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Derrick Maxwell, the principal of Cedar Shoals High School, poses for a photo outside of the school on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 in Athens, Georgia. Maxwell has is a University of Georgia graduate originally from Griffin, Georgia, but has worked at Cedar Shoals in some capacity for the past 17 years. (Photo/Rebecca Wright)

Cedar Shoals High School Principal Derrick Maxwell has resigned effective Oct. 29, according to an Oct. 17 email from Maxwell to the Cedar Shoals community. Maxwell said he has accepted a “district-level position” in an unspecified nearby school district.

Clarke County School District spokesperson Beth Moore confirmed Maxwell resigned on Oct. 17, but said the district does not comment on personnel issues.

Maxwell praised the high school’s students, calling them “the true spirit of Cedar Shoals” and said working with the students was “one of the greatest joys of” his career. The principal also lauded the work of Cedar Shoals’ teachers, saying he had “never worked with a more dedicated, community-oriented, and instructionally sound group of teachers.”

“This transition is bittersweet as I have grown to love and respect the Cedar Shoals community,” Maxwell said in the email.

Maxwell began the job at Cedar Shoals in 2018 after serving as interim principal there during an investigation into CCSD’s handling of a reported rape on campus in 2016. He taught seventh-grade life science after graduating with a psychology degree from the University of Georgia in 2002. Maxwell later received his Master’s degree in educational administration and policy from George Washington University.

The full text of Maxwell’s Oct. 17 email can be read below.

“October 17, 2019

Beloved Cedar Shoals High School Community:

It is with mixed emotions that I write you to announce my resignation from Cedar Shoals effective October 29, 2019. This letter was intended to be shared with the Cedar community first. However, there was an unfortunate error in communication that led to the premature release of information. I have been offered and have accepted a district-level position with a nearby school district. This opportunity was presented to me a few weeks ago and after much deliberation, I have accepted. This transition is bittersweet as I have grown to love and respect the Cedar Shoals community.

Since my initial appointment in 2016, the Cedar Shoals community has experienced many difficult challenges. I have constantly been humbled, impressed, and inspired by the level of commitment, spirit, and resiliency that this community has displayed. It is truly an undeniable force that I believe wholeheartedly can handle any obstacle. I have never worked with a more dedicated, community-oriented, and instructionally sound group of teachers. The teachers and support staff are truly extensions of our students' families and communities and provide them with the love, guidance, and support they need. The counseling staff, administrators, nutrition workers, custodians, coaches, front office staff, and security team all play vital roles in providing a positive environment for our students.

Although I hold a deep respect and appreciation for all of the aforementioned stakeholders, it is the students that are the true spirit of Cedar Shoals. Serving the students of our school has been one of the greatest joys of my professional career. I have watched students grow into leaders and take active roles in making Cedar Shoals a better place. Each of you has helped me develop into the leader that I am today.

I will truly miss each and every person in our Cedar community. I vow to remain an active community supporter of CCSD and a friend to the Cedar community always.

Sincerely,

Derrick Maxwell”

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