Family Connection-Communities in Schools Gets New Director

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By Tim Johnson

The board of directors of Family Connection-Communities In Schools of Athens is delighted to announce it has appointed a new executive director with decades of experience supporting children and non-profit organizations in the Athens-Clarke County community. In this role, Erin Thompson Podvin will oversee FC-CIS’s diverse portfolio of programs and partnerships including the Neighborhood Leaders program, Strategic Action Teams, and expansion of Communities In Schools site coordinators in partnership with the Clarke County School District.

Podvin will become only the second executive director for FC-CIS, following founding executive director Tim Johnson’s retirement on June 30. Johnson has served as FC-CIS’s executive director for 33 years and helped create more than 60 programs in Athens and surrounding communities, increasing graduation rates and improving family well-being for countless children and families.

“Tim Johnson has been a champion and voice for children and families in our community for decades, and the board is immensely grateful for Tim’s work on behalf of all children in our community,” said Shannon Brooks, president of the FC-CIS board of directors. “After a search and succession planning process that began two years ago, we believe Erin’s vision, energy, and experience makes her the perfect person to lead FC-CIS as we expand our impact in the community.”

Podvin has more than 20 years of experience working to increase equity and access across the K-12, higher education, and non-profit landscapes. Podvin most recently served as the people engagement manager for esp, inc., a local non-profit that supports people with disabilities and their families. She has held multiple roles within the Clarke County School District as well, including lead migrant family engagement specialist, coordinator of The Even Start Family Literacy Program, and she has coordinated initiatives across the district in the Department of Family & Community Engagement.

“I want to thank the board for entrusting me with this opportunity,” Podvin said. “I am stepping into some well-worn and mighty shoes. Tim knows every facet of this community. He’s beloved across the state for his work with FC-CIS, and he’s loved this organization to its core. I am excited to lead such an incredible team of people who truly care about moving the needle forward in Athens for all families, for all citizens.”

Additionally, Podvin has served as regional program director for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, where she worked to increase college readiness, access, and retention among Latino students, and she was the coordinator of first-generation and scholars programs at the University of Georgia, supporting first-generation college students and vulnerable student populations. Throughout these roles, Podvin has collaborated with FC-CIS on numerous projects and initiatives.

“The Family Connection-Communities In Schools team is effecting change on very hyper-local levels,” Podvin said, “so I’m just excited to work with people that are really invested and believe in a more equitable community for everyone.”

Podvin will begin her career with FC-CIS on May 15, working alongside Johnson during a transition period. She will assume the permanent executive director role on July 1 after Johnson’s retirement.