Governing Board Members

  • Governing Board members are volunteers who represent several FCS Partners in Education. Board members serve staggered three-year terms. FCS Superintendent Jeff Bearden, Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Caracciolo, and Communications Facilitator Hannah Samples serve as liaisons between the school district and the Foundation. If you would like to get involved, contact Hannah Samples.

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Mr. Michael Barron

Michael Barron is a native of Georgia who lived in Forsyth County through the 90’s and graduated from South Forsyth High School in 1999. He received his undergraduate degree in BS in Management with a minor in Management Information Systems from High Point University in North Carolina. He returned to Forsyth County in 2013 with his wife Stephanie to start and raise a family in a county he always loved. He is motivated to give back to the local community where he currently volunteers and attends North Point Community Church leading a 50 person volunteer group in Guest Services, coaches the youth at i9 Sports and serves on the HOA board along with many others including Junior Achievement of Georgia. Michael has been in cloud technology sales management for almost 20 years working for companies like Home Depot, PGi, Oracle, RingCentral and now NCR where he manages their top Hospitality customer. He is an avid golfer, networker, technology enthusiast and he and his wife Stephanie are proud parents of a daughter and son who attend the Forsyth County School System.

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Ms. Laurie Cole

Laurie Cole is a Community Development Officer for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – covering Forsyth, North Fulton, and Dawson counties.  She develops relationships with donors, local governments, corporate employers, school systems, volunteers and patient families for the purpose of linking Children’s services and programs to the communities it serves. These community partnerships have helped to create recognition and acceptance for Children’s as the area's premier pediatric healthcare provider. In addition to Outreach, Ms. Cole is also responsible for working with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta’s Friends organization, which is comprised of over 2,500 volunteers that fundraise to help support the needs of the organization. She is the proud mother of two girls who attend Forsyth County Schools.

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Mr. Doug Dershimer

Doug Dershimer has been a resident of Forsyth County since 1993. He graduated in 1984 from Florida State University, where he received a B.A. Degree in Marketing. Mr. Dershimer is currently the President of SLP School Staffing which he founded in 2008. SLP School Staffing contracts Speech Language Pathologist in school districts nationwide. Mr. Dershimer has had the privilege of serving the Forsyth County Schools in numerous ways over the years, from Local School Councils, county-wide initiatives such as Advanced ED, Propel, and the Parent and Community Superintendents Advisory Council. In addition, he has served as President and board member of the Lambert HS Equestrian Booster Club and is an avid supporter of Lambert’s sports, clubs, and school functions. He and his wife Lisa are founding members of North Point Church and have 3 daughters currently in college that spent every day of their elementary, middle, and high school education in Forsyth County!  

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Mr. Bert Durand

Bert Durand is originally from Augusta, Georgia, and holds a Finance degree from Georgia Southern University. He has been in banking in Forsyth County for the past 23 years. Mr. Durand is married to Melissa, and they have two children, Emily and Thomas, who attend Forsyth Central High School and North Forsyth High School. His family attends Local Church and Oak Grove Baptist Church. Mr. Durand is a current member and past president of the North Forsyth Rotary club, the chair of the Forsyth County Public Facilities Authority, and serves on the Executive Council for the Northeast Georgia Boy Scouts, Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce board, and the North Forsyth High School Local School Council. 

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Ms. Paula Gault

Paula Heard Gault is a graduate of Forsyth County High School and the University of Georgia. She taught in Clarke and Forsyth counties and served as Assistant Principal at Big Creek and Chestatee elementary schools. Ms. Gault also served as the Associate Superintendent and Superintendent of Forsyth County Schools from 2001-2008. Since retirement, Ms. Gault remains active volunteering at First Baptist Church and with other community service organizations. She has chaired the board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Forsyth County, serves on the board of the FCHS Alumni Association, and the local board for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) and Boys and Girls Club of Lanier. Ms. Gault and her husband, Robert Hughes, and, she is the mother of two daughters and two step-daughters and is GiGi to 12 grandchildren.

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Ms. Fonda Harrison

Fonda Gravitt Harrison is a lifelong resident of Forsyth County. She is a graduate of University of North Georgia, Brenau University and University of Georgia! She began her teaching career at Mashburn Elementary in 1988. During her career in FCS, she served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and central office administrator. She retired in June 2020 from her position as Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. During her tenure with FCS and since retirement, she has remained active on various nonprofit boards in Forsyth County. She is currently serving on the Boys and Girls Club Board and is the Community Service Chair for the Forsyth County Retired Educators Association. Mrs. Harrison is married to Robert, and they have two adult children and one granddaughter. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, sewing, learning the craft of reupholstery, creating pallet wood projects, and being Gigi!

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Mr. Joseph Otwell

Joseph Otwell is a lifelong resident of Forsyth County. He is a graduate of North Forsyth High School and received his BS in Management from the University of North Georgia. Mr. Otwell is the Executive Manager of his family’s business Andean Chevrolet. His business has been a long-time partner with the school system sponsoring many programs for academics and school sports teams. Joseph and his wife Heather have 1 daughter and 3 sons. His family is very involved at First Baptist Cumming where he serves in the children’s ministry and the tech team. He enjoys traveling with family, helping with his kids sports teams, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs.

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Mr. Evan Profeta

Evan Profeta, a resident of Forsyth County for more than 20 years, is a long time supporter of Forsyth County Schools. As a graduate of South Forsyth High School, he has a heartfelt drive and motivation to make Forsyth County Schools the best they can be. Mr. Profeta is a local business owner and established his State Farm Insurance Agency in 2005. He is an avid boater, life-long learner and he and his wife Tara are proud parents of two boys who are currently enrolled in Forsyth County Schools. Mr. Profeta is active with the Governing Board as well as the Lakeside Middle School Local School Council. He and his business sponsor many local and school sports teams and events. In his spare time, Mr. Profeta and his family enjoy traveling, spending time on Lake Lanier and watching the Georgia Bulldogs. He is the 2020 Chairperson of the Forsyth County Education Foundation Governing Board.     

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Mr. SreeRam Royyala

SreeRam Royyala has been a resident of Forsyth County for twenty years. He has a masters degree in Engineering and more than twenty years of leadership experience working in a broad set of environments including Fortune 50 companies, SMBs, start-ups and non-profit organizations. He has expertise in managing, architecting, and developing enterprise IT applications and currently working as Chief Technology Officer in Virima. Prior to Virima, he was founder and CEO at ZeroTouchWare, a provider of Enterprise Service Management solutions. Previously, SreeRam held technical and management positions at Delta Airlines and AT&T. SreeRam has a passion for community service and served as a member in Sharon Springs cityhood feasibility committee and Forsyth County Comprehensive Transportation Plan committee. He currently serves as a member of Zoning board of Appeals. He and his wife Laxmi have a daughter and a son attending Forsyth County School System.

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Ms. Renee Welch

Renee Welch is originally from Greenville, South Carolina. She graduated from Furman University and received her law degree from the University of South Carolina. She has been with Boling Rice LLC for twenty-four years. Mrs. Welch is married to Charles (Chuck) F. Welch, Jr., and their son Charlie attends Forsyth Central High School. She is a past president of the Rotary Club of South Forsyth, where she has been a member since 2000. Mrs. Welch also serves Rotary on the district level: she has been an Assistant Governor, member of the Foundation Financial Assessment Committee, District Chair for the Georgia Rotary Districts Character Education Program (Laws of Life), and is the incoming Rotary District 6910 Administration Chair. She was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Laws of Life program for 2017-2018. She is an avid reader and lover of all things geeky and nerdy.