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CCSD Principal Named Finalist for Georgia Principal of the Year!

Posted On: Friday, January 18, 2019


A Cherokee County School District Principal is a finalist for a statewide Principal of the Year Award!

Creekview High School Principal Dr. Mark Merges is one of six finalists for the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals’ Principal of the Year award.  

“We’re so proud of Dr. Merges for earning this well-deserved recognition,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “The Grizzly Nation has grown tremendously under his leadership, from academic gains to school spirit to greater collaboration at every level.  We hope the entire community will join us in congratulating Dr. Merges on being named a finalist and cheering him on as he advances in this competition.”

The winner of the award, which is open to middle and high school principals statewide, recognizes principals who excel in educational leadership, resolving complex problems, developing self and others, and community service.  

The finalists were selected from a large pool of applications, which include an extensive review of their school’s performance based on specific data points. 

The judges, following final interviews of the finalists, will select a winner, who will be announced later this winter and then represent the state in the competition for the National Principal of the Year title.  

Principal Merges, who has more than 25 years of experience as an educator, began leading Creekview High School three years ago.

During his tenure, Dr. Merges has created a culture of excellence; inspired his staff, students and school community with school pride; and created a model of extraordinary student achievement, according to Dr. Debra Murdock, CCSD’s Executive Director for Administrative Leadership at the high school level and a past winner of the Principal of the Year award.  

“In his relatively short tenure, Dr. Merges has created a dynamic and thriving school culture that brings all school stakeholders to a single purpose and vision – excellence!” Dr. Murdock said, noting his focus on instructional leadership led to the development of the Instructional Lead Teacher position, a model that since has been replicated throughout CCSD’s high schools.

Dr. Merges began his career in CCSD in 1994 as an elementary school teacher, advancing to assistant principal at Dean Rusk Middle School.  After leaving for seven years to serve as Principal of Dawson County Middle School, Dr. Merges returned to lead Sequoyah High School’s athletic programs as an assistant principal and athletic director until his appointment to Creekview’s Principal.

He has earned bachelor, master’s, specialist and doctorate degrees in education, with the latter in educational leadership from Samford University.

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