Our School

Todd Graichen introduces his team at the 2018-19 JCSS leadership retreat in July

Todd Graichen introduces his team at the 2018-19 JCSS leadership retreat in July.

Welcome to Gum Springs Elementary School!

Our principal, Todd Graichen, began his career in 2001 as an elementary school teacher and has taught third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades in Toms River, N.J.; Darlington, S.C.; and Columbus, Ohio. He also served as Teen Success Coordinator for the Salesian Boys & Girls Club in Columbus for three years.

From 2009-2012, he worked as an instructional coach for the Clarke County School District in Athens, and from 2012-2016 as an elementary and middle school assistant principal for CCSD. He was named assistant principal at Auburn Elementary School in Barrow County in July 2017.

Mr. Graichen earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education in 2000 from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and his master’s of education degree in curriculum and instruction from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus in 2007. He earned an education specialist’s degree in educational leadership from the University of West Georgia in Carrolton in 2016.

Mr. Graichen and his wife, Jody, live in Athens with their son, Ben, and daughter, Katie.

“I am honored to be part of the Gum Springs community and look forward to fostering strong relationships with the staff, students, and families of Gum Springs Elementary School,” he told the Gum Springs’ staff shortly after his appointment was announced last spring.

Mrs. Amy Wright

Mrs. Amy Wright, Assistant PrincipaI

Mrs. Amy Wright, Assistant PrincipaI

As Assistant Principal at GSES, I welcome you to our Gum Springs family. Due to the dedication of our students, families, and staff, I truly feel that it is a great place to be!

I joined the Jackson County School System, teaching first grade at West Jackson Primary, after graduating from the University of Georgia with my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 2004. After completing a master’s degree in instructional technology at the University of Georgia in 2008, I worked as an Instructional Technology Specialist, serving Benton Elementary, East Jackson Elementary, and West Jackson Primary schools.

I earned my specialist’s degree in educational leadership from North Georgia College and State University in 2011 and was named assistant principal at Gum Springs Elementary at the start of the 2011-12 school year.

My husband, David, and I have two sons who attend WJMS, Emerson, a sixth-grader, and Madux, a  fourth-grader.

In my role at GSES, I am working to be visibly supportive of colleagues, modeling their belief that all relationships are valuable, and creating a trusting environment where students and teachers are not afraid to take risks in their pursuit of progress.

Our school provides a rigorous, standards-based curriculum tailored to meet the needs of individual children. We pride ourselves on developing “student success through leadership, character, and performance.”

I look forward to developing a positive relationship with you and your child. If I can assist you in any way, please feel free to stop by the school, contact me by phone at 706-654-5580, or email me at awright@jcss.us.

Amy Wright
Assistant Principal


Mrs. Katie Garner

I am so excited to be joining Gum Springs Elementary.  I look forward to working with the students, staff and families of this great community.  I know it’s going to be an awesome year!

Prior to joining GSES this year, I taught at East Jackson Elementary from 2008-2019.  During those 11 years, I taught second through fifth-grade inclusion with a lot of great teachers and families!My educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Interrelated Special Education from Georgia College and State University.  Then, in 2010, I obtained a master’s in education from Piedmont College and finally, in 2012, I earned my educational specialist degree from Georgia College and State University.  My leadership certificate was obtained in 2015 from Northeast GA RESA.

I am married to Forrest Garner, and we have one daughter, Finley, who is a vibrant 2-year old that keeps us busy.I am looking forward to working with each and every one of you.  If I can assist you in any way, please feel free to stop by the school, contact me by phone at (706) 654-5580 or email me at kgarner@jcss.us





Mrs. Kristi Terry

As the Instructional Coach at Gum Springs Elementary School, I truly believe this is the best school in Jackson County!

My educational career began in 2006 as a Special Education Teacher in Gwinnett County.  I have taught students in grades 2-5 with a variety of disabilities. The majority of my time was spent in  co-taught general education classrooms. In 2017, I had the privilege of joining the Jackson County School System as a Fifth Grade Teacher.  The following year, I became the K-5 Instructional Coach at Gum Springs Elementary.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree in Interrelated Special Education from Piedmont College, and I am currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership program at the University of West Georgia.

As an Instructional Coach, I support our teachers with improving best teaching practices through professional development, modeling, and goal setting.  At GSES, we have amazing teachers with a growth-mindset that are excited to learn researched best practices to increase student achievement.  

My husband, Jon, and I have three children who attend Gum Springs Elementary School.  Olivia is currently in fourth grade while Anderson and Braden are in Kindergarten.

I look forward to developing a positive relationship with you and your child. If I can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact me by phone at 706-654-5580, or email me at kterry@jcss.us.


Kristi Terry

Instructional Coach


600 Gum Springs Church Road
Jefferson, GA 30549

Phone: 706-654-5580
Fax: 706-654-1255

Summer Hours:
Monday- Thursday
8:00 am- 3:00 pm

School Hours:
The Instructional day begins at 7:40 a.m. and dismisses at 2:25 p.m.
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Printable School-Year Calendars
Google Calendar of Events




Grade Levels
Counselor Grades K-2
Counselor Grades 3-5
After School Program

PTO Facebook Page

Reading Bowl
Science Olympiad
Music Paws 
Gardening Club
Robotics Club





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