Our District

JCSS Central Office building

Student success through leadership, character and performance.


The Jackson County School System serves approximately 8,600 students in six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. In addition, Empower College & Career Center is under development and is expected to open in July 2021. We are committed to promoting student success through leadership, character, 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:

    • Administration – Our school system leaders, including our superintendent, assistant superintendents, and chief financial officer.
    • Human Resources and Student Support Services – The starting point for those interested in beginning or advancing a career in service to the students of Jackson County and for information on the services that support our students throughout their elementary and secondary years, including social work, nursing and counselors’ services, as well as school psychologists.
    • Teaching & Learning – Addresses all aspects of our work with students, including registration, curriculum, special education services, state and federal programs, personalized learning and innovation, technology, student data management, testing, and communications.
    • Operations – Involves management of school nutrition, transportation, and facilities.
    • Finance – Manages all aspects of JCSS’s financial activities, including work with outside vendors.

Hurricane Shoals Park - Jackson County, Ga.

Hurricane Shoals Park – Jackson County, Ga.

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. The assistant superintendent for teaching and learning is Mr. Todd Nickelsen. The assistant superintendent for operations is Mr. Ted Gilbert. The assistant superintendent for human resources and student support services is Dr. Selena Blankenship. Our chief financial officer is Ms. Annah Dodge, CPA, CGFM.

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.

Dr. April Howard, Superintendent, Jackson County School System
Email: ahoward@jcss.us   –   Phone: 706-367-5151   –   FAX: 706-367-9768

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

Todd Nickelsen
Todd Nickelsen

Assistant Superintendent
Teaching & Learning

ext. 17120

Ted Gilbert, Assistant Superintendent for Operations
Ted Gilbert

Assistant Superintendent

ext. 17157

Lynn Duke

Interim Assistant Superintendent
Human Resources & Student Support Services

706-367-5151 ext. 1712

Annah Dodge
Annah Dodge

Chief Financial Officer

ext. 17133

District Departments & Services

Jackson County School System Central Office is located at 1660 Winder Highway – Jefferson, GA 30549 – adjacent to the Jackson County High School campus.
Phone: 706-367-5151  –  Fax: 706-367-9768