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Wheeler County Schools Superintendent Resigns

Wheeler County Schools  Superintendent Resigns
Suzanne Couey
Wheeler County Schools  Superintendent Resigns
Suzanne Couey

Wheeler County School Superintendent Suzanne Couey has resigned from her position effective at the expiration of her contract on June 30. Couey notified School Board Chair Michael “Sandy” Morrison and Co-Chair Judy Benton of her decision Wednesday, March 13, two days after the monthly board meeting on Tuesday, March 11.

When contacted by The Advance over the weekend following her announcement, Couey stressed, “I want to emphasize that this decision was made on my own terms.” She did not disclose the reason for her actions, but said she reached her decision after much prayer and consideration. “The Board did not ask me to resign; I just felt it is time.” Couey said that at this juncture, she has no definite plans to seek another educational position.

Couey’s entire professional experience as an educator has been spent serving Wheeler County schools. She became the Wheeler County school system’s continued from page

first female superintendent in 2017. When she became superintendent, she had most recently served the system as director of curriculum, technology, professional development and federal programs. Prior to her last role, she was principal of curriculum and instruction. She had also served the school system as an instructional coach, media specialist, and classroom instructor.

Board Chair Morrison commented on Monday, “Mrs. Couey has done an excellent job and I have nothing but high praise for her. She has seen us through so much — the COVID pandemic, building a new school, and all of the financing that goes with that. I hate to see her go, but I understand that being a superintendent is a demanding, full-time job — seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Her heart is in education and she has accomplished so much in the seven years she has been with us. She has done an excellent job for the people of Wheeler County.”

Co-Chair Benton said Monday, “She has done an excellent job and I can’t say enough for her hard work and diligence in getting the new school built. People will never know how much work she has put into her job. She came to us at just the right time and has shown good leadership and supreme confidence. She has amazing talent.” Benton said that currently, tenures for superintendents range from three to five years. “We have been fortunate to have Mrs. Couey for the past seven years. She will certainly be missed. I am saddened at her departure, but wish her well.”

The Board will now begin the search for a new superintendent.

Couey shared her letter of resignation in an email sent to school system employees, noting, “I want you all to know how much I appreciate you. Thank you for all you do for our students. Let’s have a great rest of the rest of the year.”

In the resignation letter, Couey stated: “My entire educational career has been in Wheeler County, and each day has been spent trying to create a positive but challenging learning environment, whether as teacher or as school district administrator. I have never catered to others’ personal interests or my own because my focus has always been on what is best for our students and staff.”

Couey said in the letter that she appreciates the faith and trust that many (board members) have offered her during her time as Superintendent and will fondly remember the achievements that were made to improve the school district. “I would like to go on record to state that I will be leaving the district prepared to completely pay off our capital outlay project by 2030, which is 20 years earlier and $3.3 million less than our original bond agreement had specified. Those projects included our $35 million K-12 school, our AG facility, the new transportation facility, and a new hitting cage for baseball/softball.”

Couey said in the letter that she also wrote numerous grants that awarded more than $2 million to equip the new school, opened in 2022, and to improve safety of all facilities, connect the AG facility to the school’s internet network, support instruction, and build community support throughout all three schools.

Couey emphasized, “Wheeler County is a special place to work. The staff’s commitment to our students’ success is truly remarkable, and it is the staff who create the family atmosphere that makes all children feel welcome and loved. Wheeler County School District is fortunate to have such a highly qualified staff, especially in such a small, rural area. Please continue to support them and strive to understand the challenges that they face on a daily basis. The role of the educator becomes more challenging each year.”

She closed by saying, “I am sure that all three Wheeler County Schools will continue to thrive under the strong leadership of their administrators, who are supported by a host of dedicated staff and faculty members. I wish them all the best and leave with sincere appreciation for all they have given and will continue to give to our students and to each other.”

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