Search for High School Principal halted

Community, News, Rebel's Corner

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Education announced that they will be putting a temporary halt to the search for a new high school principal.

“We are going to pause the process of finding a permanent principal to replace Mr. Cioffi at Fannin County High School,” Fannin County Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney explained, adding that he will be sending out a letter later this evening giving more details on the situation.

Erik Cioffi, current Principal of Fannin County High School, submitted his resignation at the end of July (to be effective August 28, 2020) after accepting an Assistant Superintendent position in Massachusetts.

“This move allows us to be closer to our immediate families in New England,” Cioffi said at the time of accepting the new position in Massachusetts. “I was born and raised in Massachusetts so I will be returning home.”

Interim Assistant Principal of West Fannin Elementary, Debbie Decubellis, will be moved to Fannin County High School in the role of Interim Principal for the time being.

UPDATE : Click the link below to read the letter from Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney explaining the decision made :

FCSS Community Letter (08-18-20)

Cioffi accepts Assistant Superintendent position in Massachusetts

Community, News, Rebel's Corner

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi will be leaving the Rebels for a new position as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Personnel with a school system in Massachusetts.

Fannin County, School System, High School, Principal, Erik Cioffi, Resignation, Assistant Superintendent, Open Position, Hiring

Cioffi submitted his resignation to FCSS on July 17, 2020.

Cioffi submitted his resignation to the Fannin County School System (FCSS) to be effective August 28, 2020. The Board of Education is expected to accept this resignation at a special called meeting on July 23,2020.

This move allows us to be closer to our immediate families in New England,” Cioffi said of the new position he will be filling in Massachusetts. “I was born and raised in Massachusetts so I will be returning home.”

Cioffi said in an email sent out to colleagues that his family will remain in Georgia to complete their senior year at Fannin County High School, but that all will be reunited upon graduation. He plans to visit frequently and attend events throughout the year.

The resignation date of August 28 will allow Cioffi to remain with the FCSS to help bring in the start of this unusual school year with new protocols in place due to Covid-19. 

Cioffi acknowledged his intention to be an active member in restarting the school year : “Many protocols and procedures will be fine-tuned over the next couple of weeks as we seek guidance from the North Georgia Public Health Department and local leaders.”

I want to “Thank you” for an amazing 11 years – I will reflect often on the successes and relationships that have been built and I truly believe the staff at FCHS is one of the best in the country,” Cioffi said to his colleagues adding, “Thank you for your efforts and dedication to the students of Fannin.”  

The Fannin County School System has listed an anticipated job opening of High School Principal on their website (anticipated because Cioffi’s resignation is not finalized until the BOE holds an official vote).

The website states that the position is not an entry level leadership position and “a preferred applicant’s portfolio will highlight prior successful teaching- and leadership-related experiences, demonstrate effective communication skills, and prove one’s ability to lead.”

Applications can be filled out online, via the FCSS website. Interested individuals who qualify should ensure that a completed application is entered online (in Frontline) no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020.

Graduation plans finalized for Fannin County Seniors

Community, Rebel's Corner

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Uncertainty best describes the school year so far, and among this uncertainty has been how to handle graduation for the Senior Class of 2020.

“It is my hope that the following communication helps alleviate the stress of our 2020 Graduates and their
families,” Fannin County High School (FCHS) Principal Erik Cioffi stated in an email, adding, “I would love nothing more than to have our full traditional graduation ceremony at FCHS on May 22nd.”

Cioffi goes on to say,  “After consulting with our local leaders and following guidelines, as of today, May 6, 2020, it is our hope that we can create and celebrate graduation through various formats that our senior class of 2020 will cherish for a lifetime.”

Fannin County High School has opted to hold a traditional (modified) Graduation Ceremony on May 22, 2020 at the FCHS Stadium. This ceremony will begin at 8:00 p.m. with the following practices in place for public safety:

Under the following conditions, FCHS will offer a 2 Guest Invitational Ceremony on campus for our
graduating seniors:

  • Tickets will be issued to the graduates and they will choose who receives them.
  • All guests will be required to wear a mask (graduates may remove during their walk or giving speeches).
  • All guests will follow social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart); local law enforcement will be present to monitor and ensure full cooperation for the safety of all guests
  • All visitors will have their temperature taken (forehead thermometer) upon entering the stadium by local EMS. Anyone who has a temperature reading of over 100 degrees will not be permitted to enter.
  • We will use both the visitor stands and the home stands for the ceremony (we can seat safely 440 guests).
  • The graduates will be assigned seating on the field (from the 50 yard line to end zone,all graduates will face the scoreboard)
  • At the conclusion of the event: students will be dismissed to the visiting parking lot and then we will dismiss guest from the stands. Guests will park on main campus and students will park behind visitor stadium.

In order for this event to be successful – All students and guests must adhere to the above guidelines
The May 22nd Graduation Ceremony will be live streamed at for all extended
family and community members to watch our Graduates be celebrated in these unprecedented times.

**Inclement weather – Graduation will be re-scheduled for May 23rd @ 10 am **


Graduation Rehearsal on May 20th @ FCHS Stadium
Required by all Graduates:
9:00 am – Honor Graduates
10:30 am – Remaining Graduate Candidates

  • All Graduates will park behind the visitor stadium and report to the stadium field upon arrival
  • All Graduates will be required to wear a mask
  • All Graduates will follow social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart)
  • All Graduates will have their temperature taken (forehead thermometer) upon entering the stadium. Any Graduate who has a temperature reading of over 100 degrees will not be permitted to enter.)

Seniors must also complete Graduation Procedures May 11 – 13:

  • Arrive on campus in the football stadium visitor parking lot at your designated time.
  • Seniors are scheduled in five minute intervals over a period of three days. It is imperative you arrive 5 minutes prior to your scheduled time and leave campus immediately after you receive your diploma jacket and take pictures.
  • Remain in your vehicle until instructed to exit.
  • Enter the field house paying attention to the floor markers for social distancing.
  • Your temperature will be taken.
  • Only the student or designee may Only the student or designee may enter the field house to return items (one person).
  • Following directional arrows, go to each station returning or picking up items.
  • Following directional arrows, proceed to the field.


Items to Return

 Chromebook Case
 Chromebook Charger
 Textbooks, Classroom Library Books
 Library Book(s), Calculators
 Fines, Dues, Lunch Charges
 Hotspots
 Uniforms, Instruments, Scripts, Calculators, Etc.

Items to Collect

 Yearbooks
 Honor Chords
 Honor Sashes

  • Up to (3 vehicles) 15 guests may enter the visitor entrance and view from the track as student walks.
  • Each student will have his/her name called and be able to walk the field for a private graduation
    ceremony with his/her family. A photographer will be present to capture the moment.
  • Student and guests will exit the stadium on the opposite side of the parking lot.
  • The walk will be videotaped, to be used at a later date, in the event a virtual ceremony would
    be used.
  • Allotted time is approximately 10 minutes.


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