Joe Gheesling re­tires

New­ton High School prin­ci­pal mak­ing move to Hall County

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Jenny Thompson

New­ton High School will lose its leader at the end of this school year.

Joe Gheesling, head prin­ci­pal of New­ton High since 2005, will leave New­ton County to ac­cept the prin­ci­pal po­si­tion at North Hall High School in Hall County.

“ I love our kids,” Gheesling said. “ I think our kids are re­ally the best around, but an op­por­tu­nity arose for me to be nearer my grand­kids.”

Gheesling and his wife, Vicki, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal at East New­ton El­e­men­tary, have two chil­dren and two grand­chil­dren.

His fam­ily moved to Cov­ing­ton in 1967 when he was still in col­lege. Im­me­di­ately af­ter grad­u­at­ing, he joined the Navy and served as a Navy pilot un­til 1994. “Af­ter I re­tired from the Navy, I de­cided to pur­sue some­thing I had al­ways wanted to do, which was teach and coach foot­ball,” Gheesling said.

Gheesling be­gan teach­ing English in 1997 at Gulf Breeze High School in Pen­sacola, Fla., where he taught for three years be­fore he came to East­side High School as an English teacher.

In 2002, he ac­cepted a po­si­tion as an as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal at New­ton High School.

“ Fond mem­o­ries I will take with me are of the kids,” Gheesling said. “ They’re won­der­ful kids and they just touch my heart ev­ery­day, and I’ll say work­ing with them has re­ally made me a bet­ter man.”

Hall County Schools have a larger stu­dent en­roll­ment than New­ton County with 25,588 stu­dents in 33 schools.

While in 2007 North Hall High School did meet Ad­e­quate Yearly Progress man­dated by the 2001 No Child Left Be­hind Act, six Hall County schools did not meet AYP caus­ing the en­tire sys­tem to fail.

Dur­ing the 2002- 2003 and 2003- 2004 school years New­ton High did not meet AYP, but did meet AYP un­der Gheesling’s di­rec­tion as prin­ci­pal in the 2004 to 2007 school years.


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