New DCSS Superintendent excited for job

Published 4:21 pm Friday, July 8, 2016


Tim Cochran has officially taken over as the new superintendent of the Decatur County School system.

His first buck that he took down at the age of 19 and multiple trophy fish adorn the walls of his new office. His desk is scattered with binders and papers pertaining to the new SPLOST they have to have ready by October and a five-year facility plan that is in the infant stages.

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“I want us to be the best we can,” Cochran said. “I want people to look at Decatur County and say that’s a place we need to be. That’s a place that has it going on. I think that should be everybody’s goal.”

Cochran has lived in South Georgia his entire life and is an avid hunter and fisherman. He will be joined in town by his wife and two sons, aged 13 and 10.

“[My boys] are my life,” he said. “They are why I do what I do. I try to always set a good example for them, because I know how important it is. I lost my dad in ’09 and he was a huge, huge influence on me, and my goal in life is just to be half as good to my boys and he was to me.”

Cochran became a superintendent for the first time at the age of 36 when he was talked into applying for the open position in Atkinson County, a job he would hold for five years before making the move to Decatur County.

“I was very happy doing with what I was doing,” he said. “I enjoyed working with the kids, but a neighboring county approached me about applying for their superintendent’s job, which was Atkinson. Initially, I was not going to apply; said I’m not ready to be superintendent, too young to be superintendent.”

After talking to several people, including his current superintendent, he decided to apply and was hired.

Prior to being named superintendent in Atkinson, he worked as a high school and elementary school principal in Lanier County and as a teacher and coach in Charlton County.

“I miss the day-to-day interaction with the kids,” Cochran said. “I’ve got boys and girls both that I’ve coached and taught that you have a relationship the rest of our life with because of that. Helping them through those years of their life. You don’t get that as superintendent. So that’s a big piece you miss.”

He also spent time working as a stock broker in Valdosta, an experience he feels helps him better manage finances as a superintendent.

“You’ve got to have people skills,” Cochran said. “You’ve got to be willing to work with people. I think it’s important to have a financial background in this position because we’re a large company. You can’t serve the kids if you’re not financially solvent.”

Although Decatur County is a much large rschool system than Atkinson, Cochran said that overall the job is the same.

The budget might be bigger and the number of employees is greater, but the job still consists of managing money and people.

“At the end of the day, it’s about people,” he said. “Our job’s the same, you just have more people. There’s more community involvement here than there is in Atkinson because there’s more community.”

He has only officially been on the job for a few days, and Cochran said that he will take a few months to evaluate the staff and system as a whole before considering making any widespread changes.

“It will take me a few months to see how things go and get into stuff,” Cochran said. “I need to get to know the people and know how they’re doing and where they fit and what’s working well and what may need to be tweaked. Decatur County has a lot of great things going. It’s not like things were broke and I’m here to fix anything.”


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