South Hart parents and guardians,
I truly enjoy the opportunity to work at South Hart. The students, staff, parents, and greater community have been so wonderful to me during my time here. I enjoy interacting with the students and working with teachers to use student achievement data to make the very best decisions for each child at South Hart. The smiles, waves, and calls for my name around the building when being in the presence of the students fills my heart.
I have a family of five, plus a dog. My wife, Christie, works as a special education teacher in another system. At this current time, my daughter Ally is 16 and a junior in high school, my son Cooper is 11 and is a 6th grader, and my daughter Avery is nine and a 4th grader. Our dawg, can’t forget about him, is Kirby.
I came to South Hart in July of 2016 as a new assistant principal in the district after teaching in Gwinnett County for 14 years. Mrs. Lydia Bennett was the current principal and gave me this opportunity. Around March in 2018, the district asked me to take over as principal at South Hart and gave Mrs. Bennett the principal position at Hartwell Elementary. Currently, I am in my 4th year as principal at South Hart.
Education & Certifications
Doctorate of Education Ed.d Curriculum & instruction Dec 2015
Piedmont College – Demorest, GA
Education Specialist: Teaching and Learning May 2011
Piedmont College – Demorest, GA
Masters: Educational Leadership & Administrative Policy Jan 2008
The University of Georgia – Athens, GA
Bachelor of Science: Health & Physical Education May 2002
Georgia State University – Atlanta, GA
*Additional certifications include a Reading Endorsement and a Gifted Endorsement.
Partnering with Parents
Hart County School System has a guiding principle that states: Quality education requires partnership, which is the responsibility of the school system, students, the parents, and the community. We cannot maximize your child’s full potential without your help. Talking to your child about school every day is essential. If they tell you that their day was good, ask questions about what they are learning so you can have deeper conversations. Read with your child at least four to five times a week. As you are reading and at the end, ask them questions to see if they understand, make predictions, and summarize. Respond to your child’s teachers' messages and support their daily efforts with your child in the classroom. Come to conferences when scheduled. Your child needs to see or know you are interacting with their teacher. Come to events at South Hart when possible (e.g., SOAR programs-Student-of-the-Month, Reading Rewards, Field Day). I understand this can be a challenge with work responsibilities.
Pay close attention to the school and teacher messages about upcoming assessments (e.g., MAP, Ga Milestones). Ensure your child gets plenty of sleep and talk to them about doing their best on the assessment. We don’t expect every child to be perfect. We just encourage them to work to their fullest potential. We do notice that when students take their time and give their best effort that many times they perform about what we expected.
Read your child’s MAP report that comes home three times a year. Notice the percentile that your child is performing at in Reading, Math, and Language. If their percentile is low, reach out to your child’s teacher to see if you can partner with them on a plan for improvement. If the percentile is relatively high, talk to your child and their teacher about how they can continue to grow.
Take an interest in your child’s report cards and pay attention to their progress through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal. For help downloading this app on your cellular device, please see the front office or talk to your child’s teacher.
Partner with us to help your child reach their fullest potential. Partner with us to make South Hart the very best school in Northeast Georgia.
Dr. J.T. Stewart- Principal