LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Robbie Hooker

Position: Superintendent
School: Social Circle City Schools
School District: Social Circle City Schools
City, State: Social Circle, GA

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Dr. Robbie Hooker was nominated by his colleague, David Ragsdale. 

Dr. Hooker was formerly Clarke Central High School principal in Athens from 2008-2016. He was named Georgia Principal of the Year in 2013 by the Georgia Association of Secondary Principals.

During Dr. Hooker's tenure at CCHS, the school was awarded the Silver Medal by U.S. News and World Report. The school ranked in the top three percent of high schools nationwide, and Newsweek placed it in the 96th percentile of high schools across the nation. CCHS was also ranked among the top seven percent of high schools in the nation by the Washington Post High School Challenge. The school has received numerous awards for its journalism program and fine arts programs.  Additionally, Dr. Hooker oversaw a whole-campus renovation project with a $36 million budget and implemented professional development, which resulted in the creation of campus teacher leaders and administrative positions for nearly a dozen faculty members.

Lauren Pruitt, who graduated from UGA in December 2015 with a double major of Women’s Studies and Religion, was a student under Dr. Hooker’s leadership both at BHL and CCHS.  She says his influence was vital to her success.

“Dr. Hooker taught me how to interact with adults in a way where I felt worthy of respect. He made me feel like I had endless potential, and that I was truly valuable. He was never anything other than humble, and he was always more excited to congratulate you on your accomplishments than receive his own,” Pruitt said.

Dr. Hooker, has spent more than 20 years in school leadership positions. He became principal at CCHS after leaving Burney-Harris Lyons Middle School, one of CCHS’ feeder schools.  He has previously worked in Barrow County, Coweta County, and Lowndes County Schools. Dr. Hooker began his career as a special education teacher in 1989. Since leaving CCHS in 2016, Dr. Hooker served as Executive Officer for School Leadership for Henry County Schools until 2019, at which point he was named Superintendent of Social Circle Schools.



Comments (42)


Mollie Sherman Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker is an exceptional leader, educator, and person. He worked tirelessly for Clarke County and impacted the lives of so many during his tenure here. Although his work took him a few miles down the road, his impact is still felt in Athens schools and communities. A life changer, no doubt!

Dr. Kala Jordan Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker is an ideal candidate for the Life-changer of the year award because he is a phenomenal leader. As my mentor in the Leadership program at Kennesaw State, he went above and beyond to ensure that strong leaders were built under his guidance. He was very thorough in answering questions and providing guidance. Taking note of our career aspirations, he ensured that we took the necessary steps to prepare each of us individually. I personally gained so much experience that has helped me in my growth as a leader and in my current role. He is always available to guide and answer questions. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Hooker!

Larissa D. Jean Posted over a year ago

In all of my years of serving students in the classroom, Dr. Hooker is by far the best leader I have ever had the privilege to call my Principal. Dr. Hooker epitomizes servant leadership at its highest degree. He is humble, integrous, compassionate, understanding, and fiercely passionate about the success of all students. During my years serving the students and families of Clarke Central High School, Dr. Hooker always made himself accessible to the teachers, the students, and families entrusted to his care. There were many times that Dr. Hooker would pop in my classroom just to check in and see how things were going. He was concerned about his teachers holistically and would always celebrate victories both in and outside of the classroom. His advocacy and relentless support of his teachers pushed me to continue to do above and beyond for my students. These and many other examples always proved to me how much  Dr. Hooker truly loves and cares about his teachers. Dr. Hooker is also the greatest coach and supporter of all teacher leaders. He would always see the potential in his teachers to take on new leadership roles. He always provided opportunities for professional growth. He always encouraged me as a leader. His  mentorship, his friendship, and his constant encouragement continue to impact and inspire me today. The fruit of all of his labor has not been in vain! Dr. Hooker is well deserving of this prestigious award!

Kevin Tyler Mobley Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker is the most deserving selection for the Life Changer Award. One of my most treasured memories at home is my picture frames with him and I sharing a hug at my Clarke Central graduation before he handed me my diploma. Dr. Hooker is one of the most compassionate, selfless people I have been around. He has mastered the art of duality as an administrator: doing the thankless work behind the scenes, while also serving as a visible, approachable school and community leader who enamors everyone he meets. I am still applying the lessons about servant leadership that Dr. Hooker taught me on a daily basis. His firm roots in educating students with special needs have given him a unique attentiveness to each and every student. His drive simply knows no boundaries. I would be delighted to see Dr. Hooker receive the recognition that he so befittingly deserves.

Faamata Fonoimoana Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker was a great leader and encourager during his time as an Assistant Superintendent. He gave great advice and always stepped into the most difficult situations to provide stability and guidance through his leadership.

Stephanie Britt Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker inspired me to be the best teacher and colleague I could be. On the toughest roughest of days I knew I could walk into his office and just sit down and vent. He had open arms and open doors for everyone. As a principal the students knew him and knew he cared. I cried my eyes out when I told him I had to work closer to home. It was the greatest honor to me to teach in his school.

Erin Nickerson Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker is an incredible leader, mentor, friend and person. I was fortunate to work with Dr. Hooker at CCHS and during the time I was there, I saw how Dr. Hooker supported our students, their families, and the faculty and staff at CCHS. He always made himself available to listen to students, parents, community members, teachers, and staff. I witnessed Dr. Hooker celebrate the victories our students achieved and it didn't matter if it was an athletic event or a student brought their grades up. He would greet students and staff with a smile and would always ask how they were doing. I learned many things under Dr. Hooker's leadership. He is humble, kind, and shows compassion for everyone. Dr. Hooker deserves this award because he has made a difference in the lives so many people.

Ginger Lehmann Posted over a year ago

Dr. Robbie Hooker is one of the most inspiring and passionate educators I have ever met. He works tirelessly on behalf of students, but he is also tremendously supportive of the teachers who work under him. His humble leadership created a sense of community during his time as principal of Clarke Central High School that is a rare find in education. Regardless of the daily responsibilities and challenges he faced as principal, he never failed to stop and check on his teachers. He saw the importance of developing leadership among the school faculty, and was continuously identifying that potential and then encouraging his staff to develop their leadership skills. He did this for me personally by encouraging me to seize opportunities for leadership that I would not otherwise have considered, and I credit him with the initial inspiration that led to my current position. Robbie Hooker is a leader, husband, father, and teacher with integrity and his honest and sincere influence has changed many lives for the better.

Lindy S. Weaver Posted over a year ago

Robbie Hooker was a life changer for me. He believed in the leadership potential of all. He believed that everyone that he came into contact with should always strive to continue to learn and become leaders. This included his students and all of his employees. As our principal, he respected our professionalism and gave us room to be bold. If those bold endeavors were successes or failures, we always knew he had our back. I always felt he genuinely cared about all he came in contact with. He made me want to do more, be more, give more, learn more and then do that all over again.

Kacy Tedder Posted over a year ago

I worked under Dr. Hooker for six years at Clarke Central High School. He loves his staff and students...he is a game changer for them. Advocate, friend, teacher, leader...the list goes on. What has always stood out to me about Dr. Hooker and has not happened any other time from a leader in my seventeen years as an educator is that there was never a day that when he saw me he asked how my sons were doing. Each time. This is powerful and I would move mountains for him.

Sue Rickman Posted over a year ago

Robbie Hooker is literally one of the few humans I’ve met that is always concerned about me, my life and my goals! He always remembers our conversations showing me how much he really cares! Many people are in a hurry to get something done, but I learned from Robbie, it’s ok to take a minute and show how much you really care!

Dr. Torian White Posted over a year ago

I first met Dr. Hooker at church while at UGA as a college student. He and his wife knew that I was becoming a teacher, and they decided to be a blessing to me by providing funds for meals throughout my time in Athens. Little did I know that he would become a valuable mentor as my path followed him from teacher to assistant principal to middle and high school principal. Grounded in his heart for people and students, he continues to be a light wherever he goes. He also continues to be a source of inspiration, and he challenges me to be my best. I am grateful to call him a brother, mentor, and friend.

Frank Platt Posted over a year ago

What I admire about Dr. Hooker is his emphasis on family and he interacted with students with this trait. He was also a team player which in turn made him a great leader. He listens and was very respectful of other colleagues roles. Great friend!

Terri Reese Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker (Robbie) was very instrumental in my child's educational success. At a point where I thought I had no choice but to throw up my hands and accept what I was being told by my school's administration, Dr. Hooker patiently spoke to me, calmed me down, and faced me in the right direction. He graciously motivated me to tactfully fight for my child in an environment that appeared to be designed for him to fail. So in essence, he helped me to help myself and as a result we acheived a positive outcome for my child. He didn't handle it for me, but he gave me the knowledge and confidence to do it myself. Following Dr. Hooker's direction, we were able to successfully navigate through my child's senior year in high school. You see, Dr. Hooker's educational abilities are not limited to academics, but encompass life skills as well. His instruction and knowledge sharing meant the world to me, my child, and my family. Not only is his family important to him, but all of our families are important him. God and family are reflected in every encounter he touches. Dr. Hooker is so deserving of any award that is befitting to a man of such great character. Thank you Dr. Hooker (Robbie)!

Cynthia Jewell Posted over a year ago

Robbie Hooker is a quiet storm. While I never worked directly with him in a school, I have always admired his humility, humor, and commitment to student outcomes. We met when we were members of The Leadership Henry cohort. He was always willing to share sound, solid advice with colleagues. As a principal, I never felt as though I couldn't ask him a question or get feedback concerning a situation. He was always willing to help and listen. I can't think of a more deserving person than Dr. Robbie Hooker. I wish I could have spent more time learning from him and benefitting from his wealth of knowledge as it pertains to the field of educational leadership.

ODYSSEY Media Group Posted over a year ago

Dr. Robbie Hooker gave Odyssey Media Group students opportunities to grow, to lead and to learn. He was a huge supporter of scholastic journalism. He worked with students to host monthly press conferences and was very candid in his responses. He even pitched in during fundraising events at UGA's Sanford Stadium by working in our concession stand and put in full shifts. Here's a link with articles he participated in http://bit.ly/2NcN9Ka. Dr. Hooker was named Georgia Scholastic Press Association's Administrator of the Year in 2011 based on his support and belief in scholastic journalism.

Linda Boza Posted over a year ago

Robbie Hooker is not only an excellent administrator, but he pushed me to be the best leader I could be. He inspired me, worked alongside me, and cared about my well being. He knew our community well, which helped him to build stronger relationships with families and help those families hold children accountable for their actions. In addition, he has a memory like no other. If he meets you once, he will remember everything about you and going forward will ask about family members by name. He deserves every recognition coming his way.

Gwen Manzy Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker is a gifted educator. He is open minded, professional, realistic, scholarly, and proactive. He has a unique manner of approach to staff, students, parents and stakeholders. He works tirelessly to improve student achievement, teacher accountability, parent engagement, and community involvement. Dr. Hooker continues to set the standards of how school leaders should operate. I am so proud of him!!!

Tasheina White Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker and his wife KAREN have served as mentors and role models for my husband and I, who are both educators. They set the standard for hard work and integrity. We are blessed to have them in our lives.

Utevia Tolbert Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker has inspired me in a number of ways that have impacted me both professionally and personally. I admire the leader that he is in a number of different arenas. He finds the positive in any negative situation. He leads with integrity and discipline with authority yet with dignity. He is a man that is not ashamed of his faith and despite life setbacks, kept getting back up until he reached his goal. This is the work of a life changer and I am glad to call him Mr. Deacon, Uncle, Dr, Principal of the Year and the next Superintendent Year Hooker!

Patrick Yuran Posted over a year ago

Robbie is an amazing administrator, mentor, and spiritual leader who believes in and cares for all people. He is a gifted, heart-led leader deserving of this special recognition.

Patrick Yuran Posted over a year ago

Robbie is an amazing administrator, mentor, and spiritual leader who believes in and cares for all people. He is a gifted, heart-led leader deserving of this special recognition.

Derrick Maxwell Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker is a man who leads by empowering and supporting others. He took a chance on me 17 years ago and encouraged a provisionally certified 2nd year teacher into enrolling into a leadership program. I am now in my 9th year of principalship and have hopefully helped change thousands of lives. I am one of countless people Robbie Hooker has empowered this way. I have tried to replicate the type of support he gave me onto others. Life changer of the year may not actually not be a good fit for him since his work has been changing outcomes for people in a positive manner exponentially for many years and many more to come. His impact simply does not fit in a year!

Antwawn Sheats Posted over a year ago

Dr. Robbie P. Hooker is a transformational leader with the innate ability to influence change while encouraging and motivating others to do the same. He is a dynamic visionary who is grounded in his values and dedicated and committed to his family and community. Dr. Hooker's many accomplishments and accolades are only a glimpse of his kindness behind the scences. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve under his leadership and legacy.

Dinah Posey Posted over a year ago

It was an honor and privilege to work alongside with Dr. Hooker He is a wonderful human being.

Karen Hooker Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker has dedicated his life to serving students and families in the public school arena. He believes that “every child deserves a champion” as Rita Pierson stated on several occasions. During his tenure as a Middle School AP, Middle School Principal and High School Principal, he was determined that the students exhibited growth in their academics. His staff along with himself developed relationships with the students and their parents. He often supported and attended activities of his students because he wanted them to know that they mattered to him. There was an understanding within our family that the majority of the nights from January- Graduation night(May)would be filled with activities at the high school. His passion and dedication for his family and community is evident within every community that we have lived and worked. He is so deserving of this award because he is a life changer.

Cynthia Anne McLeod Posted over a year ago

I wish every teacher and student had the opportunity to work with an administrator like Dr. Robbie Hooker. His decision to hire me his first year at BHL definitely changed my life, and I hope he will be selected as Life Changer of the Year. His expectations were high, and he did everything in his power to help students and teachers succeed. He helped build community at the school, creating a system of support for all of us. One of the things I most appreciated about "Hooker," as he was affectionately known to his faculty, was his emotional intelligence. I was always comfortable bringing problems or questions to him because his door was open and he'd listen. A man of few words but in possession of a great sense of humor, he'd help me think and strategize so that when I walked out of his office, I felt like a better teacher and often a better person. Thanks, Hooker, for everything.

Selena Blankenship Posted over a year ago

Driven. Focused. Persistent. Caring. Encouraging. Motivating. Humble. Servant. Dr. Robbie Hooker embodies these characteristics and models them on a daily basis. He is one of the most amazing leaders with whom I have worked. His ability to help others understand the vision and how they can contribute to achieving the vision makes him exceptional. I am deeply indebted to Dr. Hooker for giving me my first school leadership opportunity and allowing me to learn and grow as a part of his team.

Michael Kulp Posted over a year ago

This is my first year working with Dr. Hooker at Social Circle Schools. It is already apparent that his leadership is making a lasting difference. No one out-works him, and he is inspiring through the example he provides the staff of our school. Dr. Hooker makes all feel the important role they have in carrying out the mission of our school system. Throughout the years, I have worked with several people who have worked with Dr. Hooker, and universally, each person has held him in the highest esteem. I now understand why they have called him one of the best! Under his leadership, Social Circle Schools will continue to grow into a school system which answers the call to raise standards and achievement of its students.

Ashlee Wegmann Underwood Posted over a year ago

Dr. Robbie Hooker is so deserving of this honor. I have been fortunate in my time as an educator to work for and alongside amazing administrators and Robbie Hooker is one of them! Dr. Hoooker believes in giving staff the opportunity to lead; he builds leaders. There are so many skills and practices that Robbie modeled for me that I could write a dissertation on his leadership style. Though, the one thing that I most took from him was how he treated everyone! He never meets a stranger, never is anything other than warm and friendly and always takes time to look people in the eye and have genuine conversation. He is a gem and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work for him and with him! He’s a mentor, teacher, leader but most importantly a very dear friend.

Chandra Power Posted over a year ago

I have the distinct privilege of having worked for Dr. Hooker. Even late in my career, I learned so much from him. He modeled what he expected of us and led with quiet grace. I also have the twin privilege of having been the parent of a child under his care. My daughter graduated from CCHS and she loves and respects him, too. Great man!

Celis Hartley-Lewis Posted over a year ago

Although he was assigned to mentor me by KSU, he continues to fill this role years after graduation! I can always count on his wisdom, support, and council! He is a true servant, and leads with compassion and devotion!

Meri Blackburn Posted over a year ago

Robbie Hooker is one of the finest, most caring humans I have had the pleasure to work with in my 23 years in education. He is caring, committed, and real. It is an honor to know him as a colleague, student-advocate, and friend.

Derrick Maxwell Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker leads by tirelessly supporting those who work under him. For every ounce he expects from you, he delivers a pound of support. Myself and countless others have him to thanks for inspiring and supporting us along our journeys to serve children. He is a phenomenal husband,father, friend, and educator.

Sue Sheats Posted over a year ago

I was lucky enough to work with Dr. Hooker's wife, Karen, in the Barrow County School System. I have the utmost respect for him and his family. They were a great addition to our community, and his numerous promotions show his capability and dedication to education. He deserves this recognition for his efforts in changing the lives of many students.

Marie Yuran Posted over a year ago

Robbie professionally served/s as my leader and/or mentor which led me to serve in several leadership roles. He clear focus on students and their growth is noteworthy and to be rewarded.

Brian Deitz Posted over a year ago

Please select Dr. Robbie Hooker. He has been instrumental in my success as an educator and administrator. He gave me numerous opportunities to experience leadership and has been a great mentor to learn from. He is always willing to give advice and his positive influence and attitude has been instrumental in attacking each day in a positive way.

Laura Griner Posted over a year ago

No one deserves an award like this more than Robbie Hooker. I have never seen a school leader who was better able to relate to students from all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. He always seems to know what each child needs. Robbie is a wonderful educator, husband, and father.

Sheila Dunham Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker models how to care for others while also pushing them to be their best selves. He is an expert at building others up while also giving words of wisdom that are often life-changing. When interacting with him, he remembers conversations from the past and asks about how things are going in that area. He makes you feel loved and that in turn motivates you to work as hard as you can to love others and to pour into students.

Rachel Treadwell Posted over a year ago

I could write a book regarding the thousands of lives Dr. Hooker (and also his wife) have changed. He impacts entire communities through his impact within the school system in immeasurable ways, though. I could name hundreds of students, by name, who now have a future just because of the leadership and guidance of Dr. Hooker. However, the change in just those students I could name, created a ripple effect that reached other students, educators, parents, siblings and friends. We, as parents, don’t always see all of the statistics for a school as far as graduation rates, test scores, or how many students that have gone on to higher learning and succeeded. It’s very easy, however, to see the changes within a school that poured out into the community. There is no better proof that one person can change a life, their community, or the world, than Dr. Hooker. (And if there were a family award, his wife, daughter and son would also be just as deserving!)

Matthew Dellaria Posted over a year ago

Dr. Hooker was an amazing principal during my time at Clarke Central. He was the kind of person who commanded respect instead of demanding respect. His ability to make concrete relationships with every student is something that I truly admired.

Mary Thielman Posted over a year ago

Dr. Robbie P. Hooker is a man of faith who lives it out in service to his family and community. As a father he models personal integrity and compassionate responsibility to his children. As an educator he impacts directly the life of every student he engages with and indirectly those who are served by the teachers and school leaders he serves. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him at Clarke Central. The impact he has on my life and the profession I love cannot be measured. Thank you, Robbie P.