Harris County Board of Education appoints interim superintendent after resignation

Harris County Board of Education building in Hamilton, Ga.
Harris County Board of Education building in Hamilton, Ga.

The Harris County Board of Education has appointed an interim superintendent.

Roger Couch, who retired in December 2015 as Harris County High School principal, will lead the school district while the board searches for a new superintendent.

The news comes five days after Harris County School District superintendent Jimmy Martin superintendent resigned and the school board appointed assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Debbie Korytoski as acting superintendent.

Martin departed under pressure from certain unnamed board members who threatened to fire him amid personality conflicts and disagreements about the performance of unspecified employees, according to his lawyer Ted Theus, the Ledger-Enquirer reported last week.

Board members have declined to comment about the situation, but in a news release Tuesday, chairman Shane Lipp of District 1 said, “The board is grateful that Mr. Couch is willing to serve as our interim superintendent and lead the district with a continued effort to achieve excellence.”

Couch was the high school’s principal from July 2001 until December 2015. He has been a professional educator for more than 30 years, including 15 in Harris County. He was a counselor at R.E. Lee Institute from 1983-1987 and an assistant principal there from 1987-1990. Then he was principal of Bremen High School from 1990-1998 and principal of Villa Rica High School from 1998-2001.

Asked for the board’s plan to conduct its superintendent search, HCSD chief information and human resources officer Jeff Branham told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email Tuesday, “They have not said.”