J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent, Gwinnett County Public Schools
The Promise of Gwinnett, the theme of our 2016-17 civic engagement campaign, reflects the promise found in every Gwinnett County Public Schools student, and the promise we make to provide them with the highest-quality education possible. It’s a theme that is apparent in almost every activity underway in the school district since the campaign’s launch in July.
As one example, in September we celebrated the dedication of two new school buildings— Baldwin Elementary School and Coleman Middle School. In those special events I saw The Promise of Gwinnett in the smiling faces of the proud students and teachers in attendance. It was there in the new furniture, computers, and instructional materials that filled the schools, and in the excitement felt as parents and community members gathered to celebrate the promise of their new school.
At the dedications, I also was reminded of another kind of promise found in our community… the promise of school district employees who continue to show their support for public education long after they have retired. Dr. Brooks P. Coleman, Jr., and Beauty P. Baldwin, for whom the new schools are named, are retired educators. However, both continue to touch the future— Dr. Coleman through his service as chairman of the Georgia House of Representatives Education Committee, and Mrs. Baldwin through community service that includes founding a charter school in our district.
Combined, the contributions of Dr. Coleman and Mrs. Baldwin to Gwinnett are too numerous to list. Those contributions live on in the students they influenced as teachers, school leaders, and district administrators. The two educators believed in their students and ignited in them a love of learning. In response, these young people grew up to become successful adults, loving parents, civic and business leaders, and contributing community members… a living testament to the power of the promise that ripples throughout our community, state, and nation.
We thank Dr. Coleman and Mrs. Baldwin for what they have meant to the public schools in our county. We celebrate them and, by extension, all that is right in public education. They are part of the legacy of the Promise of Gwinnett!
Also published on Medium.