After a 14-day waiting period, the Dawson County school system officially has a new superintendent.
Damon Gibbs, Hall County Schools' former executive director of facilities, signed a contract Monday with the Dawson County Board of Education accepting the post. Gibbs will succeed Keith Porter, who announced his retirement last December. His final day will be May 31.
During the school board meeting, vice chairman Will Wade made a motion to employ Gibbs for a three-year term to begin June 1. Wade's motion was seconded by board member Doris Cook. The vote was unanimous.
"I want to thank the board for its confidence in me," Gibbs said. "My family and I are very excited about Dawson County and the opportunity the board has been gracious enough to give us, to become part of not only your school system but your community."
The board also voted to approve Gibbs for a temporary consultant position until June 1, in order for him to work with the current superintendent.
"I am fortunate to be allowed to work with Mr. Porter during the month of May. I will be working toward putting together a 90-day plan during that time," Gibbs said. "Part of that plan will be spending a lot of time building relationships with people in the community.
"I want to make sure I have ample time to meet with all stakeholder groups, as well as the folks in the central office."
A University of Georgia graduate with a doctorate in educational leadership, Gibbs served as a principal at Johnson High and Spout Springs Elementary in southern Hall County and as assistant principal at Flowery Branch High School. He has been a Hall system employee since 1996.
Gibbs also serves as a Flowery Branch city councilman, with his term ending Dec. 31, 2015.
"We are very fortunate that the Hall County Board of Education and Superintendent Will Schofield agree for Dr. Gibbs to get out of his contract in a timely manner so that he and I can work together and transition," Porter said.
"I'm so excited to work with Dr. Gibbs and making this transition just as smooth as possible."