Our District

JCSS Central Office building

Student success through leadership,

character and performance.

Look for quick links for parents and students, staff and potential staff, and community members and partners on our home page.

Click on the tabs below for the offices within our District Administration, Human Resources, Teaching & Learning, and Operations departments.

Click here for organization charts, approved May 8, 2017.

Jackson County School System Central Office
1660 Winder Highway – Jefferson, GA 30549
Phone: 706-367-5151  –  Fax: 706-367-9768

Choose success @ JCSS!

The Jackson County School System serves more than  7,600 students in six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. We are committed to promoting student success through character, leadership and performance from Pre-K through 12th grade.

Click the tabs above for a list of and links to the offices within each part of our organization; click the highlighted links below for more information about …

    • Administration – Our school system leaders, communications office, and student services (social work, nursing and counselors’ services, as well as school psychologists).
    • Human Resources – The starting point for those interested in beginning or advancing a career in service to the students of Jackson County.
    • Teaching & Learning – Addresses all aspects of our work with students, including registration, curriculum, special education services, state and federal programs, technology, student data management, and testing.
    • Operations – Includes school nutrition, transportation, facilities, and finance.

Education has a long history in Jackson County, which was founded in 1796 in a split from Franklin County. Jackson County was the original home of the University of Georgia — classes began before Clarke County was officially carved out of Jackson County in 1801. There is a school listed as part of the settlement at Hurricane Shoals in 1801, and as many as 247 schools are recorded in the county’s history. And, according to the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Harmony Grove Female Academy, chartered in 1824, was the first school for girls chartered in the state.

Today, JCSS is led by Dr. April Howard, superintendent of schools. Dr. Selena Blankenship is the director of human resources. The assistant superintendent for teaching and learning is Mr. Todd Nickelsen.

Our faculty and staff are committed to offering a challenging and rigorous educational experience for all students in a safe and caring learning environment.

The members of our Board of Education are elected from five districts across the county and serve staggered, four-year terms. Click here for the latest update to our district’s strategic plan.

Administration includes the leadership team, human resources, student services, and communications. Click on the gold links below to reach individual departments.

Dr. April Howard, Superintendent
Email: ahoward@jcss.us   –   Phone: 706-367-5151   –   FAX: 706-367-7698

Amanda Hewell, Executive Assistant
ahewell@jcss.us   –   706-367-5151 ext. 17111

Todd Nickelsen
Todd Nickelsen
Todd Nickelsen, Assistant Superintendent
tnickelsen@jcss.us       706-367-5151, ext. 17120

Brenda Williams, Administrative Assistant
bwilliams@jcss.us      706-367-5151, ext. 17150

Selena Blankenship, JCSS HR Director

Dr. Selena Blankenship, Director

706-367-5151 ext. 17122

Michelle Bowen, HR Assistant


School Psychologists
Nursing Services
Social Work Services
Counselor Services

Karen Bridgeman, JCSS Communications Coordinator

Karen Bridgeman, Coordinator


706-367-5151 ext. 17110
Direct: 706-367-3997
Cell: 706-340-4435

Selena Blankenship, JCSS HR Director

Dr. Selena Blankenship

ext. 17122
Email: sblankenship@jcss.us

Michelle Bowen
HR Assistant

Dr. Selena S. Blankenship joined the Jackson County School System in July 2016 and currently serves as the director of human resources. Dr. Blankenship is proud to be a “Triple Dawg,” having earned her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, where she serves as a member of the College of Education’s Alumni Board. She began her career as a language arts teacher in South Georgia before returning to the Athens area in 2002. Since 2008, Dr. Blankenship has served in various leadership roles at the middle and high school levels, most recently serving five years as the principal of Hilsman Middle School, an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme World School.

Join us and choose success @ JCSS!

The Jackson County School System is working every day to provide a remarkable learning experience for more than 7,600 students in six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. We value innovation, personalization, academic rigor, and positive relationships.

Jackson County is located approximately an hour northeast of Atlanta along I-85 and just 25 minutes from  the music and arts scene in Athens. We enjoy convenient access to Lake Hartwell, Lake Lanier, and Braselton’s Chateau Elan Resort, all while enjoying the relaxed pace of small town life.

Apply with JCSS at https://www.applitrack.com/jacksoncounty/onlineapp/

See a complete list of vacancies and find an online application by visiting  www.applitrack.com/jacksoncounty/onlineapp/.

Learn more about our benefits by visiting www.myjacksonbenefits.com/.

More information

  • Click here for the JCSS Certified Teacher Salary Schedule.
  • Click here for the JCSS Non-Teaching Salary Schedule.
  • Click here for the JCSS Non-Teaching Salary Schedule – grade and range.
  • Click here for links to our job descriptions.

Current employees: Click here to log in to the payroll and benefits portal. Access information on discounts from our community partners for current employees with the links below:

The Jackson County School System does not and will not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, immigration, or any other legally protected status in its educational programs, activities or employment practices.

Todd Nickelsen
Todd Nickelsen, Assistant Superintendent
tnickelsen@jcss.us       706-367-5151, ext. 17120

Brenda Williams, Administrative Assistant | bwilliams@jcss.us | ext. 17150

Teaching & Learning deals with all aspects of our work with students, including special education; personalized learning and innovation (including content specialists and technology); school improvement and accountability (including registration, student data management, testing, and state and federal programs); and career, technical, and agricultural education (CTAE) and work-based learning (WBL). 

Click on the gold links below to reach individual departments.

Mr. Troy Johnson

Troy Johnson, Director       tjohnson@jcss.us
PHONE: 706-367-5151   FAX: 706-367-9457

Registration: Martha Wilson & Teresa Dearman
Assessment: Martha Wilson & Teresa Dearman
Student Information System: Martha Wilson & Teresa Dearman
State Pre-K Program: Linda Bell
Federal Programs – Title I: Linda Bell

Jan NeSmith

Jan NeSmith, Director       jnesmith@jcss.us
PHONE: 706-367-5151   FAX 706-367-9457

Elementary School Coordinators: Melanie Brittain, Patty Griffith
Secondary School Coordinator: Becky Edge
Behavior Specialist: Emelyn Kendall

Cat Flippen

Cat Flippen, Director       cflippen@jcss.us
PHONE: 706-367-5151   FAX: 706-367-9457

Technology: Michael Summer
Content Specialists: Deborah Riddleberger and Katie Warwick


Todd Schultz

Todd Shultz
PHONE: 706-367-5151
FAX: 706-367-9457

Laura Boswell

Laura Boswell
PHONE: 706-367-5151
FAX: 706-367-9457

Operations includes school nutrition/food service, transportation, plant services/facilities, and finance.

Click on the gold links below to reach individual departments.

Dr. Debra Morris

Dr. Debra Morris, Director



David Farmer

David Farmer, Director



Dennis Patrick

Dennis Patrick, Director



Annah Dodge

Annah Dodge, Director