Dalton Public Schools News

Dalton Public Schools Announces New School System Leadership

Dalton, GA - Dalton Public Schools is thrilled to introduce several outstanding educators who have been appointed to key leadership positions within the school system. Approved by the Dalton Public Schools Board of Education during its meeting on April 15, 2024, these new leaders bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their roles. 

Alesa Smith: Principal of Westwood Elementary 

Alesa Smith, recently approved by the Board of Education as the Principal of Westwood Elementary, brings a robust background in elementary education to her new role. With 18 years of experience and a specialization in literacy curriculum, instructional coaching, and school administration, Smith has demonstrated a strong commitment to student-centered learning and continuous professional development. Previously serving as an Assistant Principal at Roan Elementary and as an Instructional Coach at City Park Elementary and Valley Point Elementary, Smith has a proven track record of guiding curriculum implementation and utilizing data to refine educational strategies. She holds an Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University, a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education from the same institution. 

Brandon Headrick: Principal of Park Creek Elementary 

Brandon Headrick, approved by the Board of Education as the Principal of Park Creek Elementary, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role. With a career spanning 18 years, Headrick has served in various capacities including third-grade educator, fifth-grade teacher, EIP Teacher, Title I Coordinator, STEM lab teacher, and eighth-grade teacher. His recent roles as Assistant Principal at Dalton Middle School and Hammond Creek Middle School have equipped him with comprehensive skills in scheduling, student discipline, assessment coordination, safety protocols, and MTSS/RTI coordination. Headrick holds an Educational Leadership Tier 1 Certification from Kennesaw State University, an Educational Specialist in Instructional Technology from the University of West Georgia, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University, and a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education from the University of West Georgia. 

Spencer Gazaway: Principal of Dalton Junior High 

Spencer Gazaway, recently approved by the Board of Education as the Principal of Dalton Junior High School, brings a distinguished career in education spanning over two decades. Gazaway's journey began in 1999 as a high school social studies teacher, where he actively contributed to school improvement initiatives and taught advanced courses. His leadership trajectory led him to roles as an Assistant Principal and Principal of Bagley Middle School, where he facilitated significant academic achievements, earning accolades such as the Silver Star Award for Academic Achievement and recognition as a National Model School. Gazaway's academic qualifications include a Bachelor's of Secondary Education from Kennesaw State University, a Master's of Education K-12 Concentration from Tusculum College, and an Educational Specialist in Leadership and Administration from Lincoln Memorial University. Currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University, Gazaway is poised to continue his impactful leadership at Dalton Junior High School. 

Jessica Ashlock: Principal of The Dalton Academy 

Jessica Ashlock, approved by the Board of Education as the new Principal of The Dalton Academy, brings a wealth of experience and dedication to her new role. Currently serving as an Assistant Principal at Dalton High School, Ashlock has demonstrated exceptional leadership as the instructional and curriculum administrator for multiple departments, including Science, Math, ELL, ESS, and CTAE. Her previous roles as an Engineering Teacher at Dalton High School and a Math Teacher at Dalton Middle School showcase her diverse instructional background. Notably, Ashlock played a pivotal role in establishing the first Robotics Team at Dalton High School and implementing project-based learning initiatives within engineering standards. She holds a Master of Education from the University of West Alabama and a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Lagrange College. Ashlock's passion for education and innovative approach to teaching make her an invaluable asset to The Dalton Academy community. 

Amanda Weeks: Dalton Public Schools District Literacy Specialist 

Amanda Weeks, approved by the Board of Education to serve as a District Literacy Specialist, brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to literacy education to her new role. Beginning her career in 2007 as a first-grade teacher at Park Creek School, Weeks has since held various roles including EIP and ESOL Reading Recovery Teacher, MTSS coordinator, and Interventionist. Her extensive involvement in literacy initiatives extends to serving as an Instructional Literacy Coach at City Park Elementary and as an Adjunct Instructor for Dalton Dyslexia Endorsement at Northwest GA RESA. Weeks holds a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and ESOL endorsement from Dalton State College, a Reading Endorsement from Georgia State University, a Master's of Education in Early Childhood Education and Teacher Leadership Endorsement from Kennesaw State University, and a Dyslexia Endorsement from Northwest Georgia RESA. Notably, she was a member of the 2023 Dalton Public Schools Emerging Leaders Program, a 2021 Tom Jones Educator of the Year Award Nominee, and actively volunteers for the Dalton Public Schools "Big Red Reads" Program, showcasing her dedication to student success and literacy advocacy. 

Ali Finley: Dalton Public Schools District Director of Literacy 

Ali Finley, approved to serve as the Director of Literacy for Dalton Public Schools, brings a distinguished career in education spanning 22 years, with six years of administrative experience. Currently serving as the Principal of Blue Ridge Elementary School, Finley has held various roles including Assistant Principal, Instructional Coach, Literacy Coach, Early Intervention Program teacher, and fifth-grade teacher at previous schools. Actively engaged in professional development, Finley has participated in leadership programs offered by organizations such as the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL), PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators), and the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement (GLISI). Currently enrolled in the Lexia LETRS program to enhance literacy initiatives, Finley's commitment to advancing literacy education is evident. She holds a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership in Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University, a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from the University of Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southern University. As a key member of the Dalton Public Schools Literacy Team and Core Curriculum Team, Finley is poised to make significant contributions to literacy development across the district. 

Dalton Public Schools is excited to name these distinguished educators to their new positions on the leadership team and looks forward to the positive impact they will have on student success and academic excellence within the district.