Dawson County's new school superintendent is ready to pick up where his predecessor left off.
Damon Gibbs began his first week as superintendent after spending the past month as a contracted consultant to the school board. The interim position gave Gibbs a chance to get to know the community before acting as superintendent.
"I have really been overwhelmed by the support that the community has given me," he said. "I've been to a ton of meetings that are community related. I'm excited to be here and get started."
While operating in his consultant role, Gibbs said he was able to go to many meetings with former superintendent Keith Porter, which allowed him to see what his responsibilities would be to the community as a whole.
It was announced Monday that Porter will serve as the interim superintendent for the Forsyth County school system until the position is filled in the fall.
Gibbs has also met with most of the staff in the school system to "give them a face to the name."
"I took an opportunity to meet with all of the school staff members during the week of post planning," Gibbs said. "I just wanted to put them at ease about the transition and let them go home for the summer with a good feeling for August."
Gibbs also said that the transition from Hall County to Dawson County has not been as hard as one might imagine.
"The system, overall, works similarly, just on a different scale. The transition from a larger system to Dawson has been a breath of fresh air," he said. "I get to be more personable with the staff and the community. It's not so big that I'm stretched too thin, which is one of the factors that drew me to Dawson. It's still a community system."
It's a period of adjustment that Gibbs says he is looking forward to.
"I think the interesting piece about this system is that every month will be something new for the first year," he said. "There's going to be a lot of firsts for 2014 and 2015 and I'm really excited about each of those and the amount I'll learn professionally."