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Gwinnett administrator chosen as finalist for Fulton superintendent

SUWANEE - One of Gwinnett County Public Schools' top administrators has been chosen as the finalist in Fulton County School System's search for a new superintendent.

The Fulton County Board of Education is expected to hire Cindy Loe, currently the associate superintendent of teaching and learning in Gwinnett, after a two-week public comment period.

Loe is expected to begin working in the state's fourth largest school district on April 1. Fulton's current superintendent, James Wilson, announced he is retiring June 1, five days before his contract expires.

"Dr. Loe is a perfect fit for Fulton County schools - and just the person our students, parents, staff and community need," said Julia Bernath, president of the Fulton County Board of Education. "As a long-time resident of Fulton County, Dr. Loe understands the district. Her strong skill-set and willingness to be part of the team ensures our continued educational excellence."

The school system has had three superintendents in the past five years, according to published news reports. Wilson replaced Michael Vanairsdale, who left in 2005. About a year after Vanairsdale was hired, he resigned amidst an investigation into questionable accounting practices. His predecessor, John Haro, worked for five months before he left abruptly because of family reasons.

J. Alvin Wilbanks, the superintendent of Gwinnett schools, said Loe is an excellent educator and a great leader who is respected by her peers.

"We want to congratulate her," Wilbanks said. "We wish her well in her new endeavor, and we know she'll do a great job."

Loe thanked school system leaders Thursday evening for their support, saying that the district will "always be a part of my heart and family."

"I know I'll be the kind of superintendent they want," Loe said. "I've had the opportunity to see excellent leadership be modeled here."

After board members bid farewell to Loe, they approved the appointments of three new principals, effective July 1.

Jeffrey Mathews, who is currently an assistant principal at Parkview High, will be the principal of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology. The charter school's current principal, Banks Bitterman, is leaving at the end of the school year to lead Buford High School.

F.A. Huard McLeod, an assistant principal at Camp Creek Elementary, will lead Berkeley Lake Elementary. The school's current principal, Leigh Westcott, is transferring to lead R.D. Head Elementary.

Charlotte Sadler, a data administrator and assistant principal at Margaret Winn Holt Elementary, will lead Parsons Elementary. Melinda Sepmeyer, Parsons' current principal, is retiring at the end of the year.