CC Graduate Rudy Falana Now Superintendent

Rudolph (Rudy) Falana, Ed.S, Superintendent

Rudolph Falana, graduate of Cambridge College - Georgia, took the helm as superintendent of Burke County Public Schools on June 1, and says he’s looking forward to building on the momentum of his predecessor, Linda Bailey, to take local schools to the next level.

“The system has really improved academically under her leadership and we want to continue that legacy she left behind,” Falana said.

Helping students be more successful after high school, regardless of their intentions to attend college, is one pursuit he plans to tackle right away.

“At some point we decided as a state that all our students were going to college,” he said, noting the emphasis was taken off of job training in high school. “Now the pendulum is swinging back the other way toward career pathways. One of my goals is to expose students to different types of careers as early as elementary school.”

That exposure, he said, will help them make decisions in high school about courses and encourage them to take advantage of opportunities like apprenticeships, which he hopes to expand. All the while, Falana said there must remain a focus on challenging college bound students in a way that will help them reach their potential as well. “We have to meet the needs of every student in this district whether they are headed to work or college,” he said.

Falana, who has worked in both urban and rural settings, said Burke County’s combination of close knit community and abundant resources presents an exciting atmosphere for education.

“In this system, you’re not just a number, you’re an individual,” he said, noting the relationships in this setting that allow for lasting impressions. As for academics, he said Burke County’s are as good as any in the state.

“Our job is to make sure students take advantage of what is being offered,” he said. “And the resources here are exceptional, so we can do some things that a lot of counties cannot.”

The former Florida State wide receiver was also quick to note that athletics will continue to enjoy wholehearted support as well. “Academics and athletics go hand in hand,” Falana, who was an All American in high school and college, said. “They each have their place and help instill pride in this community.”

Falana was selected from among 11 applicants for Superintendent. He came to Burke County last year as principal of Burke County Middle after having served as principal of Thomson High and previously as principal at Screven County High.