About Us » History



Sardis-Girard-Alexander Elementary School was established in the fall of 1988 and the students attended school in the building that once served as S.G.A. High School (pictured above). Mr. John MacDonald was the principal of S.G.A. Elementary until the fall of 1990 when Mrs. Linda Murray accepted the position.

Under the direction of Mrs. Murray, the faculty and staff accepted their pledge to be a school of "Unity and Excellence". The school housed
in grades three through six, but soon the six grades student were transported to the newly built Burke County Middle School in

Once the bear was chosen as the mascot, the color of the bear had to be decided. Mrs. Murray chose the color brown because it is a blend that represents all of the children in the school (Murray 1998). The bear wore an SGA shirt that was blue and gold. (The same school colors used by SGA High School). The bear signified children who were excited about learning (Murray 1998). To enhance the bear's arms Mrs. Murray redrew the arms and she drew a bell in one of its hands. This drawing was submitted to a printing shop to create the school's shirt which was worn every Friday. The shirts were worn to depict school spirit, school pride, and B.E.A.R. time. The acronym B.E.A.R. meant Be Excited About Reading. Each Friday morning from 8:15 - 8:25 was B.E.A.R. time. At this time everyone in the building was reading.

Mrs. Murray also originated the bell as being a part of the faculty and staff's daily attire. She obtained this idea of the bell to symbolize the school when she saw an old, broken bell in the school's show case. The bell was used to bring students and employees together for events like recess, lunch, assemblies, fire and tornado drills, etc. In the years before when there were no telephones or televisions, the bells in church towers were rung to warn the residents of invasion, fire, storm, etc. Thus, Mrs. Murray stated that the bell represented "unity" - a coming togetherness. The bell also symbolized excellence by this excellence meant being the best student, teacher, principal, secretary, custodian, and lunchroom attendant a person could possibly be. In other words, doing and being the best that self can be each and every day based on individuality without comparing oneself to others. When each school year began, during pre-planning, everyone committed themselves to unity and excellence by signing an agreement to perform with unity and excellence and receiving a bell.

Mrs. Murray sought to develop a  school song as the final step to complete the unity and pride needed to make S.G.A. Elementary an exciting and unified place for students to go to school and for employees to work.  This song would be a song that every student at SGA Elementary would know.  Under the direction of Brenda Mitchell, S.G.A. Elementary developed its school song titled, "We Love Our SGA".  

In the fall of 1995, the new Sardis-Girard-Alexander Elementary School opened at 1265 Charles Perry Avenue under the direction of the principal, Mrs. Linda Murray. The new school combined the two elementary schools that were present in Sardis at that time: Cousins Elementary which enrolled students in prekindergarten through second grade and S.G.A. Elementary at 604 Burke Street that enrolled students in grades three through five. When Mrs. Linda A. Murray left the elementary school and became the principal of Burke County Middle School in 1998, Mrs. Nancy Sello-White became our new principal and served as principal for two years.

 Mr. Roderick Sams, a graduate of S.G.A. High School, returned to the city of Sardis in the fall of 2000 to become the principal of S.G.A. Elementary School. After five years of service to the area, he became principal of Blakeney Elementary School in Waynesboro, Georgia. 

Mr. Adkins then accepted the position as principal. Mr. Adkins was born in southwest Virginia and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from East Tennessee State University. In the mid-1980's he moved to Georgia. His job experiences in the area
of education range from teaching college and high school courses to serving as Assistant Principal and coaching football, baseball and wrestling. These experiences have lead him on a path from Virginia to Tennessee and then further south from Richmond County and finally to Burke County. In Burke County his accomplishment are working with the faculty and staff of Burke County High School and Blakeney Elementary School as Assistant Principal, serving as Principal of S.G.A. Elementary (the best kept secret in the southeast), and appointed as the principal of Burke County High School for the 2010-2011 school year.

Dr. Chequita Brady was asked to fill the position of principal at SGA Elementary beginning in the fall of 2009 and served as principal until the spring of 2015.

Mr. Joshua Brantley accepted the position as principal in the fall of 2015.