JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ga. - Jefferson County is mourning the loss of a former principal and superintendent, Dr. Molly Howard.

Dr. Howard championed public education for over 40 years serving as principal at Jefferson County High School and later becoming superintendent of Jefferson County School System. The school board says as the Georgia Teacher of the Year and National Principal of the Year, Dr. Howard was able to share her passion that allowed all children the opportunity to learn, thrive and succeed.

"Jefferson County lost one of the biggest advocates for humanity, especially children, Wednesday," say Jefferson County Superintendent Dr. Samuel Dasher. 

He says Jefferson County's graduation rate grew from 52% to 90% under Dr. Howard's leadership.

"She did not back down from a challenge and would go ten extra miles for the children and staff of Jefferson County Schools," says Dr. Dasher. "All of us are better people and educators for having her in our lives. Her legacy will live on for years to come."

Dr. Howard retired in June 2022 after serving the children and families of Jefferson County for 45 years. The school board says it's a sad day in Jefferson County. She will be missed by all of us.