J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent, Gwinnett County Public Schools
Teaching and learning, with an emphasis on learning… that’s the core business of Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), the largest district in Georgia and 13th largest in the United States. Our vision is to be “a system of world-class schools.” Pursuit of that vision has resulted in GCPS earning and maintaining a reputation as a high-performing organization committed to preparing all students for college, careers, and citizenship.
Notably, we’ve sustained a record of success during more than three decades of dramatic enrollment growth and demographic change. In 2016-2017, close to 178,000 students are being educated in our 139 schools. Over half of those students are economically disadvantaged, and many come to us from countries across the globe. From the boardroom to the classroom, Gwinnett County Public Schools is focused on success for every one of them!
A hallmark of the school district for many years has been stable, effective leadership by the Gwinnett County Board of Education and CEO/Superintendent governance team. The Board members and I understand that the district’s schools belong to the public and we must be excellent, responsible stewards of them. We make every effort to ensure that the district’s workforce of approximately 23,000 includes the finest teachers (over 11,500 of them), administrators, and support staff in the business. We also work hard to earn the unparalleled support we enjoy from the Gwinnett community, which steadfastly supports our schools in educating each child to the highest possible level.
The entire community takes ownership and pride in GCPS’ selection as a three-time finalist and two-time winner (2010 and 2014) of “The Broad Prize for Urban Education,” the country’s most prestigious award for K–12 education. We are one of very few districts in the country whose bonds have been rated triple-A by the major rating agencies. Numerous national and state-level awards are won every year by GCPS students, staff, schools, and programs. Still, the district embraces the principles of continuous quality improvement as the way we do business, always striving to be better both academically and operationally.
In the spirit of celebrating success while continually improving, we launched “The Promise of Gwinnett” in the summer of 2016. This campaign is designed to bring visibility to the promise of quality and effective education for every student, in every classroom, every day. It’s a promise that includes everyone in the district and in our community, and is held dear by the people of Gwinnett County Public Schools.
Also published on Medium.