Xernona Thomas courtesy

Xernona Thomas has been named the executive director of College Factory, a nonprofit organization that provides college planning resources to youth in Northeast Georgia, effective Jan. 25. (Courtesy/College Factory)

Xernona Thomas has been named the executive director of College Factory, a nonprofit organization that provides college planning resources to youth in Northeast Georgia, effective Jan. 25, according to a press release.

Thomas has three degrees from the University of Georgia, and was the first woman to serve as superintendent for the Clarke County School District. She is a recent recipient of the Footsteps Award, honoring the legacy of UGA’s first African American students and has over 30 years of experience in education and social work.

“I look forward to working with the team, our volunteers, and our partners at College Factory to advance post-secondary opportunities for the youth in our community,” Thomas said in the press release.

In her new role, Thomas will work to “ensure the organization can continue to adapt to serve youth with their post-secondary aspirations,” according to the release. She will also oversee expansion of College Factory’s current programs. One of her immediate goals is to develop partnerships with other local youth organizations, the release said.

College Factory was established to “to supplement college counseling offered in Clarke County schools and enhance Georgia’s workforce development by providing individualized mentoring,” according to their website. Their three main focus areas are college coaching, community workshops and SAT/ACT test preparation, according to the press release.

“All of us at College Factory are thrilled to have Dr. Thomas lead us in this exciting stage of growth. We know her leadership will lead to even stronger community collaborations that will allow us to serve more youth and families,” Lawrence Harris, president of College Factory, said in the press release.