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Georgia Department of Education establishes K-12 Public Health Liaison position

August 25, 2020 – With support from Governor Brian P. Kemp, State School Superintendent Richard Woods is establishing a K-12 Public Health Liaison position at the Georgia Department of Education.

The K-12 Public Health Liaison will serve as a point of contact for school districts on public health issues and ensure open lines of communication between state and local education and public health officials.  The position is fiscally and administratively attached to the Georgia Department of Education, but will work in close coordination with the Georgia Department of Public Health (GaDPH) and Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS).

Dr. Garry McGiboney, an educator with extensive experience in school safety and health initiatives, has been appointed to the K-12 Public Health Liaison position.

“Whether virtually or in-person, our public-school educators are going above and beyond to keep their students safe and keep them learning," Superintendent Woods said. “This position will ensure they have strong lines of communication to state and local public health officials, and the best possible guidance and support to safeguard the health of students and staff."

As K-12 Public Health Liaison, Dr. McGiboney will serve as the point of contact for school district superintendents on public health issues, sharing timely DPH and CDC guidance, public health updates, and solutions to local challenges identified by school leaders. He will work with DPH and local health departments to ensure efficient and expedited COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, data collection and reporting and supports in the school setting, and will work with GEMA to coordinate the procurement and delivery of COVID-19-related equipment and supplies to schools.

Dr. McGiboney is a longtime champion for school climate and safety who previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for School Climate and Safety at GaDOE. He is the author of eight books and more than 30 professional journal publications, and is recognized at the national and state levels as an expert on school climate and safety. He has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Georgia School Counselor Association's Advocate of the Year Award and the Georgia Association of School Nurses' Hero Award.​