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Dade County School Superintendent Shawn Tobin announced that he will be retiring from the school system in May. The following is his public announcement that was released Monday morning.


Dear Dade Family,

I have had the pleasure of living and working in Dade County for the past three years. I can sincerely proclaim that Dade County, Georgia is the most spiritual, patriotic, and empathetic environment in which I have lived. Time has moved at warp speed since my arrival. It seems like yesterday we were resolving issues created by the devastating tornado on April 27, 2011. As a cooperative group we were successful to endure and then move forward to accomplish numerous praiseworthy programs for our most precious commodity -our children.

The community and all schools worked hand-in-hand to establish one of the best mentorship programs in the state. It is incredible what can happen when we allow our churches to be more involved with our schools. Prior to the establishment of the mentorship program, ministers and I would pray for mentors to come forward and for God to have a hand in this program. I am reminded of a quote by Abraham Lincoln, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” I am happy to say we have nearly 70 mentors serving our children.

I am thankful we worked as a group to establish an Emotional Behavioral Program to serve some of our most needy students. We have children in Dade County Schools, through no fault of their own that have been exposed to unthinkable situations or they have neurological deficiencies requiring services of EBD (thank you Ms. Plumlee, Ms. Hairel and EBD paraprofessionals).

Yes, we have had our challenges (removal of a book, difficult budgets, local public library scrutiny, attempt at modifying the 65/5 resolution, athletic booster club and non-residency policies, reduction in force, controversy over a school calendar, track renovation setbacks, etc.) but through it all, we have become stronger as an education purposed family. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

With this being said, I want you to know that I have notified the Board of Education that I will be retiring effective May 1, 2014. I selected this date to allow the board to have the ability to advertise my replacement and allow the next superintendent to finalize the budget we will be working on for presentation.

On the bright side, our financial situation is better today than it has been in five years. Whether you liked my leadership or not, I can assure you that every decision I made and will continue to make, is what I believe is best for children.

In the words of General George S. Patton, “Better to fight for something than live for nothing.” Please continue to fight for our children on a daily basis as you may very well be their last hope or source of inspiration. I take with me many lessons learned and I wish for you continued success in this education journey.



Mr. Shawn Patrick Tobin

Dade County Superintendent





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