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Colleagues mourn former superintendent
Crow: ‘We are where we are because of what she did’
Dr. Allene Magill
PAGE Executive Director and Former Forsyth County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Allene Magill, seen here in a STAR student award event, died last week. - photo by File photo

Forsyth County’s first appointed superintendent passed away over the weekend. 

Former Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Allene Magill died at her home on Saturday. Following a state law that did away with elected superintendents, Magill was the local district’s first hired superintendent and led Forsyth County Schools from 1995 to 2000.

“I think as far as leadership goes, we would have to say Allene Magill was the one person that changed Forsyth County forever,” said Ann Crow, chairwoman of the Forsyth County Board of Education. “We are where we are because of what she did.”

Magill is survived by her husband, Charles; sons, Steven and Tim; and grandchildren Taylor Sterritt, Cassidy Evans, Caroline Magill, Riley Magill, Cade Magill and Ty Magill.

She was born in Tupelo, Miss., and began teaching in Hamilton, Miss., in 1974. 

Magill and her family moved to Paulding County to teach. She served two terms as an elected superintendent of that school system in 1988.

After leaving Forsyth County, she was superintendent of Dalton Public Schools from 2001 to 2003. 

From 2003 until her passing, Magill served as the executive director of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Professional Association of Georgia Educators (or PAGE) is the state’s largest education association. According to its website, the group serves more than 92,000 educators, administrators and school personnel.

“She was just an absolutely wonderful advocate for the students of Georgia and the educators of Georgia and for public education in general,” said Craig Harper, director of communications for PAGE. “She shared her expertise and her knowledge and her passion with everybody she came in contact with and was just such a well-respected educational leader in this state.”

During her career, Magill was honored as the F.M. Fulbright Outstanding Educator by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and twice named the state’s superintendent of the year.

Magill also served on the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia and was a member of several state education committees, including the Education Turnaround Advisory Council. 

“Her passion was professional learning and making sure educators have the knowledge and the skills they needed to be the most effective they could be in the classroom,” Harper said.

Magill came to the county shortly after a community plan, which Crow said Magill used to guide the school system based on what the community wanted. 

“She took the plan that the community wanted and made it work,” Crow said. “One of the goals was to be technologically literate, and she absolutely began the process of making us integrate technology in the school system.”

Paula Gault, who served as superintendent after Magill, said Magill was “tireless” in her approach to the plan and local schools.

“She had that thing broken apart,” Gault said. “We knew exactly who was going to do what, what it was going to take to get it accomplished and the timeline for doing it. Many of the things you see in Forsyth County still today go back to that strategic plan from 1995.

Gault said leadership was something Magill brought to local schools.

“She pushed you,” Gault said. “She was a hard worker herself. She expected the best of herself and she expected the best out of everyone else. Expectations influence accomplishments.” 

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the West Ridge Church, 3522 Hiram Acworth Highway, Dallas, GA 30157. Interment will follow at Paulding Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

The family received friends Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Clark Funeral Home, 4373 Atlanta Hwy. Hiram, GA 30141.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the Dr. Allene Magill Scholarship Fund, PAGE, P. O. Box 942270, Atlanta, GA 31141.

“We’re going to determine what the parameters are for that,” Harper said. “It will go toward individuals who are trying to better their own professional practice through professional learning.”