MOULTRIE, Ga. — Colquitt County School System recently announced the following administrative promotions. 

“We are excited to have the experience and expertise in these critical roles,” said School Superintendent Doug Howell. The achievement of our students and schools is the driving motivation in all that we do. We are planning for and looking forward to a successful school year.”

New principals include Leamon Madison at Cox Elementary, Brian Knighton at Stringfellow Elementary and Jim Horne at Willie J. Williams Middle School, plus Charla Brinson, the new site coordinator at GEAR.

Assistant principals include Meg Bishop at Cox, Jacob Mobley at C.A. Gray Junior High, Gistacy Brown at Okapilco Elementary, Kristyn Nelms at Stringfellow and Ben Pitchford at Sunset Elementary.

At the central office, Daniel Dalton has been named Transportation Director, Leanne NeSmith is the new instructional technology director and Jeff Horne has been named assistant director of federal programs and the system’s migrant coordinator.

Leamon Madison, Cox Elementary School Principal


• Valdosta State University: Bachelor of Science - Psychology.

• Walden University: Master of Education - Ed Leadership.

• Valdosta State University: Specialist of Education – Educational Leadership.


• Willie J. Williams Middle (2015–2017), assistant principal.

• J.M. Odom Elementary (2012–2014), assistant principal.

• Stringfellow Elementary (2011–2013), assistant principal.

• Cox Elementary (2007–2010), fourth grade teacher.

• Cox Elementary (2004-2006), instructional provider.

Madison is married to wife Davida and they have two children: Leamon and Will. 

"I love the following quote by Albert Einstein, ‘Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish off of his ability to climb a tree he'll spend his whole life believing he is stupid.’ Thus, it is our duty as educators to help students find their strengths and soar in order to realize their dreams, while they continue to improve in other areas,” Madison said. “We cannot accomplish this goal alone as it takes a village to raise a child and a school community to properly prepare students for the future. As Harry Truman stated, ‘You can accomplish anything in life provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.’"

Meg Bishop, Cox Elementary School Assistant Principal


• East Tennessee State University: Bachelor of  Arts - Spanish (minor: Finance-international studies).

• Valdosta State University: Master of Education - Instructional Technology.

• Valdosta State University: Leadership certificate (complete July 2018).


• C.A. Gray Junior High (2006-10; 2014-current), math coach, special education and mathematics teacher, department head and academic coach.

• Funston Elementary (2010-2014), teacher.

• First Coast High – Jacksonville, Fla. (2003-2006), teacher.

• GATX Logistics (1998-2003), financial analyst.

• U.S. Army and Army Reserves (1992-1998).

“I am beyond elated to have the opportunity to support, develop and grow along with the energized staff at Cox Elementary School,” Bishop said.

She is married to Bill and they have two children, Maggie and Will.

Jeff Horne, Federal Programs Assistant Director/Migrant Coordinator


• Valdosta State University - Bachelors of Science - Biology.

• Valdosta State University – Master of Science - Secondary Education.

• Valdosta State University – Education Specialist - Educational Leadership.


• Achievement Center (2009-2018), teacher, testing coordinator, curriculum/instruction advisor, and night school director.

• Colquitt County Schools’ Migrant Summer School (2018), lead administrator.

“Educators have a huge responsibility to serve their community and cultivate the future of each child,” Horne said. :It is this responsibility that I look forward to each day, and I am excited to carry on this service while working with Federal Programs and Migrant Education.”

Horne is married to wife Caroline and they have one child, John Michael.

Charla Brinson, GEAR Site Coordinator


• Georgia Southwestern University: Bachelor and Master of Science- Middle Grades Education.

• State University of West Georgia: ESOL Endorsement.

• Georgia Southwestern University: Education Specialist – Middle Grades Education.

• Valdosta State University: Educational Leadership.

• Southwest Georgia RESA: Gifted Endorsement.


• Stringfellow Elementary (2016 – present), assistant principal.

• Sunset Elementary (2013- 2016), assistant principal.

• Willie J. Williams Middle (2006-2013), sixth grade teacher.

• R. B. Wright Elementary (2001-2006), first and fifth grade teacher.

• Migrant Program and Summer School Programs (1995-2012), teacher

• Funston Elementary (1997-2001), fifth grade teacher.

• Stringfellow Elementary (1994 -1997), fourth and fifth grade teacher.

• Norman Park Elementary (1993 -1994), seventh grade teacher.        

• C. A. Gray Middle (1991-1993), sixth grade teacher.

Brinson shared, “I am very excited to take on this new chapter in my educational journey. I want to continue the standard of excellence that has been established in the GEAR program, and my goal is to make our program a model exemplar for the state of Georgia — our teachers and their experience in the classroom are truly outstanding!”

Brinson is engaged to Jeffrey Campbell and they have two children, Cameron Brinson and Alaina Campbell.

Jacob Mobley, C.A. Gray Junior High School Assistant Principal


• Georgia Southwestern State University: Bachelor of Science - Health/Physical Education.

• Armstrong Atlantic State University: Master of Education - Curriculum and Instruction.

• Georgia Southern University: Education Specialist - Teaching and Learning.

• Capella University: Doctorate of Education - Building Leadership and Management (In Progress).


• Charlie A. Gray Junior High School (2009-Present), weights and health/physical education teacher, middle school athletic director.

• South Effingham High School (2007-2009), driver's education instructor.

• Tompkins Middle School (2007), health/physical education teacher

Mobley shared, “I appreciate Mr. Smith, Mr. Howell, and the Board of Education for giving me the opportunity to continue to work and help develop the culture of the C.A. Gray family.”

Mobley is married to wife Britney, and they have three children, Allie, Davis, and Jud.

Leanne NeSmith, Instructional Technology Director


• Mercer University: Bachelor of Arts - English and Spanish.

• Valdosta State University: Master of Arts - English.

• Valdosta State University: Education Specialist - Leadership.


• Colquitt County School System (2000 – 2015), instructional technology specialist, student information specialist, and assistant principal at W.J. Williams Middle School

• Mitchell County School System (1999-2000), technology director.

• Albany State University (1997 to 1999), instructional technology specialist.

• Colquitt County High School (1991 to 1997), Spanish teacher.

“Technology is a powerful tool for teaching and learning when used effectively by a knowledgeable, creative teacher with engaged students,” NeSmith said.

NeSmith has one daughter, Laura Hiers. 

Gistacy Brown, Okapilco Elementary School Assistant Principal


• Albany State University: Bachelor of Science – Early Childhood Education.

• Nova Southeastern University: Master of Science – Curriculum, Instruction and Technology.

• Nova Southeastern University: Doctorate of Education – Organizational Leadership.

• Valdosta State University:  Educational Leadership.


• Colquitt County School System (2016-2018), academic coach.

• Dougherty County School System (2013-2016), instructional coach.

• Dougherty County School System (2010-2013), early intervention specialist.

• Dougherty County School System (2006-2010), reading intervention specialist.

• Dougherty County School System (2002-2006), first grade teacher.

• Mitchell County Primary (2001-2002), first grade teacher.

• LaPetite Academy (2000-2001), pre-kindergarten teacher.

“As an educator, mentor, and coach I seek to improve the lives of children academically, socially, and emotionally,” Brown said. “I realize that I may not be able to reach every individual. However, I feel good knowing that I did everything in my power to make a difference. In the midst of a challenge, I have trust, faith, and belief that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. The purpose of my life is not to be satisfied with making myself happy — but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, and to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Brown is married to Earnest Brown Jr. and they have three children, Kofi, Jordan, and Peyton.

Brian Knighton, Stringfellow Elementary School Principal


• Fort Valley State University: Bachelor of Arts - Business Administration; major in management.

• Albany State University: Master of Education - Special Education.

• Albany State University:  Education Specialist - Leadership.


• Okapilco Elementary (2015-2018), assistant principal.

• C.A. Gray Jr. High (2009-2015), teacher (world history and special education).

• Stringfellow Elementary and Cox Elementary (2008-2009), special education teacher.

• Odom Elementary (2007-2008), instructional provider.

Knighton shared, “The quote below represents many facets of my life. To have this opportunity is unbelievable, and I know that this new journey is not about me, but about all the boys and girls that need hope, inspiration, and a sense to dream to become whatever they want to be in life.

“‘Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.’  — Booker T. Washington.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to have this opportunity to serve as principal of Stringfellow Elementary, a school that is so rich and deep in tradition,” Knighton continued. “I look forward to working with the students, staff, families, and stakeholders, helping to take Stringfellow to unimaginable heights! One motto that has been with me for a long time that I truly believe in is ‘The Sky’s the Limit.’ To the Stinger Bee nation & family, let’s make history and do the unthinkable!”

Knighton is married to wife Shemeka, and they are expecting a baby girl, Brooklyn Faith. 

Kristyn Nelms, Stringfellow Elementary School Assistant Principal


• Valdosta State University - Bachelor of Science - Middle Grades Education (Mathematics & Science).

• Valdosta State University - Master of Education - Middle Grades Educations (Mathematics & Science).

• Kennesaw State University - Education Specialist - Instructional Technology.


• Charlie A. Gray (Middle School) Junior High School (2004-2018), seventh and eighth grade math, seventh grade social studies, and academic coach.

Nelms shared, “I am excited to join the Stringfellow Elementary family. I look forward to working with the staff to foster a culture and climate of success for the students and community we serve.”

Nelms is married to husband, Justin, and they have one child, Lauren.

Ben Pitchford, Sunset Elementary School Assistant Principal


• Georgia Institute of Technology: Bachelor of Science - Industrial and Systems Engineering.

• Valdosta State University: Master of Education- Secondary Education.

• Valdosta State University: Doctorate of Education - Curriculum and Instruction.


• Colquitt County High School (2003-2018), mathematics teacher, co-chair of mathematics department, academic coach.

• Milliken and Company (1997-2002), production manager, process engineer, and quality assurance manager.

“I am excited to serve the students and staff of Sunset Elementary as assistant principal!” Pitchford said. “I look forward to working with Sunset's stakeholders to help all students achieve at high levels, develop a love of learning, and grow socially and emotionally. I am ready to utilize my background in math and engineering to further develop Sunset's medical STEM initiative which is an excellent vehicle for fostering important 21st Century skills.”

Daniel Dalton, Transportation Director


• Valdosta State University: Bachelor of Science - Health and Physical Education. 

• Valdosta State University:  Master of Education - Educational Leadership.


• C. A. Gray Junior High (2005-2018), teacher, graduation coach, and assistant principal.

• Odom Elementary (2001-2005), elementary health and physical education teacher.

• Stringfellow Elementary and Funston Elementary (1998-2001), health and physical education teacher.

Dalton shared, “The school day for a student begins when the doors of the bus opens and ends when he/she is safely returned. We have a responsibility to nurture and do our part in developing our future citizens. I am looking forward to working with our transportation staff to achieve great things for Colquitt County students.”

Dalton is married to Lauri and they have two sons, Dylan and Davis.

Jim Horne, W.J. Williams Middle School Principal


• Brewton Parker University: Bachelor of Science – Middle Grades Education.

• Albany State University: Master of Education- Educational Leadership.

• Valdosta State University: Educational Specialist- School Administration.


• Cox Elementary School (2013-2018), principal.

• C.A. Gray Middle School & Junior High (1999-2013), teacher, graduation coach, and assistant principal.

• Colquitt County High School (1996-1999), JTPA (Job Training Partnership Act) coordinator.

Horne shared, “I look forward to being a part of the Willie J. Williams Middle School community. My door is always open to students, staff, and parents. Our goal at Willie J. Williams will be to do all we can to facilitate the success of our students.”

Horne is married to wife Melissa and they have two children, Wilson and Carly Beth.

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