Principal retires unexpectedly at Grovetown Middle School

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The Columbia County school system announced today that Grovetown Middle School principal Carolyn Fries is retiring.

“We had some issue and concerns that we were working through with her immediate supervisor, Dr. Lauren Williams,” said Superintendent Charles Nagle.

He said Dr. Williams, associate superintendent of student learning, ultimately brought her concerns to him and that he sat down with Ms. Fries last week to discuss her future .

“A lot of things that we’re working through are personnel issues,” Mr. Nagle said.

He did not elaborate further on the concerns. Mr. Nagle also said he did not know if the school system would file a report with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

He said the school system would send a letter home with Grovetown Middle parents this afternoon.

Reached at her home by telephone this morning, Ms. Fries said she expected her retirement to go into effect “immediately.”

She said she decided to retire now because her first grandchild was born with a serious heart condition. She said her 8-month-old grandson, who lives in Las Vegas, has had three open heart surgeries.

“I just felt that it was probably time for me to go out there and help my family,” Ms. Fries said.

The 32-year educator served in the Columbia County school system for 10 years. She began her career here as an assistant principal at Harlem Middle School.

She said she had just started her seventh year as Grovetown Middle principal, assuming the post when the school opened.

“I truly, truly love the Grovetown community,” Ms. Fries said. “The students that are there, the teachers that are there, do an exceptional job.”

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113,or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.

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