Buford City Schools has named a successor for retiring Superintendent Dr. Robert Downs.
At a special, called meeting of the Buford Board of Education on Dec. 13, 2021, Mrs. Melanie Reed was named sole finalist for the position.
“I am both humbled and honored to be named the sole finalist,” Reed said. “I am grateful to Dr. Downs for his guidance and direction over the last three years, and I am thrilled to continue serving this district I love so much.”
Reed has been in education for 30 years. She has been employed by Buford City Schools for 28 years, having held administrative positions for 20 of those 28 years. She was most recently named deputy superintendent in 2021 after being promoted to assistant superintendent in 2019. Reed previously served as principal of Buford Middle School and Buford Elementary.
Downs announced his retirement on Nov. 18, effective at the end of this school year.
“Buford does so many things exceptionally well, and our school board recognizes the value of consistency in leadership,” Downs said. “By selecting a superintendent from within the system, our vision and mission will be carried out without hesitation.”
The community’s strong tradition of honing talent within has proved beneficial for the school system, according to School Board Chairman Philip Beard.
“I’ve seen tremendous success when we have promoted leadership from within,” he said.
“I have been so fortunate to have Mrs. Reed as my Deputy Superintendent during my tenure,” Downs said. “Melanie has a true heart for this community. She came to the Central Office the same day I did, and we have really been co-leading the district ever since. I’m thankful for the partnership we have built and look forward to the amazing direction she will take Buford in years to come.”
Reed attended the University of North Georgia, earning her undergraduate degree in early childhood education. She later graduated from Lincoln Memorial University earning a specialist degree in leadership.
A Gwinnett County native, Reed has been married to her husband Greg for 30 years. They have a son and daughter, both graduates of Buford High School.
As required by the state, the school board must wait a mandatory 14-day period before taking action on the sole finalist.