By David L. Bell, Director of Public Relations, Chambers County School District



LaFAYETTE – At the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge, the Chambers County Board of Education has unanimously approved the appointment of one former and two current employees to new administrative positions.


Benji Mitchum, who has served as Principal at Huguley Elementary School since 2013, will become the school district’s new Transportation Director. Mitchum replaces Mike Frazier, who is retiring after 16 years at that position.



Mitchum began his educational career at Auburn City Schools in 2000 after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Auburn University and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Troy University. He has been employed by the Chambers County School District since 2001, serving in various coaching and teaching capacities at W. F. Burns Middle School, Fairfax Elementary, and LaFayette Lanier Elementary. Mitchum was the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Valley High School before moving to Huguley.


In his new role, Mitchum will be responsible for the district’s bus fleet, including the safe and efficient transportation of students and mechanical maintenance. The transportation department is located in the school board’s annex building on Veterans Memorial Parkway in LaFayette.


Fran Groover, who has been the Principal at Fairfax Elementary School since 2006, will replace Diane Sherriff as Director of Special Education. Sherriff is retiring after serving in that position for the past 25 years.


Groover earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University, before obtaining a Masters degree and Education Specialist degree in Education Leadership from Troy University. She taught at Five Points and Huguley Elementary before moving to Fairfax.

Jennifer Goodwin, current Assistant Principal at South Smiths Station Elementary School in Lee County, will succeed Allison Burton as the new Principal at Bob Harding-Shawmut Elementary School. Burton is retiring after serving at Shawmut since 2013.

Goodwin formerly taught at Five Points and LaFayette Lanier Elementary between 1997 and 2015. She is also an adjunct professor of undergraduate education classes at Troy University.

Goodwin earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University before obtaining her Masters, Reading Specialist, and Education Specialist degrees from Auburn University at Montgomery. In 2014, she was awarded a Masters of Instructional Leadership degree from Troy University.

“We offer our best wishes to the employees transitioning into retirement,” said Superintendent Hodge. “They have served our school district, and more importantly our students, with unparalleled dedication and professionalism. We will miss their contributions to our overall goal of providing the best opportunities possible for the children of Chambers County.”

Hodge said positions left vacant by the new appointments will be filled prior to the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.