The city of Adel is a long way from Dawsonville.
It’s a three-hour drive to be exact, said Jullian “Jute” Wilson.
Wilson soon will pack his bags and make the trek from the south Georgia city for his new job as principal of Dawson County High School.
The local school board voted 4-0 last week to hire the Cook County administrator for the 2010-11 school year.
The recommendation came from Superintendent Keith Porter, who cited Wilson’s “unusually vast and varied field of experience.”
In addition, Porter said, Wilson’s references praised his professional abilities.
“Every person we’ve talked to has indicated that his character is outstanding,” Porter said.
For the past two and a half years, Wilson has served as principal of Cook County High School. During his tenure, the school earned the Governor’s Cup as Region Champion for SAT improvement.
“Accolades like these also helped in our decision-making process,” Porter said.
Wilson said he “can’t wait to get up [to Dawsonville] and get started.”
“Most of the work for the school year is done in the summer, so we’re really ready to get going and hit the ground running,” he said.
Wilson, 38, believes the best part about being a high school principal is “being around young people ... they’re really the lifeblood of the community.”
One thing that attracted the Jacksonville, Fla., native to Dawson County was the community’s size.
“You can really get to know that size faculty and staff and develop a family-type atmosphere,” Wilson said. “It’s very similar in size to the school I’m at now.”
Wilson said moving to Dawson County “seems like a great fit. It’s the kind of place we want to raise our family.”
His family includes wife, Becky, daughter, Hannah and son, Zeke.
“When this opportunity came up, the more we looked at it the more we liked it,” he said.
Wilson, who earned his Ph.D in K-12 leadership in 2008, has served on the Valdosta State University School of Education Board.
At DCHS, he will replace former principal Wayne Chelf, who resigned Feb. 5 following an ethics investigation.
On Feb. 25, the Ethics Division of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission handed down a nearly monthlong, unpaid suspension of Chelf’s educational certificate.
According to his resignation letter, Chelf cited “emerging health issues and personal considerations” for his decision.
Chelf remains in the school system assigned to “special projects” His contract expires at the end of June.
Longtime local educator Neil Harrison has served as interim administrator of the high school.