several faculty members to give us their first impression of Mr. LeBrun.

Here is what we learned:

n Mr. Beckum said, "Mr. LeBrun is very nice and personable" as well as "very open and willing to make time to listen."

n Mrs. Dudley offered, "Mr. LeBrun makes a good first impression and is student- and teacher-friendly. He is very involved and very visible."

n Mr. Falana observed, "Mr. LeBrun means what he says."

n Coach Osborn pointed out, "Mr. LeBrun is very supportive and approachable."

n Mrs. Brown explained, "Mr. LeBrun is very direct and well-informed."

n Miss McCall commented, "Mr. LeBrun has strong Christian values and is honest."

Overall, the faculty's opinion of Mr. LeBrun is very positive, and they seem to be excited about the positive prospects of this school year.

Web posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009

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