Fairfax County schools public information officer George F. Hamel has announced he will retire from his position, effective Dec. 31, after 15 years of acting as liaison between the county school system and the media.
Hamel, 64, came to the Fairfax school system in 1969 as director of community relations after he retired from the Army as a colonel in 1969. He earned a bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.
The Worcester, Mass., native said his interest in the county school system stemmed from concern about his children's public school education.
"I did some teaching in the service and was looking for a job where I could use my knowledge in public relations," Hamel said. "I was always interested in public education and this opportunity presented itself."
During Hamel's tenure as media liaison, the school system's community relations division won three communications awards, including the 1982 Gold Medallion Award for excellence in public relations. He also started the Supergram, a weekly newsletter about county school issues.
During his 28-year military career, he was director of community relations under former secretaries of defense Robert McNamara, Clark Clifford and Melvin Laird.
Hamel said he had no definite long-term retirement plans but would like to visit his family, which is scattered along the Eastern Seaboard from Massachusetts to Virginia.