Southeast Bulloch High School will have a new principal beginning July 1. The Board of Education approved Stephen Hoyle on Thursday during its regular session meeting after a personnel recommendation by Superintendent Charles Wilson.
Hoyle, the assistant principal at Stilson Elementary School, is a 25-year veteran educator. He has served in Bulloch County’s school system his entire career, 16 years as a classroom teacher at both the elementary and high school levels and nine years as an assistant principal at Portal Middle High School, Nevils Elementary and Stilson Elementary, where he has been for the past five years.
The high school environment is not new to Hoyle. He spent 10 years at this grade level as a credit recovery instructor and in-school suspension coordinator at SEBHS, and then as a physical education teacher and later an assistant principal and athletic director at Portal Middle High School.
“I am really excited about taking the next step in my professional career and joining such a tremendous faculty and staff at Southeast Bulloch High School,” Hoyle said. “I look forward to building positive relationships with the students, parents, faculty, staff and community and to continuing the traditions of excellence already established by the Southeast Bulloch family.” Hoyle is already a familiar face to many in the community having served in two of SEBHS’s feeder schools, Stilson and Nevils.
Hoyle obtained his bachelor’s degree in education from Georgia Southern University. He holds a master’s degree in education from Cambridge College and a specialist’s degree in education leadership from Valdosta State University. He was one of more than 20 applicants for the position, which was posted in February. The majority of the applicants came from outside the school system.
Hoyle succeeds Donna Clifton, who will retire in June after 30 years in education. She served Bulloch County Schools for 23 years, beginning as a fifth-grade teacher at Stilson Elementary and spending her last 10 years as a principal of first SEB Middle School (6 years) then SEBHS (4 years).
The district has an established a rigorous screening and selection process for principals which helps ensure the district has leaders in place, who will carry out the school system’s vision and mission. The rigorous process includes candidate screenings for leadership criteria and multiple interviews. While the superintendent makes the final recommendations, the process for new hires does allow for school council input.