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Dr. Carl Knowlton Named Interim Superintendent of Henry County Schools

HENRY COUNTY, GA – The Henry County Board of Education took action at a Feb. 20 Special Called Meeting on the resignation of Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis and the unanimous appointment of Dr. Carl Knowlton as Interim Superintendent, effective March 7.

“Dr. Knowlton is the ideal candidate to lead us through this transitional period,” said Board Chair Sophe Pope (Dist. 4). “He is a familiar presence in our community who has a deep understanding of the district and the many roles and responsibilities necessary to provide the best possible environment for our nearly 44,000 students and 6,000 staff.”

This decision follows the appointment of Davis as Superintendent by the Cherokee County School District on Feb. 15.

In a letter to the community, the Board of Education shared this news and its intention to identify an external search firm to guide the process of selecting a permanent leader.

“We fully intend to have a new Superintendent by the start of the 2024-2025 school year, and we’re committed to keeping the community informed throughout this search,” the letter states.  “You can now find a link to the ‘Superintendent Search’ webpage on our district website at where this letter and future communications about this process will be updated for our community.”

“I am honored to be called upon to provide consistency, stability, and a seamless transition as our Board of Education undertakes the process of selecting a long-term leader,” said Dr. Knowlton. “I began my career journey as a fifth-grade teacher. Over nearly three decades in the classroom, the principal’s office, and the district office, I’ve learned the importance of positively connecting with school board members, employees, families, businesses, elected officials, and most importantly students. We will continue to ensure that exceptional academic outcomes for all students are not by chance, but an expectation across Henry County Schools.”

Dr. Knowlton has been an employee of Henry County Schools since 2002, when he served as an assistant principal at then-Henry County Middle and later Austin Road Elementary.

In July 2008, he was appointed principal of Tussahaw Elementary and led the school for six years before transitioning to the district’s Human Resource Services Division, where he served as Executive Director of Human Resources from 2014-2018.

Dr. Knowlton was then appointed to the key role of Chief of Staff for Superintendent Davis, serving in that capacity for three years before returning to HR in 2021 to his current position as Chief Human Resources Officer.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, as well as Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees in educational administration from Arkansas State University. He also earned a Doctor of Education degree in educational and organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

"We have no doubt that under the leadership of Dr. Knowlton we will finish this year strong on our way to identifying the next permanent Superintendent for Henry County Schools,” said Board Vice Chair Annette Edwards (Dist. 2). “Together, we will ensure that the 2023-2024 school year remains focused on ‘Winning for Kids’ until the final tassel is turned at graduation.”

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.