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Henry County Board of Education Elects New Chair, Vice Chair for 2024

HENRY COUNTY, GA – The Henry County Board of Education unanimously elected Sophe Pope (Dist. 4) as Board Chair and Annette Edwards (Dist. 2) as Board Vice Chair during a special called meeting on Jan. 4.

Edwards, who served as chair in 2023, nominated Pope to serve as chair in 2024, followed by unanimous support from the remaining board members.

Prior to the vote, board members recognized Edwards for her excellent work as chair in 2023, leading the board to its first-ever Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) Governance Team of the Year award.

Edwards was then nominated by Dr. Pam Nutt (Dist. 1) to serve as vice chair alongside Pope, followed by another unanimous vote.

The two veteran leaders will reverse roles from 2023, and together, they will continue to spearhead the board’s critical role of setting the vision for the district to prepare Henry County students for college, career, and lifelong success.

Pope (Dist. 4), a native of Henry County and a graduate and former teacher at Union Grove High School, has been a board member since 2019 and served one term as vice chair.

“We’ve always operated under the mindset that a high-performing school district relies on a high-performing board of education, and we embrace that duty,” said Pope. “It is an honor to serve families in Henry County, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue building on our successes.”

Edwards is a retired educator with 30 years of experience in the classroom and has been a Henry County board member since 2015. She served as vice chair for two terms starting in January 2021 and was elected board chair in January 2023, becoming the first African American woman to serve the school board in this capacity.

“I do not take lightly the trust placed in us,” said Edwards. “I am honored to work alongside Mrs. Pope and the remainder of the board to model sound stewardship and committed leadership so that every child in Henry County has the opportunity to thrive.”

Pope and Edwards are passionate advocates for community engagement and creating a vibrant and supportive learning environment for every child.

“Our award-winning Board of Education is the hardest-working school board setting the vision for the hardest-working group of professionals in public education today,” said Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis. “The board’s dedication to ‘Winning for Kids’ is evident each and every day, and I know I can rely on their guidance as we continue our work to ensure every child in the county has every chance to thrive.”

Dr. Pam Nutt (Dist. 1), Holly Cobb (Dist. 3), and Makenzie McDaniel (Dist. 5) continue to serve alongside Pope, Edwards, and Davis in advancing the district’s mission and vision into the new year.

“When you consider that Henry County Schools impacts children’s lives from their formative years until just before they enter adulthood, it means we play a significant role in their development,” said Pope. “We do not take for granted that families in our community entrust us with this critical responsibility, which requires effective governance.”

The board has amassed an impressive series of successes and notable achievements in recent years, underscoring its strong governance and commitment to excellence in education. These achievements culminated in several accolades, including being named Governance Team of the Year for Large Systems by the GSBA in November 2023 after being finalists each year since 2020.

The governance team also received the GSBA Leading Edge Award in 2019, 2021, and 2022 and GSBA Exemplary Board recognition each year since 2020.

The election of board members is the first official business of the board at its first meeting of each calendar year. The board chair and vice chair may serve a maximum of four terms.

All Henry County Board of Education meetings are livestreamed each month. Click here for full videos and highlights of previous sessions.  

About Henry County Schools

Henry County Schools (HCS) is the eighth-largest school district in Georgia, consisting of 52 schools, including two academies, located about 20 minutes south of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Over the past 20 years, our community has grown in population from 113,000 residents to over 244,000 residents. Since 1999, student enrollment has grown from 21,000 to 43,000 students, and our number of employees has grown from 3,000 to 6,000.

HCS is “In Pursuit of Exceptional,” taking action to advance opportunities, access, and outcomes so that every student in our school district has Exceptional Support, Exceptional Access, and an Exceptional Future. In 2020, our Board of Education adopted our 2021-2026 Community-Inspired Strategic Plan and laid out a clear vision and mission for Henry County Schools. Our vision is to ensure a high-quality, world-class education for every student, and our mission is to empower all students with exceptional opportunities and access that lead to success in a global society.