Newton Schools narrows list to 3 for superintendent post

COVINGTON -- After reviewing more than 30 applications and interviewing six candidates, the Newton County Board of Education has three finalists in their search for a new superintendent of schools. They are: Samantha Marie Fuhrey, Ed.S., of Covington; Samuel Paul Light, Ed. D., of Glasford, Ill., and Noris Felicia Price, Ed.D., of Athens.

"We reviewed all of the applications that met the qualifications set out by the board through Georgia School Boards Association and were very impressed by the caliber of applicants," said Abigail Coggin, chair of the Newton County Board of Education. "We interviewed six of those candidates over a three-day period and have now narrowed it down to our final three. The board members will now work together to determine who would be the best person to lead our school system. Our next step will then be to negotiate a contract with that person. Our hope is to have this done as soon as possible."

Current Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews will retire on June 30. Mathews has served as superintendent since July of 2010.

According to NCSS Director of Public Relations Sherri Davis-Viniard, the superintendent will be chosen at a future meeting of the Newton County Board of Education. The date has not been announced.

"By law, the board must wait at least 14 days before voting on the next superintendent. During that time the public can weigh in on the finalists," Davis-Viniard said. "The plan is for the new superintendent to be announced and ready to take over on July 1."

The school system has released biographical information on the proposed candidates. The employment applications of each can be seen at the Newton County Board of Education Office located 2109 Newton Drive.


Fuhrey currently serves as deputy superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Newton County Schools, a position she has held for the past seven months. She has extensive leadership experience at the executive level as she previously served as the executive director for Secondary Education, the director of Secondary Education, and the director of Professional Learning for Newton County Schools.

Previously, Fuhrey served as the principal of Indian Creek Middle School in Newton County from 2005 to 2008 after having been promoted from assistant principal, a position she held from 2001 to 2005.

Prior to her employment with Newton County Schools, Fuhrey worked for the DeKalb County School System as an assistant principal and an English teacher.

Fuhrey earned her bachelor of science degree in secondary English from Marywood University in 1991 and her master's degree in educational leadership from State University of West Georgia in 2000. She added an education specialist's degree in educational leadership from Georgia College and State University in 2006.

She has served as a leadership preparation performance coach, presenter at the International Reading Conference; volunteer for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; volunteer for Covington Relay for Life; former volunteer treasurer/board member for Newton County Literacy Volunteers; and presenter at Griffin RESA's Summer Leadership Conference. She has also conducted workshops on leadership development, teacher leadership, corrective reading, literacy across the curriculum, and reading fluency.

When not at work, Fuhrey enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, painting, sewing, and spending time with the community at her family restaurant, Double Dips in Oxford.


Dr. Samuel Light has served as superintendent of the Illini Bluffs Community Unit School District #327 in Glasford, Ill., since 2008. Prior to his move to Illinois, Light served as the superintendent of the Elbert County Public Schools in Georgia from 2005 to 2008 and as the associate superintendent of Accountability and Assessment for the Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools from 2001 to 2005. He began his career in education as a metals instructor and printing instructor in the Duval County Public Schools in Florida, where he was later promoted to assistant principal and then principal.

Light earned his bachelor of science degree in technology leadership from Eastern Illinois University in 1986 and his master's degree in educational leadership from Jacksonville University in 1992. He added an educational doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2010.

He is a member of his local Rotary Club, the Masonic Lodge, and was named Optimist Club Person of the Year in Jacksonville, Fla. He is an adult Sunday school teacher and coaches Little League baseball. His outside interests include family, church, hunting, golf and fishing.


Dr. Noris Price is currently the deputy superintendent for the Clarke County School District in Athens, a position she has held for eight months. Dr. Price previously served as the associate superintendent for Clarke County Schools for five years prior to her promotion.

She was previously a principal in both the Fulton County School District in Atlanta and the Fairfax County Public Schools in Falls Church, Va. She began her career in education as a teacher at the Archdiocese of New York Good Shepherd School and later taught in the New York City Public Schools and the Fairfax County Public Schools, where she also served as an assistant principal.

Price earned her bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Wilmington College and her master's degree in elementary education from Lehman College of the City University of New York in 1987. She added a leadership certificate from George Mason University in 1990 and obtained her doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University in 2006.

She has won numerous honors and awards including the American Association of School Administrators Women in School Leadership Award; the Distinguished Title I District Award for Closing the Achievement GAP; GAESP Georgia Distinguished Principal for District 10; Intel School of Distinction; GAESP School Bell Award and Educational Patron Award; National PTA Parent Involvement School of Excellence; Fulton County Ten-Year Golden Apple Award for Volunteer Hours; Outstanding Principal Award from the Georgia PTA; Outstanding Service Award from the North Perimeter Optimist Luncheon Club; Fulton County School of Excellence; and more.

Price is on the board of directors for the Georgia Association of Curriculum and Instructional Supervisors; co-chair of the Teach to Learn Grant Advisory Board; board of directors of the Clark County Mentor Program, and the co-chair of the Whatever It Takes Promise Neighborhood K-12 Initiative.

When not at work, Price enjoys spending time with family attending concerts, plays and sporting events. She also volunteers for various community events.

For more information on the selection of the new school superintendent, contact Davis-Viniard by email at davis-viniard.sherri@newton.k12.ga.us or by phone at 770-784-2908.


ThePublicGood 2 years, 6 months ago

The only one who has been and still is a superintendent is Sam Light. Hire Sam Light and no I don't know the man but NCSS is at a critical point with money and data. We need someone who has done this job before no matter the size of his/her district. The only one non this list who has done this job before is Sam Light. Any business minded CEO would say hire him and move on. Now fix Alcovy High before it is too late.


Billy 2 years, 6 months ago

Yes, hopefully, someone with a track record of success with experience in this same type of office. This is not an OJT situation or AA opportunity; hire someone who can do the job w/o drama and nonsense...


Satan69 2 years, 6 months ago

Satan approves Mrs Fuhrey!!!!


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