The Barrow County Board of Education, at its Tuesday, Jan. 26, meeting, approved a pair of new elementary school principals who will take over when their predecessors retire at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

Following a closed session to review superintendent Chris McMichael’s personnel recommendations, the board approved Todd Graichen to replace retiring principal Karen Dowis at Bramlett Elementary and Jason Swiney to take over for the retiring Jackie Robinson at Holsenbeck Elementary.

Graichen has more than 20 years of elementary and middle school education experience and has spent the last nine years as an administrator. He was previously with the Barrow County School System as an assistant principal at Auburn Elementary before spending the last three years as the principal at Gum Springs Elementary in Jackson County.

"I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with the students, staff and community members of Bramlett Elementary,” Graichen said in a district news release. “I’m excited to join an amazing school community and look forward to many great successes to come in the future."

Graichen earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education at East Carolina University and a master of education in curriculum and instruction from Ohio Dominican University. He also holds a Specialist in Educational Leadership certification from the University of West Georgia.

Swiney comes to Barrow County and Holsenbeck with 13 years of administrative experience and has served as principal of Liberty Elementary in Stephens County for the last six years.

"I am excited for the opportunity to join and lead the Holsenbeck Elementary family,” Swiney said. “I look forward to meeting our Holsenbeck students and parents, working with a great faculty, and contributing to the continued and future success of the Barrow County School System.”

Swiney completed his master's and Specialist in Educational Leadership certification from Lincoln Memorial University. He completed his undergraduate bachelor of arts in English literature at Sewanee: The University of the South, plus a semester in England at St. John's College. 

Swiney has 22 years of professional education experience and became a published author in 2014 with the novel Called Upon. He also has basketball coaching experience and has led several other athletic organizations. He was named the 2014-15 Southern Region Coach of the Year by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).

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