Franklin praised for his service to the school

By Stephen milligan - the walton tribune

Nathan Franklin ended his tenure as superintendent of the Walton County School District Friday and took with him the accolades of nearly everyone he’d met during his reign atop the local school system.

Franklin announced his retirement back in November but remained in the position through the end of May, only now leaving after eight years as superintendent and 28 years in education overall.

“Serving as superintendent has been the honor of my life,” Franklin said. “I served with an absolutely amazing team. Our exemplary board of education has been the backbone of our continued success.”

Nathan Franklin

Franklin began his career as a high school teacher and coach in 1996. 

He joined the WCSD in 2007 as assistant principal at Loganville High School, eventually serving as the principal there for a time before moving to the central office, eventually succeeding Gary Hobbs as superintendent for Walton Schools.

Although the Walton County Board of Education hired Chip Underwood as the new superintendent in March, Franklin remained in place until the end of May, seeing out his last school year to the end before calling it a career.

Underwood said he was proud to have worked with Franklin.

“Serving with Dr. Franklin for over a decade has been a pleasure,” Underwood said. “His leadership will be greatly missed, but his daily friendship will be missed even more. He has been a daily example of what a leader and friend should be to all who work with him.”

And the board members said Franklin would be missed after watching test scores and graduation rates rise under his leadership.

“A huge thanks to Nathan Franklin for his leadership,” board member Karen Brown said. “It has been such a privilege to work alongside him on our board these past six years. Through great times and hard times, his priority always remained what is best for our students. His accomplishments will benefit our students and community for years to come, and I am so grateful.”

Finally, board chairman Tom Gibson said Franklin left a powerful legacy that would be a shining example for the system in the years to come.

“Dr. Franklin set the standard for superintendents across the state during his time at WCSD,” Gibson said. “From leading our schools through the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis to reaching the highest levels of academic and extracurricular performance, Dr. Franklin’s impact will be felt for years to come. We will surely miss him, but he has left WCSD better than he found it, and the children, parents and staff of Walton County Schools are better for it. We wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement.”

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