New superintendent Jason Branch was sworn in Monday during the Oconee County Board of Education's work session.
Branch was sworn in by Probate Court Judge David Anglin, and was accompanied by his wife, Catherine, and his daughter, Abigail. He replaces Superintendent John Jackson, who retired at the end of the school year.
Chairman David Weeks said Branch's appointment was a welcome addition to the Oconee County Schools and that he looked forward to working with Branch "during the years to come."
"On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to welcome you to Oconee County," Weeks said. "We're looking forward to you and your staff getting in and getting busy and taking us new places."
Branch's inauguration was attended by several family members, including his parents and his wife's parents. Branch said he was grateful to his family for their support and was excited to begin as superintendent.
"I look forward to the opportunity you have provided in supporting our kids on a day-to-day basis and to making this the best school system, not only in the state, but in the United States," Branch said.
During his first superintendent report, Branch recognized new employees Claire Miller, who will serve as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and Susanne Korngold, who will serve as director of special student services.
"I really, truly feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with the leaders in the school system — the teachers, the parents and the students," Miller said. "I look foward to getting to know each of you as well."
Branch's hire was approved in mid-March by a unanimous vote, prior to which he spent three days touring the county's 10 schools and meeting students, teachers and parents. He previously served as principal of South Forsyth High School.