Medders named Chief Human Resources Officer

Published 11:45 am Friday, June 15, 2018

One down, one to go.

The Troup County School System had two important administrative positions to fill this summer, after the announced retirements of Assistant Superintendent Karen Cagle and Human Resources Director Sequita Freeman. The first was officially filled Thursday night, as Dennis “Chip” Medders’ hire as the new HR director was approved by the board.

“I am confident that he will be able to look and assess and celebrate those things that are going well and also lead the district in moving Troup County Human Resources and the district as a whole, aligned with the superintendent’s vision and our strategic plan to accomplish all the goals we have in place that we know are best for our kids,” Freeman said as she introduced Medders. “That’s what it’s about — doing what’s right for children.”

Medders serves as the principal of Troup County High School. Freeman said his background as a principal made him a good fit for the HR position.

“As a principal, he hires, he supports, he engages and creates a culture for work, employs best practices for evaluating having courageous conversations while pushing and coaching teachers to become leaders and encouraging his leaders to advance even to other leadership roles throughout the district,” Freeman said.

There were 117 total applicants for the position, with three making final interviews. The position was posted on numerous websites, including TeachGeorgia, from May 17-June 4.

“I believe in the school system,” Medders said. “I believe in everything that we’re doing, and I love being a part of it. I have every intention to give you everything I possibly have to make you all proud. We have got a phenomenal team behind us, some hard-working people. What it boils down to is they love kids, and that’s what it all about.”

Freeman said the search for a new principal is on at Troup County High School. She also said there are about 26 teacher positions left to fill, which is a little higher than normal at this time of the year.

Freeman also provided an update on filling Cagle’s position, the assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. The job has been posted on TeachGeorgia,, Facebook, LinkedIn and West Georgia RESA School Systems and will be available until June 19.

Final interviews for that position are scheduled to take place on July 12.

Both Cagle and Freeman announced they’ll retire at the end of August, and both were been recognized at this week’s board meetings.

Superintendent Cole Pugh talked about the situation they found themselves in when they first accepted their jobs during the Great Recession.

“Karen and Sequita have worked with me most of the time I have been here. Think about the setting they came into. We were in the middle of closing four schools, reducing 300 personnel positions and employees had leave without pay days,” Pugh said. “We went 12 years in a row cutting budgets, so they came from a principalship into that. They had to learn a really big job and handle that at the same time.”

Pugh said he was not surprised when they announced their retirement because both had let him know during the school year that they were considering it. He said both of them have around 30 years of service.

“Both of them have done a great job. They are professionals in every sense of the word. I want to thank them,” Pugh said. “I appreciate what they’ve done for the system. I’ve never worked with two educators who I think more of than Karen and Sequita, and I wish them the best in retirement.”