Superintendent Finalist Named

On Tuesday, March 12, the Walton County Board of Education formally announced George “Chip” Underwood as the sole finalist for the position of superintendent. Mr. Underwood currently serves as the district’s deputy superintendent and has become a highly respected leader and community advocate over the past 12 years in the Walton County School District.

Pending final approval of the Board later this month, Mr. Underwood will assume full responsibilities for this role effective June 1. Since Superintendent Nathan Franklin announced his plans to retire at the end of this school year, the Board has been working diligently to find the district’s next leader. The Board worked in partnership with the Georgia School Boards Association to conduct a thorough, transparent and rigorous search to fill this position.

"We are thrilled to announce Mr. George Underwood as the sole finalist for the superintendent position," said Board of Education Chairman Tom Gibson. "His passion for education, proven leadership abilities, and vision for the district make him the perfect fit to guide our schools to new heights of success. The Board looks forward to welcoming Mr. Underwood to this new role. We are confident that his leadership will further enhance the educational experience of all students in the Walton County School District.”

Mr. Underwood has over 28 years of educational experience as a teacher, coach and administrator. He began his career in the classroom as a math teacher, serving students in Hall, Gwinnett and Camden Counties. In 2007, he became an assistant principal at Chestatee High School in Hall County before being promoted to principal. Mr. Underwood joined the Walton County School District in 2012 as the hearing officer. In 2016, he was named assistant superintendent of facilities, maintenance and operations, a position he held until 2022, when he was promoted to deputy superintendent.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead our exceptional team and continue driving the progress and historic success of the Walton County School District,” said Mr. Underwood. “As a dedicated advocate for student-centered decisions, I remain committed to prioritizing the growth and development of every student within our community. My collaborative approach to leadership fosters a culture of teamwork and mutual respect among all stakeholders, allowing us to achieve collective goals effectively and efficiently.”

Mr. Underwood holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree in foundations of education from Troy State University, and a specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.

“My experience in Walton County has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of our district's strengths, challenges and unique needs,” Mr. Underwood continued. “I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our teachers, staff, parents and the community to ensure that we provide safe, nurturing and enriching educational environments for all of our students and staff.”

Per state law, a 14-day waiting period will follow this announcement before the Board can officially vote to hire Mr. Underwood as the Walton County School District superintendent. During this time, community members and stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide input on the selection.

In addition to naming the sole finalist for superintendent, the Walton County Board of Education approved the hiring recommendations for several other district leadership positions. Susan Enfinger, director of middle schools, was named the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction following Rusty Linder’s retirement after 37 years in education. Rockdale County Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Keith Hull was named the district’s new chief financial officer effective May 1, replacing Robin Bryant, who will retire at the end of the school year. Monroe Area High School alumna Patrice Broughton was named the district’s director of communications and will begin serving in her position later this month.

Mr. Underwood's application materials are available for review here.

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