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June 3--  When school starts in August, there'll be two new leaders at the Southeastern Early College and Career Academy in Vidalia.

The school's board has named former Treutlen High School principal David Avery to succeed Dr. Ryan Flowers as the Academy director.  Shelly Smith of Vidalia, formerly with the state's Regional Education Service Agency, is succeeding Dr. Barbara Christmas Golden as the academy's development officer.

Avery credits Flowers and Christmas for the school's early success.

"If it weren't for Ryan Flowers and Barbara Christmas, you know.  They took the vision that others had and made it come true," Avery notes.

As for Avery's new role, "I know the potential this career academy can bring to this area and it's exciting to be part of it as it takes off and goes from here.  It provides opportunities that the schools can't provide.  Especially I've seen what the JROTC has done with the kids in Treutlen County plus the other classes out there and I'm really looking forward to being part of that."

Shelly Smith believes her new role is to find money to develop new programs that will lead to jobs for Academy graduates.

"We graduated this year many students from Vidalia, Montgomery, Treutlen and Toombs who are industry certified.  That gives them instant entry into the market place.  What we hope to do is to find funds, grant funds primarily, to expand the course offerings and give students additional pathways," she says.