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A fond farewell

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Chamblee Charter High School principal accepts new post

It’s not unusual to see activity from Chamblee Charter High School principal Norman Sauce III’s Twitter account.

 Sauce is not shy in sharing comments and pictures about employees of the year, student protests, athletic accomplishments, district activities and academic achievements.

 “As I’ve learned as a leader—if you don’t tell your own story, others will,” Sauce said. “I’m going to take every opportunity I can to make sure the communities at large know what we are doing—not just on the athletic field, but in the classroom and in the community. There are so many great things to brag about every day with such great students, teachers and supportive community.”

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, however, Sauce’s Twitteraccount may have a different focus, as he has accepted the role of executive director of elementary education the Griffin-Spalding County School System, according to a memo released on May 2.

 “I’m honored and humbled to serve the Chamblee Charter High School community and DeKalb County School District,” Sauce announced May 3. “I’m touched by your grace and kindness towards me. I’m touched by the belief in my abilities to contribute in Griffin-Spading County Schools soon. I’m eager to serve.”

 Sauce said his life at home—including twin 4-year-olds—requires more time with his children and family.

 “We have a very challenging family situation,” Sauce said. “The position I’ve accepted will allow more normal family hours—there’s nothing more grueling than a high school principal’s schedule.”

 Sauce began as principal at Chamblee Charter High School in 2012. He said he was enticed to work at DeKalb County School District (DCSD) because he saw it as an organization experiencing a renaissance and Chamblee as a school with strong community and parent support.

 Two years later, Sauce said his assumptions proved to be correct.

 “I love this school, I love this community, I love the people who make up the community, I love being here,” Sauce said. “I’ve been so blessed with good will, support, participation and involvement from city officials, school officials, teachers, students and stakeholders who have rolled their sleeves up to offer help in making this school successful. We’re blessed with so many resources that, together, we could accomplish anything.”

 Accomplishments during Sauce’s two-year stint include Chamblee Charter being named among the top 500 schools in the country by US News & World Report and Newsweek. The publications also placed Chamblee Charter in the top 20 high schools in Georgia.

 Though he acknowledges many academic achievements, Sauce counts the formation of a Positive Health Steering Committee as one he’s most proud of. He said the panel—made up of students, parents, mental health professionals, stakeholders and civic officials—is attempting to change the way schools support mental health.

 Sauce also credits his relationships with Chamblee Charter stakeholders—advice he plans to pass on to his replacement. He also recommends using positives rather than negatives as a foundation for improvement or adjustment.

 “High quality relationships are the vehicle for accomplishing anything as a leader,” Sauce said. “If people don’t know you or trust you to get things done, it’s very hard to accomplish anything. Reassure folks you’re not looking to change the formula.”

 Evidence of Sauce’s relationships with stakeholders can be found where he made a daily impact with people inside and outside the community—social media.

 DCSD board member Stan Jester published a post on his blog from a Chamblee Charter High School parent detailing how much Sauce means to the community, crediting his openness, professionalism, authority, caring attitude, lack of favoritism, vision, appropriateness and ability to provide a high quality learning environment.

 Sauce’s Twitter feed has been flooded with well-wishes and thank-yous.

 “Thank you for your service and dedication to the students of DeKalb,” wrote DCSD’s official Twitter page. “We wish you all the best and know you will continue to make an impact”

 “You will be greatly missed,” wrote Bill Armstrong. “A leader when we needed it most… The best to you and your family.”

 “We will miss you at Chamblee!,” wrote Ward Howell. “Thank you for your leadership!”

 “You’ll be missed at Chamblee Charter High School,” wrote Liz Wong. “Although there will be another principal, no one can replace you. Happy trails.”

 Sauce said it’s the community—teachers, students, parents and stakeholders—who deserve thanks for making his time at Chamblee memorable.

 “I can’t put into words my immense gratitude for the community—the Chamblee community,” Sauce said. “When I think about the Chamber of Commerce, city council, other civic officials, teachers, parents and students that have come to the table to help us and encourage us, I can’t say thank you enough. I will never be able to thank all of those folks enough for the confidence to lead such an exceptional school community. This is somewhere anyone would want to work.”

 

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