School Board calls Ware County for next Fayette superintendent

Ware County School Superintendent Dr. Joseph “Jody” C. Barrow, Jr. is the lone finalist for the superintendent’s job that will be open in Fayette County schools on July 1. Barrow’s selection was announced Monday night at the meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education. The school board must wait the required two weeks before voting on Barrow’s employment.

The vote by the school board was unanimous to accept Barrow as the only finalist in the months-long search for a permanent superintendent. The school board received 30 resumes for the position and eventually interviewed six candidates.

Barrow is expected to be confirmed as superintendent at a called meeting on April 29.

Serving as superintendent of the Ware County School System since 2006, Barrow is responsible for the direction of a system that operates six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school, about a third the size of Fayette’s system. The county borders Florida and contains part of the Okefenokee Swamp.

Prior to his time heading Ware County schools, Barrow held the position of principal in schools in Vidalia, Brunswick and Bethlehem from 1989-2006. Barrow began a career in education in 1980 as a middle school and high school teacher and coach in Appling County.

His administrative experience includes planning, developing and administrating school system budgets of more than $70 million.

Barrow earned a Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Nova Southeastern University, a M.Ed in Health and Physical Education from Georgia Southern University.

Barrow in 2012 was named president-elect of the Ga. School Superintendents Association and in 2011 won the Bill Barr Leadership Award, named for the first GSSA executive director. He has received numerous honors, including the 2012 Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth Champion of the Year and in 2012 was appointed to the board of Georgia Rural Health.

Barrow has been a presenter at state and national conferences and in 2007 authored “What makes a Great Educational Leader.”

Ware County is located in southeast Georgia approximately 50 miles west of Brunswick. Ware County’s largest city is Waycross. Ware County has a 2012 estimated population of nearly 36,000, has a population with an 81 percent high school graduation rate and median household income of more than $35,000.

Interim Superintendent Dan Colwell will continue to serve through June.

Barrow’s resume will be available on the school system’s website at for citizen review and comment.

Input regarding the finalist can be made to board members via a link that has been provided on the website, or written comments can be mailed or dropped off Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Fayette County Board of Education office located at 210 Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville.