Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Melissa Southern

I am excited to continue to serve at East Lake Elementary as an assistant principal for the 2024-2025 school year. My husband, Keith, and I are McDonough residents and have been married for 24 years. We have two children, Tyler (age 22) and Faith (age 19). They are both products of Henry County Schools and Union Grove graduates. Tyler is joining the team at Union Grove High School as a science teacher this year. Faith will be a sophomore at Gordon State College and playing softball there this fall. 

I took a non-traditional route to the field of education and dabbled in many other fields before discovering my passion for teaching in the 4-year-old preschool program at Bethany Baptist Church. I taught in the mornings there while pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education at Mercer University in the evening and juggling the roles of wife and mother. I graduated from Mercer University in May of 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education, specializing in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.  I received my master’s degree from Mercer University in August of 2015 and my specialist degree in Teacher Leadership in December of 2016. Last year, I completed my tier 1 Educational Leadership certification at the University of West Georgia. This will be my 14th year in education in Henry County. I have served our county as a 4th & 5th-grade teacher and instructional coach. I am ecstatic to begin my second year as an Assistant Principal at East Lake Elementary. 

I truly believe that a school should be a place where children, teachers, and families desire to be. As your assistant principal, I am committed to keeping our students safe and ensuring that our school day runs smoothly. As an instructional leader, I will work to empower teachers and students to reach their fullest potential. I welcome your input as we embark on this year together. Please feel free to contact me with your concerns.

Melissa Southern, Ed.S.

Assistant Principal

East Lake Elementary School


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