Return to Headlines

Four current instructional leaders assumed new roles June 1

New Leaders Four instructional leaders assumed new roles June 1. All hires requiring approval were unanimous at the Apr. 15 Board of Education meeting. The leaders assumed their respective roles at the district office, Oconee County Primary, High Shoals Elementary, and Malcom Bridge Middle.


  • Meri Blackburn, former principal at Malcom Bridge Middle, now serves as director of secondary education. Dr. Blackburn holds Ph.D., M.Ed., and B.S. degrees from the University of Georgia. She served as principal of MBMS since 2016. In addition, she was assistant principal of North Oconee High and is a former Spanish teacher in Clarke County. Under Dr. Blackburn’s leadership, MBMS was named a Highest Performing School by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, as well as a Distinguished Breakout School by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals.

  • Katherine Brown, former assistant principal at Colham Ferry Elementary, now serves as principal of Oconee County Primary. Dr. Brown holds Ph.D. and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Georgia and a B.S. degree from Valdosta State University. She was an assistant principal at CFES from 2017-19. Previously, she was the District Gifted Specialist in Clarke County and a teacher in Barrow County.

  • Mike Eddy, former principal at High Shoals Elementary, now serves as principal of Malcom Bridge Middle. Mr. Eddy is in the process of earning his Ed.D. from the University of Georgia. He holds a M.Ed. degree from the University of West Georgia and a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Stetson University. Prior to being principal at High Shoals Elementary, he served as a principal in Henry County for nearly a decade, as well as in their central office. He also served as a band director in Clayton and Fulton counties. Under his leadership, HSES has been named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

  • Jennifer Whitaker, former principal at Oconee County Primary, now serves as principal of High Shoals Elementary. Ms. Whitaker holds Ed.S., M.Ed., and B.S. degrees from the University of Georgia. In addition to serving as principal at Oconee County Primary, she served as assistant principal at Rocky Branch Elementary and Oconee County Primary. Ms. Whitaker was a teacher at High Shoals Elementary the year the school opened. She is the current chair of the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce education committee.


“I am very pleased that these four excellent leaders will continue to serve the students of Oconee County Schools in their new roles,” said Superintendent Jason L. Branch. “We are blessed to have strong leaders in our system and I look forward to each of these individuals bringing their talents and expertise to their respective leadership positions.”