Two new board members were sworn in at the first Board of Education meeting in 2023 and began their terms. Darren Hembree and Hayden Willis were elected to fill two vacant spots on the Board and will serve four-year terms. Mrs. Trudie Hill from District 1 was also sworn in. She began serving on the Board in 2004. Judge Wes Lewis officiated the swearing-in ceremony.
Darren Hembree ran unopposed for District 5. Mr. Hembree is a farmer producing cotton and peanuts. He also raises beef cattle. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Colquitt County Farm Bureau, the Georgia Producers Alliance, and Cotton Incorporated. He is also a Director on the National Cotton Council Board. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness. Mr. Hembree shared, “I am excited to begin this journey on the school board to keep the Colquitt County School District at the forefront of education in Georgia.” He is married to Wendy, and they have two sons, Hayden (16) and Landon (13). They are members of First Baptist Church in Doerun.
Hayden Willis, a local attorney, was elected to represent District 4. Born and raised in Colquitt County, he attended Oglethorpe University and law school at Lousiana State University. Mr. Willis currently serves on the Colquitt County Educational Foundation board and the Colquitt County Career Achievement Award program. He is an adjunct professor at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Willis shared, “I’m looking forward to supporting our classroom teachers by favoring policies that remove the red tape and take their focus away from student academic needs.” He is married to Jena, and they have two children, Merrit (4) and Tristan (2). They attend the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
The Board of Education meets monthly for a work session at 5:30 p.m. and a regular board meeting at 6:00 p.m. A listing of board meeting dates can be found at https://www.colquitt.k12.ga.us/board-of-education/index.