While district and schools staff have worked from home since March 16, Buford City Schools announced a current employee as the high school’s next principal.

Teresa Hagelthorn, who was hired as the principal of Buford Middle School in 2019, was announced as Buford High School’s next principal after the Board of Education’s legislative session on Monday.

“Through my experiences, I believe building positive relationships with students, parents, and staff members is critical for fostering student growth, character development, and academic success,” Hagelthorn said in a statement issued by Buford City Schools. “The opportunity to serve the BMS community for the last year was an experience that shaped me and one I will always treasure. One of the best parts of this new role is knowing I will get four more years with my BMS students.”

Hagelthorn is from Buford and has several years of experience working in the district. She has served as an administrator in three Buford schools — Buford Academy, Buford Middle School and Buford High School.

“It is an absolute honor to welcome Ms. Hagelthorn to Buford High School,” Buford City Schools Superintendent Robert Downs said. “In a pool of highly-qualified candidates, she rose to the top and we are confident in her abilities and the skillset that she will bring to BHS. The experience she has gleaned from the younger grades provides a foundational understanding of the high school students with which she will be working.”

Buford also opened an associate principal position that will be filled by Keith Johnson, who currently serves in Buford High School’s administration.

Hagelthorn steps in to fill the shoes of interim principal Scott Chafin, who will return to being Buford Academy’s assistant principal.

Laure Beth Short, who served as an assistant principal at Buford Middle School, will assume the role of principal for the middle school. Prior to working at Buford, Short was an assistant principal at North Gwinnett High School for eight years.

Hagelthorn will be the fourth principal in four years at Buford High School. The district abruptly announced former principal Lindsey Allen’s resignation in January after less than one full year on the job. The Daily Post obtained documents indicating Allen was reluctant to leave his post prior to the announcement of his resignation.

Buford Board of Education Chairman Phillip Beard indicated that Buford employees would be heavily considered for the open position. Downs indicated in February that the district received approximately 60 applications for the Buford High School job before closing the portal.

The changes in leadership will take effect April 1 to provide new leaders time to plan for their schools’ 2020-21 school years.

For now, Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered all public schools in Georgia to stay closed through March 31.

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