Henry County Schools names new interim superintendent

Dr. Carl Knowlton  (Henry County Schools)

Dr. Carl Knowlton will helm Henry County Schools after the departure of Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis, who was named the top educator in Cherokee County earlier this month.

The Henry County Board of Education unanimously appointed Dr. Knowlton during a specially called meeting on Tuesday.

"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 is the ideal candidate to lead us through this transitional period," said Board Chair Sophe Pope. "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."

Who is Dr. Carl Knowlton?

Dr. Knowlton has been with Henry County Schools since 2002, serving as an assistant principal at then-Henry County Middle and later Austin Road Elementary.

In July 2008, he became principal of Tussahaw Elementary, where he stayed for six years before transitioning to the district’s Human Resource Services Division. He would serve as Executive Director of Human Resources from 2014-2018.

Dr. Knowlton was then appointed to Chief of Staff for Superintendent Davis, serving 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.

Henry County Schools superintendent search

The board also pledged to have a new permanent leader in place before the next school year. In a letter to the community, the board wrote:

"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 www.henry.k12.ga.us where this letter and future communications about this process will be updated for our community."

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis, Henry County Schools Superintendent (Credit: Henry County Board of Education)

"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."