Fuhrey Announces Retirement

NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey Announces Retirement
Posted on 03/14/2023
Samantha Fuhrey announces retirementNewton County School System superintendent, Samantha Fuhrey, announced her retirement effective June 30, 2023.
“One of the most fulfilling endeavors of my life has been to serve as the Superintendent of the Newton County School System for the last 10 years,” said Fuhrey. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our incredible students, families, and community.”

She continued, “Additionally, I owe a debt of gratitude to the NCSS team and board. Together, we have made a difference in the lives of the children we serve. It is my hope that in any future endeavors I may undertake, I will continue to positively impact public education as I so strongly believe in the immense benefit to the citizenry of our county, state, and nation.”

Mrs. Fuhrey is the first woman to hold the position since the inception of the school system over 150 years ago. Throughout her ten years at the helm, Superintendent Fuhrey has earned numerous awards and accolades. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, Mrs. Fuhrey was named one of four finalists for Superintendent of the Year for the state of Georgia. In 2020, she was named Georgia’s Superintendent of the Year and one of four national finalists for National Superintendent of the Year.

In 2023, Superintendent Fuhrey received the Outstanding Citizen Award presented by State Representative Sharon Henderson. She was also recognized by Georgia College and State University as the 2021 Alumnus of the Year for the College of Education and was recently recognized by Congressman Hank Johnson with the Fourth Congressional District of Georgia Trailblazer Award. Mrs. Fuhrey was also the recipient of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders 2021 Vision Award. Superintendent Fuhrey was recognized by the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education when she was awarded the Johnnye V. Cox Award in June, 2020. Marywood University, where Mrs. Fuhrey earned her undergraduate degree, recognized her with the Distinguished Alumni Award in June 2019. Additionally, Mrs. Fuhrey’s exceptional leadership abilities were recognized by the Georgia School Superintendents Association when she was awarded the President’s Award in 2016.

Overall, Mrs. Fuhrey has served the Newton County School System for well over twenty years. She previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, the Executive Director for Secondary Education, the Director of Secondary Education, and the Director of Professional Learning for the Newton County School System. Mrs. Fuhrey also served as the principal of Indian Creek Middle School in Newton County after having been promoted from the assistant principal position. Prior to her employment with the Newton County School System, Mrs. Fuhrey worked with the DeKalb County School System as an assistant principal and English teacher.

During her tenure as superintendent has been an active supporter of the broader education community and her local community. She has served on numerous education and community boards, including the Board of Directors for the Georgia School Superintendents Association; Georgia Piedmont Technical College; the Newton County Chamber of Commerce; the Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale Board of Health; the Arts Association in Newton County; Newton County Tomorrow; NAACP; the Newton County Library System, and Griffin RESA where she is currently serving as Board Chair. Mrs. Fuhrey serves as a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Council for the Executive Director of the Georgia School Boards Association, the Georgia School Boards Association Rural Community Task Force, the Georgia Education Coalition, and she is also a chartering member of Ford Next Generation Learning Communities’ Superintendent’s Council. She has served on the State School Superintendent's Innovative Assessment Pilot Task Force.

After the announcement, which came at the end of the Board of Education’s March 14, 2023 work session meeting, school board chair, Shakila Henderson-Baker addressed the Superintendent Fuhrey.

“We have been through a lot,” said Shakila Henderson-Baker, Newton County Board of Education chair. “From the moment I seconded the nomination for you—and I don’t regret it one bit—I’m so grateful for a superintendent like you to serve our community and the students.”

Henderson-Baker continued, “The life cycle of a current superintendent in their superintendency is about three years. So, to have someone vested in your school district for ten years is not the normal at all. To have somebody who lives in the community that they work in as a superintendent is not the normal at all. To have somebody who has their kids attend the school district that they are superintendent of believe it or not is not normal at all. So, you have been surpassing what statistics say should happen and I appreciate that. You have served with dignity and you have served with class….Thank you so much for your service. Thank you so much for giving us your time. Thank you for giving us your heart and thank you for showing us that you truly value education and you truly value our mission—excellence for all students. So well done, Mrs. Samantha Fuhrey.”

“It’s been an honor to watch you lead at a such high level,” added Trey Baily, Newton County Board of Education district one representative. “It’s been humbling to see how effortlessly you display the character of a true organizational leader. You have great integrity. you have great family support system. You have built an incredible team here and together you guys have produced some incredible results like the Georgia Superintendent of the Year and national finalist.”

“This isn’t a sad occasion,” said Board of Education district five representative, Abigail Coggin. “This is s time to celebrate…I’m very excited for you…it’s been a wonderful ten years.”

The Newton County Board of Education will now begin a search for her replacement.

“Whoever is next for Newton County will have big shoes to fill,” said Trey Bailey. “We won’t be looking for another Samantha Fuhrey, because there’s only one.”