GAEL Leadership & Staff
Robert Costley, GAEL Executive Director
Executive Director Robert Costley is a U.S. Navy Veteran, serving overseas in the Persian Gulf aboard the U.S.S. Ranger, an aircraft carrier. Following his military service, he attended the University of West Georgia, earning a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education. He then furthered his education with both a master’s and specialist’s degree in Education Administration from Jacksonville State University.
In his educational career, he has served as an English teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and, most recently, as a Georgia superintendent for eleven years.
Known to his friends and colleagues as “Buddy,” he is a proud advocate of public schools and what they mean for the future of Georgia and its families. He is married to Kelly, a veteran public school kindergarten teacher, and he is the father to three beautiful children, all alumni of Georgia’s public schools. In his own words, he is “proud to live in a divided house.” His oldest, Sam, is a recent graduate from Georgia Tech as a computer science major while his oldest daughter Mackenzi marches for the Redcoat Band at the University of Georgia. His youngest, Sophie, is currently a senior in high school and is a color guard leader in the marching band.