44-year vet of Hall schools retiring

A woman who has spent 44 years with Hall County schools is retiring.

Rhonda Samples is the Executive Director of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE). In announcing her plans to retire, the Hall County School District (HCSD) noted: “She leaves behind a legacy of innovation and a commitment to providing students with unique educational opportunities.”


“Throughout her tenure, Samples played a pivotal role in shaping the educational landscape of Hall County by helping to create a wide array of educational choices tailored to students’ passions and interests. Under her leadership, the CTAE program in Hall County has opened doors to countless opportunities for young people, empowering them to pursue their dreams, and excel in various fields.

A graduate of North Hall High School, Samples began her teaching career at her alma mater in 1981. She transferred to Chestatee High in 2002 to open a new Marketing program, and in 2005 she was named Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator for the district. Samples was promoted to Assistant CTAE Director in 2008 and became the director in December of 2015. In 2019, she was named the Executive Director for Career Technical and Agricultural Education for the District and the CEO of Lanier College & Career Academy.

Most recently, Samples worked alongside Superintendent Will Schofield in the conception and development of the Hall County Agribusiness Center, which also includes the recently completed Meat Science Center. These state-of-the-art facilities stand as testament to her visionary leadership and tireless efforts in advancing agricultural education and innovation within the district.

As the CEO of Lanier College and Career Academy, Samples supported initiatives to increase the facility’s capacity to meet the evolving needs and interests of students. Under her leadership, the academy offers a diverse range of pathways in areas such as hospitality, culinary arts, graphic design, HVAC, marketing, agricultural mechanics, and cosmetology.

Samples’ leadership also extended to the development of one of the most robust Work-Based Learning programs in the state of Georgia. Through her strategic vision and unwavering dedication, countless students have been connected to invaluable internships and hands-on job experiences, paving the way for their future success.

Furthermore, Ms. Samples’ strong connections with local business partners were instrumental in Hall County’s achievement of The Georgia Economic Development Partnership Distinction. The award recognizes communities in which there are strong ties between education and regional industries, laying the foundation for continued growth and collaboration.

“Rhonda Samples has been an invaluable asset to the Hall County School District and the heart and soul of our CTAE Program,” said Superintendent Will Schofield. “Having such a strong commitment to making students aware of the incredible opportunities that await them following graduation–and putting them in a position that helps them pinpoint what they do well and what truly makes them tick—that’s such an incredible gift to give to a young person. Without question, that falls under the umbrella of striving to be the most caring place on earth. We are immensely grateful for Rhonda’s leadership, her vision, and her heart for students. While we will miss her dearly, we know that her legacy will continue to inspire educators and students to come.”

Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Kevin Bales, said, “Rhonda Samples has a work ethic like no one I know. Her motor is always running, and it’s geared toward finding ways to better serve students. Rhonda has helped to establish such key relationships with community members and business partners, and those connections have garnered massive amounts of support for our programs. It really has expanded what we as a district are able to offer our students. She’s made a difference for so many, and she will, without question, be missed.”

“I have truly cherished my time in education with Hall County Schools,” said Samples. “Thank you for allowing me to serve the District in multiple roles. I have been very passionate about Career Technical and Agricultural Education because I know our career pathways and Work-Based Learning experiences are genuinely creating connections and opening doors for students’ futures. I too am a product of a CTAE Program. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to learn, grow, and contribute to the success of our students. Additionally, I extend my gratitude to the Hall County community and the numerous business and industry partners who have supported us in achieving various milestones and providing enriching experiences for our CTAE students. Upon retirement, I look forward to enjoying a slower pace for a while, and spending more time with family–especially my two grandchildren.””