Medders retires from school system to get back to his roots

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2023

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Dennis “Chip” Medders, assistant superintendent of maintenance and operations, will retire from the Troup County School System on Friday.

Medders is leaving TCSS to get back to his roots working with principals in a position with the Georgia Department of Education.

“I’m ending a chapter, but I’ve got another chapter. I’m going to go work with the Department of Education, working with rural counties in recruitment and retention,” Medders said.

“It’s really getting back in the principal business, if you will, working with principals and school systems, HR directors and superintendents on trying to figure out creative ways to recruit teachers to rural counties and to keep teachers in the profession,” Medders said. “I’m really going back to the things that I’ve been accustomed to doing that I enjoyed doing. It’s just another chapter.”

Medders served as the principal of Manchester High for five years before being hired as the principal of Troup High School in 2012.

“Coming from a small school to a much larger school, I really didn’t know anybody. Probably my most vivid memory of coming in was just the welcoming, how welcoming everyone was, especially at Troup High School and within the school board and school system. It didn’t take me long to realize this was going to be a special place,” Medders said.

“We did a lot of good things. I have always been surrounded by great people. I’ve been blessed so many times to have just wonderful administrators with me and teachers and kids and community people like Mr. [Ellis] Cadenhead. He was one of the first people I met when I came over.”

Medders served as principal of Troup High for six years before being hired as human resources director for the school system in 2018.

“I spent two years as the chief human resource officer in the school system, which was another learning experience,” Medders said. “It’s another side of schools that I didn’t really understand as a principal, but again, I was blessed with a great team.”

Medders said after he served two years as HR director, Dr. Brian Shumate was hired as superintendent and the assistant superintendent of operations position came up the next year, which he ended up getting.

“It was another blessing because I was again surrounded by great directors, maintenance, food services, custodial services, technology and transportation,” Medders said. “It was another world, another component of the organization that as a school principal I didn’t fully understand.”

“I’ve been blessed to be around so many good people. As you’re leaving, you start to reflect back and you see the influence not only that you had on people but the influence so many people had on me personally. There are so many people that have impacted me and vice versa. I’m proud of that.”

Medders said in his time as HR director and beyond he would often get calls from people asking for help or advice on things that weren’t necessarily related to human resources or operations, just experience questions.

Those calls have mostly stopped. When the same people call now, they are friendship calls, Medders said.

“They’re not asking me for advice and that makes me feel really good about leaving because they don’t need me anymore,” he said.

“I have no regrets. I’m just so thankful that, number one, that I made that decision to leave home 11 years ago in Manchester and to come here,” Medders said. “The blessings that have been bestowed on me and a lot of lifelong friends, I could never repay the school system or the community back for everything that I, and my family, have been afforded since I’ve been here.”