McDONOUGH — It is official. Rodney Bowler, the assistant superintendent for administrative services in Henry County Schools, has been named to replace retiring Superintendent Dr. Ethan Hildreth.
The school board voted Monday to promote Bowler, who will assume the duties this spring upon Hildreth’s retirement.
Bowler is familiar with the district’s central office culture. He has been on staff at headquarters since 2007, when he was hired as human resources director. He has served as an assistant superintendent since 2011.
He moved into the roles from his principal position at Union Grove High, a school he opened in 2000.
Bowler served as a special education teacher and an assistant principal at Eagle’s Landing High, where the retiring superintendent also got his start as an educator and administrator.
“Being named as the 14th superintendent for Henry County Schools is indeed an honor and I am truly humbled,” said Bowler. “It is with great respect, humility and passion that I look forward to serving the students, staff and community of Henry County as superintendent.”
Bowler was in the running with fellow finalist Dr. Vickie Perdue Scott, the vice president for academy affairs with HighPoints Learning.
Scott was a finalist in 2008 along with Hildreth to replace then-retiring Superintendent Jack Parish. Michael Surma, another finalist, was awarded the job and was replaced a few years later by Hildreth when he retired.
Hildreth announced his retirement in September.
School board Chairwoman Dr. Pam Nutt said the board is excited to have Bowler as the district’s next superintendent.
“He is familiar with this system and the employees are familiar with his strong leadership,” said Nutt. “We know that great things will continue to happen for our students, staff and community with him leading the charge.”
Hildreth pointed to 23 years of working alongside Bowler.
“We have worked together as teachers, as high school principals and as school system leaders,” said Hildreth. “He is a man of integrity and an able leader who has successfully served the students, families and community for many years.
“Henry County Schools enjoys great success and an outstanding reputation across the state of Georgia,” he continued, “and I am confident that Mr. Bowler will continue this tradition as he leads our school system and community into the future.”
School spokesman J.D. Hardin said the coming months will allow time for further transition planning and collaboration in the superintendent’s office. He said the time also will encompass a search for a new assistant superintendent for administrative services.
Bowler accepted the news Monday with thanks.
“This is truly a humbling experience, which further drives my commitment to the community and excites me about the welcomed and new opportunities I now have to serve,” said Bowler. “The success of any organization requires having great people who are dedicated to achieving great results.
“I am blessed to be surrounded by this type of greatness, not only within our school system, but within my family,” he added. “I would not have the career that I have without the love of my highly supportive family. My wife Kimberly, my son Kyle and my daughter Emily are my rock, my energizers, and my pride and joy.”