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Fayette Supt. John DeCotis is calling it quits

Fayette County School System Superintendent John DeCotis is stepping down as head of the 22,000 student system when his contract expires June 30 this year, The Citizen has learned.

He will ask the Board of Education not to renew his three-year contract, The Citizen has learned from multiple sources. The current contract began July 1, 2007; his base salary at that time was $180,000.

DeCotis has over 31 years of experience with the school system as a teacher and administrator. He was the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Fayette County Schools prior to becoming the county’s superintendent in 1999.

He has also served the school system as executive director of K-12 curriculum and instruction and director of elementary education.

The board met Tuesday night, but no announcement was made about DeCotis’s plans to step down at that time.

The system has two administrators just below DeCotis in the management team: Deputy Superintendent Fred Oliver and Assistant Superintendent for Operations Sam Sweat.

A press release this afternoon from the Fayette County School System said:

Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John DeCotis has announced his retirement from the school system effective July 1, 2010. His current contract will expire on June 30, 2010.

DeCotis has served the school system for 31 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and county-level administrator.

During his tenure, the Fayette County Public School System has won numerous student, staff and school awards. The school system has also been recognized at the state and national level for its academic achievements.

“I want to thank our current and previous school boards for their support, commitment and vision. I also want to thank our students, staff, parents and community members for their support and efforts over the years,” says DeCotis.

DeCotis has been recognized locally and nationally as an outstanding leader and positive role model for other educators and administrators. His most recent awards and honors include: winner of the 2009 Outstanding Educator Award from the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL); inclusion in the 2008-2009 Honors Edition of the Cambridge Who’s Who Registry; a finalist for the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA) 2009 Georgia School Superintendent of the Year award; recipient of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce 2008 Dreambuilder Award for community service; winner of the 2007 GSSA President’s Award for excellence in leadership, community involvement and professional accomplishment; and recipient of the NAACP Community Service Award.

In addition to serving the Fayette County Public School System, DeCotis has been actively involved in many community service activities. Over the years he has served as chairman of the YMCA Board of Directors; member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Advisory Board; member of the Fayette County Safe Kids Coalition; chairman of the YMCA Aquatics Facility Development Committee; youth leadership chairman of Toastmasters International; member of the Southern Federal Credit Union Board of Directors; member of the Fayette County Board of Health Board of Directors; member of the Fayette Youth Protection Home Board; and a member of the Knights of Columbus, the press release said.

Further details later.

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