Director of Innovative Programs

Dr. Rick Carter

Phone: 256.233.6600

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Jacksonville State University M.S. Jacksonville State University Ed.S. Jacksonville State University Ed.D. Educational Leadership, Lipscomb University Alabama Superintendents Academy, University of Alabama

Dr. Rick Carter

Dr. Carter is a graduate of Chipley High School in Chipley Florida. He earned his bachelor's, master's and education specialist degrees all from Jacksonville State Univeristy. He completed his doctorate at Lipscomb University in 2015.

Dr. Carter brings years of experience and leadership to his role as Executive Director for Innovative Programs. He was named Alabama’s Principal of the Year in 2013, Nominee for National Principal of the year in 2014, and the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) Leadership Award Recipient for Alabama in 2013.  He led his previous school in a transformational one to one initiative with Apple earning the National Apple Distinguished System title in 2014-15. Currently, Dr. Carter serves as a mentor for new principals and assistant principals for the Alabama State Department of Education.  He received his mentor certification from The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).

Dr. Carter speaks frequently on school improvement, school culture, and technology integration on both the national and state levels.  As an active member of the AASSP affiliate since 2004, Dr. Carter has served in numerous leadership roles including a position on the AASSP board of directors. He currently serves as the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) State Coordinator for Alabama.  An advocate for public education, he is frequently asked to speak to local and federal legislators about issues relating to Alabama's education system. Through his consistent advocacy efforts in Montgomery, Ala., and Washington, D.C., speaking on issues which have implications for public education, Dr. Earl Franks, NAESP Executive Director, stated “Dr. Carter has gained the respect and appreciation from his colleagues throughout the United States, especially those in Alabama.”  

He is married to Shannon Carter, counselor at AHS. They have four daughters; Helen, Katelyn, Sarah, and Megan. 

Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Mr. Garner Ezell

Phone: 256.771.7139

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Education, University of North Alabama M.A. Education, University of North Alabama Ed.S., University of North Alabama

Mr. Garner Ezell

Garner Ezell has 39 years of experience serving as a teacher and administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels. While a student at UNA, he was selected by the College of Education as one of Education’s Top Ten and was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He is a member of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) and the Alabama Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (Alabama ASCD).

Garner served as a coach and social studies/history teacher at Lawrence County High School, Lexington School and Cherokee High School. He joined Athens City Schools in 1986. Throughout his 31 years, he has served as Head Football Coach, American History and AP American History Teacher, Assistant Principal at Athens High School and Principal at Athens Intermediate School and Brookhill Elementary School. He has served as Director of Curriculum and Instruction since 2008.

Mr. Ezell resides in Athens with his wife, Deb, who is a retired ACS educator. He has two adult children, Rob and David, who are Athens High School graduates.

Director of Public Information & Community Relations

Dr. Chris Hamilton

Phone: 256.771.7145

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ed.D. Education Admin., University of Alabama M.B.A., University of North Alabama B.S. Business Marketing, Athens State University

Dr. Chris Hamilton

Chris Hamilton is a 32 year school educator with 18 years of service in the Athens City School System.

Having served as the Technology Director for 17 years, Dr. Hamilton has overseen tremendous growth in the use of technology  for both administraitve purpopses and instructionally.  She led the system’s implementation of the 1:1 digital initiative, PowerUp. This initiative placed a mobile device in the hands of all teaches and students.  In 2015, Dr. Hamilton transitioned from working in technology to public relations; becoming the first Public Information Officer for Athens City Schools. In this comprehensive role, she is responsible for all communications efforts of the district both internal and external. Her range of expertise includes, but is not limited to, employee relations, social media, press, newsletters, web development and management, advertising, marketing, special events and all community and media relations.

Chris also serves as the Executive Director of the Athens City Schools Foundation, a 501(c) nonprofit organization supporting teachers and students.  The Foundation works to generate funds from within the community that are given back to the teachers and students of the school system.

Dr. Hamilton has been married for 32 years and has one daughter. She enjoys gardening, fishing and spending time on the river.

Chief School Financial Officer

Mrs. Serena Owsley

Phone: 256.771.7135

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Accounting, University of Alabama Huntsville

Mrs. Serena Owsley

Mrs. Serena Owsley has served as the Chief School Financial Officer for Athens City Schools since 2016. She earned her accounting degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and has worked for ACS for more than a decade. She oversees all aspects of the system's finances. Owsley brings years of experience in the private and public sectors with a focus on transparencey, accountability and fiscal budgeting. She helps streamline financial and procedural policies to benefit the financial health of ACS.

Director of School Operations

Mrs. Beth Patton

Phone: 256.771.7140

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Elementary Education, Athens State College M.A. Education, University of North Alabama Class A Certification in Instructional Leadership, University of North Alabama

Mrs. Beth Patton

Beth Patton is an Athens native and has been part of the Athens City Schools team for twenty-six years. She obtained a BS in Elementary Education from Athens State University, a Master's from Alabama A&M University, and Class A Certification in Instructional Leadership from the University of North Alabama.

She is married and has twin boys who just completed four years of college. She is very active in her church and community. As the homeless liaison and director of student services and learning supports, Beth sees the challenges facing our students and families and considers herself blessed to have opportunities to positively impact lives.