Cherokee County schools name exec for student emotional, mental health

The Cherokee County School Board, responding to concerns about students’ emotional and mental health, has named a former principal to head a new social and emotional learning initiative.

Debra Murdock, former principal of Cherokee High School and a Georgia High School Principal of the Year, will focus on “developing new ways to better support students’ and employees’ emotional and mental health and well-being,” according to a district announcement.

The district said it’s the first step toward implementing recommendations of the superintendent’s ad hoc committee on social and emotional learning.

Murdock’s appointment prompted a series of administrative changes.

Creekview High School Principal Mark Merges will take over Murdock’s former role as school operations executive director of administrative leadership for middle and high schools. Sue Zinkil, principal of Creekland Middle School, will become the new principal of Creekview High. Richie Carnes, assistant principal at Mill Creek Middle School, was named principal of Creekland Middle.