Donoho officials name new school president
by Daniel Gaddy
dgaddy@annistonstar.com
Dec 13, 2013 | 4109 views |  0 comments | 129 129 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Hutchins
James Hutchins
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The Donoho School announced Friday that Georgia educator James Hutchins will be the school’s next president.

The private school’s president fulfills administrative duties similar to those of superintendents in public school systems. Hutchins will manage a $3.1 million budget, oversee capital development and oversee staff, according to the school’s website.

He will take over July 1, following the retirement of current president Jan Hurd.

Hutchins currently is the director for pre-K through eighth grade at the Darlington School in Rome, Ga. He said he’s been at Darlington for 12 years and has served as a teacher, a coach, an adviser and a dean.

Hutchins said he is honored by the decision and is excited to start work.

“It seems to be a wonderful board that cares deeply about the school, which will be a perfect fit for me as a first-time head,” he said.

Hurd said Hutchins came to Anniston for an interview earlier this month and made a great impression.

“Students and teachers were very impressed with him,” she said. “I think he is young and energetic, and I think he brings a lot to the school”

Hurd said she is retiring after 40 years in education and looks forward to spending more time with her grandchildren.

Though he was raised in Rome, Hutchins was born in Anniston at Fort McClellan. He said his father served in Vietnam and his mother decided to have her child at the base to take advantage of veteran’s benefits.

“She always called me an Army-issue,” he said.

Hutchins’ father wasn’t around growing up, but Hutchins said he found role models through his coaches and teachers. And he believes it was that support that made him gravitate toward education later in life.

Hutchins said he didn’t consider himself college material, so he started work at the Unilever Chemical Company in Cartersville, Ga. He said he decided that he didn’t want to do the work for the rest of his life, and his wife encouraged him to go into education.

Hutchins said he began going to school at night, which he admitted was difficult with a wife, a daughter and a mortgage. For two years he went to school full time during the day, and worked the night shift at Home Depot, he said.

Hutchins, 45, received his bachelor’s degree from Shorter College in 2001. He would later earn a master’s degree from Jacksonville State University (2003) and a doctorate from the University of Alabama.

He served as a reading instructor for Floyd County Schools in Rome before starting at Darlington School.

As the new president at Donoho, Hutchins will be responsible for completing a strategic plan for the school, helping it reach its enrollment goal of 425 students and developing the school’s philanthropic base, according to the school’s website.

Hutchins also will help further develop Donoho’s technology program, through which it has issued iPads to students in grades four through 12.

Hurd said Hutchins “is coming into a school that has a great reputation with a wonderful faculty.”

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

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