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OCPS and OCMS principals for June 1, 2022 announced

Oconee County Schools formally HilleyStephensannounced the names of two new principals on May 10, following unanimous approval of the Board of Education at the May 9 meeting. The following principals will begin serving June 1, 2022:


  • Ms. Shelby Hilley, Oconee County Primary School
  • Mr. Matt Stephens, Oconee County Middle School


"Ms. Hilley and Mr. Stephens have each served Oconee County Schools for over a decade as teachers and administrators. I look forward to the positive input each of these world-class educators will have in their new roles at Oconee County Primary and Oconee County Middle, respectively,” said Superintendent Jason L. Branch. “Both are committed to building on the successes of their predecessors and leading positive learning environments that result in high achievement and student success.”


Ms. Shelby Hilley

Currently: Assistant Principal of Colham Ferry Elementary School

As of June 1, 2022: Principal of Oconee County Primary School


Ms. Hilley earned her bachelor’s degree at Armstrong Atlantic State University, and then her master’s and specialist degrees from the University of Georgia. She began her teaching career in 2007 as an elementary school teacher in the Barrow County School System. Ms. Hilley came to Oconee County Schools in 2013, where she served as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Malcom Bridge Elementary School. In 2018, she transitioned to the role of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teacher at Dove Creek Elementary School. In 2019, she accepted the position of assistant principal at Colham Ferry Elementary School 


Hilley and her husband, Tyler, are the proud parents of two children.


“I am so thrilled to be joining the team of faculty, staff, students, and parents at the school known for being the ‘Happiest Place on Earth,’” said Hilley. “The last three years as assistant principal at Colham Ferry Elementary have been a joy and taught me so much. I am grateful to transition into the role of principal at Oconee Primary School and to continue to promote academic excellence while maintaining the safe, challenging, and nurturing community that has been established for our Little Chiefs.”


Mr. Matt Stephens

Currently: Assistant Principal of Oconee County Middle School

As of June 1, 2022: Principal of Oconee County Middle School


Mr. Stephens holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree from Piedmont College, and a specialist degree from Valdosta State University. He began his career in Oconee County Schools in 2011, as a special education inclusion teacher at Oconee County High School. In 2015, he transitioned to the role of alternative school director and also served as the director of grades 9-12 summer school. In 2017, he began in his current position as assistant principal of Oconee County Middle School. 


Stephens and his wife, Megan, are the proud parents of three children.


“I am truly honored to follow Mr. Carter as the next principal to begin the 2022-23 school year as principal of Oconee County Middle School,” said Stephens. “OCMS is a special place, filled with amazing teachers who encourage and inspire the next generation on a daily basis. I look forward to partnering with the OCMS community as we strive for the continued excellence our students and stakeholders deserve.”