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Abernathy Named ‘Pioneer in Education’ Recipient

 Paul Abernathy, Justin Old and Jay Floyd

James "Paul" Abernathy holds the Pioneers in Education award as he stands behind Pioneer RESA Executive Director Justin Old, and Hart County Charter System Superintendent Jay Floyd.


Abernathy Named ‘Pioneer in Education’ Recipient


Local education leader James “Paul” Abernathy is being recognized as a “Pioneer in Education” for his more than 35 years of service to the field of education.

Abernathy was honored as an award recipient at the 2021 Pioneers in Education Awards held on November 5 at The Venue at Cenita Vineyards in Cleveland, Georgia.

“Paul Abernathy has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent, Director of West Georgia RESA, and a School Board Member at Hart County Schools,” Hart County Charter System Superintendent Jay Floyd said. “He is directly responsible for educational success and growth in Hart County. As a school board member, he connected the dots with our community and school system. He cares about the relationship that business and industry have with our schools.

Abernathy is a 1963 graduate of Georgia Southern University. In 1969, he completed a Master’s of Education degree in Educational Leadership at Georgia Southern. In 1975, Abernathy completed his Educational Specialist degree at the University of Georgia. Abernathy served a gracious career in education for 35 years.

He and his wife, Jewel, love to travel. They have visited China, Japan, British Isles, and Europe among other locations. Abernathy is an avid Georgia Tech sports fan.

The annual Pioneers in Education awards, hosted by Pioneer RESA, honor individuals who go above and beyond every day to support our students and staff. Whether the service is to provide exceptional instruction, to create or strengthen community support, or to lend a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on when our students and families need help, these individuals stand out in their efforts to make a difference.

To be a “Pioneer in Education” is not to strive to be the best in the world, but to strive to be what is best for the world. They have given us a standard that we can strive to follow, and we are honored to recognize and celebrate these individuals.