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School system central office undergoing restructuring for 2019-20 school year
Board of Education Sign.JPG
The Board of Education building at 28 Main Street. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Dawson County Schools District Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs announced last week that he plans to restructure the central office services after current Chief Human Resource Officer Lisa Perry and Chief Operations Officer Rick Brown retire this year.

Gibbs said a restructure allows the district to plan for future growth and consider the present and future needs of the school community.

The reorganization includes changes to leadership roles and responsibilities effective for the 2019-2020 school year, which include the implementation of an assistant superintendent for human resources and operations and an assistant superintendent of teaching and learning.

At the Feb. 5 board of education work session, Nicole LeCave was approved to assume the role of assistant superintendent of teaching and learning.

LeCave has 21 years of experience in education and has served as a member of the district leadership team for the past four years. She has acted as the executive director of teaching and learning for the past two years.

Before her transition to the district office, LeCave was a teacher and assistant principal of curriculum for Dawson County Schools. Her background includes an undergraduate degree in middle-grade education, a master’s degree in curriculum and instructional supervision and a certification in educational leadership from the University of North Georgia earned by completing Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement’s (GLISI) Rising Stars Future Leaders Performance-Based Program.

She is an active member of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL) and Georgia Association of Curriculum and Instructional Supervisors (GACIS), having served as a past district treasurer, co-director and director of the organization.

LeCave is married to USMC Major Sean LeCave, and they have five children.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the students, staff, and schools in Dawson County in this capacity. I am thankful to work with a dedicated team of leaders who are committed to excellence and to providing an exemplary level of support to our schools," LeCave said. "My goal is to build upon that as we work together to strengthen the district and continue to make Dawson County a great place for students to learn and grow."

Hershel Bennett was also approved by the board to assume the role of assistant superintendent of human resources and operations during the work session.

Bennett has over 25 years of educational experience, having served as a teacher and administrator at all levels from elementary to high school. He has acted as the director of exceptional students for Dawson County Schools for the past seven years.

“I am both thrilled and humbled to move into the assistant superintendent position. The Dawson County School system truly puts students’ needs first and all stakeholders have buy in for our children’s success,” Bennett said. “I will miss some of the day to day interactions within the Exceptional Children’s Department but I know they will continue to grow and accomplish wonderful things.”

As Director of Exceptional Students, Bennett has implemented new initiatives including the Community Based Instruction (CBI) Program, the Miss Sparkle Pageant and the Spring Games.

Bennett is an active member of Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL) and Georgia Council of Administrators of Special Education (GCASE).

He is from east Tennessee and received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees in education from the University of Tennessee. He later earned his educational specialist degree in leadership and administration from Lincoln Memorial University.

Bennett is married to Gabrielle and has three children.

“I hope to continue the support our students and staff have received from Ms. Perry and Mr. Brown,” Bennett said. “It will be impossible to replace them but I hope to continue the outstanding job they have done for all of Dawson County Schools stakeholders.”

The district plans to spend the next few months completing the reorganization. Both LeCave and Bennett will work closely with Brown and Perry to ensure a smooth transition into the next school year.

“With the retirements of two of our top district leaders, we are very fortunate to have team members ready to assume expanded leadership roles in our organization,” Gibbs said.