Long-time educator and Jeff Davis County native Gayle U. Wooten retired in January after more than 51 years as an educator and education advocate.
For the past 21 years, Wooten served as the human resources director and in other administrative roles with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) in Atlanta. PAGE is the state’s largest educator association with more than 95,000 members, and nearly doubled in numbers during Wooten’s time with the organization.
Wooten began her education career in Jeff Davis County Schools as a teacher following graduation from Georgia Southern University and completed her tenure as superintendent. Her experience also included serving as a visiting teacher, special education director, and principal. She also holds masters and specialists degrees from the University of Georgia.
Following her career in Jeff Davis, Wooten joined the Georgia Department of Education as a regional director supporting 25 school districts, then as the deaf education coordinator for seven southeastern states as part of a federal program, followed by a staff development position supporting all Georgia public schools.
Wooten was recruited as an assistant superintendent of curriculum and professional learning with Coffee County Schools where she worked until her retirement from school system and Department of Education service to join PAGE.
“Gayle’s experience from the classroom to the superintendent’s office to the state department of education provided important perspectives for PAGE as we’ve done our work on behalf of educators and public education during her 21 years,” said Executive Director Craig Harper. “And, the relationships and connections she has with educators and leaders throughout the state is unsurpassed. We will miss her influence, her stories, and good humor and wish her well in a much-deserved retirement.”
Wooten moved to St. Simons Island to enjoy her retirement.
“I’ve had a wonderful career with great memories of students and colleagues throughout the state. Now, I’m ready to relax, to fish, and to play golf.”