At the March 11th regular monthly meeting of the Seminole County Board of Education, the Board selected Mark Earnest as the lone finalist to be the next Superintendent of the Seminole County School System. From a pool of over twenty-five applicants, Earnest emerged as the clear choice. Board Chairman Dr. Michael Kirkland commented, “His professional accomplishments impressed the Board and his combination of accomplishments, experience, vision, and passion for Seminole County was unmatched.” In its search for a student-centered leader with high standards and expectations, the Board unanimously agreed on this selection. “We also found the input from the school leadership teams to be informative, and their collective evaluation of Mr. Earnest’s fit for the position was positive,” added Kirkland.
The selection process now enters a 14 day notification period per state law and the Board plans to make the selection official at a called board meeting at the end of this month. The Board will then work with current Superintendent Brinson Register and Earnest to begin the transition. Once approved, Earnest will begin his official duties on July 1.
In his professional profile, John Mark Earnest states that he is a dedicated and responsible professional with 31 years of experience as a teacher and administrator, and has an outstanding reputation for leadership at the high school level. He has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership and has completed the Superintendent Professional Development Program offered by the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association. He has extensive knowledge of the elementary and middle school curriculum, instruction, and facilities operations. With extensive knowledge of high school curriculum, instruction, and facilities operations, he led a local school reform effort to increase the graduation rate from 62% to 92% from 2002-2014; increased advanced placement offerings from two courses to 13, and student enrollment from 17 (2003) exams to 461 (2014), achieving AP Challenge and AP Stem Recognition; and was instrumental in leading the state in Adequate Yearly Progress consecutively from 2004-2012. He has successfully taught and coached at the middle and high school levels for over 13 years.
He is presently an Assistant Principal with the Seminole County School District, a position he has had since 2015. Prior to that, he held several positions with the Rabun County School District, including Director of Title III – Rabun County Schools from 2014-2015; Principal – Rabun County High School from 2002-2014; and Assistant Principal from 2001-2002.
He was a high school Social Studies teacher with the Rabun County School District from 1998-2000; he developed syllabus, overall course structure and administered all grades; increased overall Georgia High School Graduation Test passing rate from 67% to 89%.
From 1992-1998, he taught middle school Social Studies and was Lead Teacher and a varsity coach with the Seminole County School District.
He was a high school Social Studies teacher from 1987-1992 with the Decatur County School System. He also was Advanced Placement teacher, taught Psychology, American Government and U.S. History, and was a varsity coach and Key Club advisor.
His education includes an Educational Specialist Degree in Leadership from Albany State University in 1991; a M.S. Ed. – History Degree from Troy State University in 1989; a B.S. Ed. – Social Studies Education Degree (Summa Cum Laude) in 1987 and an A.A. – History Degree, with Honors in 1985.
Earnest holds memberships in the National Association of Secondary Principals, the Georgia Association of Secondary Principals (Past President of District N), Georgia Association of Educators (Past President – Seminole County Chapter) and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.