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Superintendent list narrowed to single finalist
Damon Gibbs mug

Hall County's executive director of facilities has been named the finalist for superintendent of Dawson County schools.

The Dawson County Board of Education announced during a special called meeting Friday afternoon that Damon Gibbs was its choice to lead the system.

"The Board of Education feels the decision as to who will be the next superintendent is one of the most important decisions we can make, as a board, for the children and citizens of Dawson County," Chairman Roger Slaton said.

"The board has reviewed applications ... and believes that (Gibbs) is best qualified to lead the school system."

The announcement was made after a week of interviews.

Gibbs also confirmed the hire, saying he was "humbled" by the opportunity. He declined, however, to comment further, as school officials can't offer him a contract until after 14 days.

A University of Georgia graduate with a doctorate in educational leadership, Gibbs served as a principal at Johnson High School and Spout Springs Elementary School in South Hall and as assistant principal at Flowery Branch High School. He has been a school system employee since 1996.

He also is currently serving as a city councilman for Flowery Branch, elected in 2011.

"I believe that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially," Gibbs wrote to the board in his application.

"I feel there is a need for compassionate, strong and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with children. Our communities grow stronger as our students leave our schools competitive and prepared."

Slaton said the board is still negotiating a few more points before officially signing the contract.

"Over the next 14 days, we intend to pursue and reach an agreement ... to serve in that capacity," he said.

If Gibbs agrees, the board is aiming for a first official day of April 30.

Current Dawson County School Superintendent Keith Porter announced his retirement last December. His final day will be on May 31.