Gwinnett County Public Schools
Calvin Watts

Gwinnett County (Ga.) board picks finalist for superintendent

July 16, 2021
Calvin Watts, a former Gwinnett County administrator who now leads the Kent (Wash.) district, has been tapped to lead Georgia's largest school system.

The Gwinnett County (Ga.) school board has chosen an administrator from Washington state as the sole finalist for the district superintendent’s job.

The district says in a news release that Calvin Watts is the board’s choice to lead the 178,000-student school system, the largest in Georgia. Watts is returning to Gwinnett County after serving six years as superintendent of the 26,500-student Kent (Wash.) School District.

Watts will replace Alvin Wilbanks, who is retiring after serving as superintendent for 25 years. The board voted in March to terminate Wilbanks’ contract as of July 31.

“Our goal was to select the superintendent who would be able to lead Gwinnett County Public Schools during this critical time, building on our legacy of success and working with our outstanding staff to serve our students in our quest to become a system of world-class schools,” says Board Chairman Everton Blair Jr. “We feel we’ve done that with this outstanding finalist.”

Before taking the position in Kent, Watts worked for 13 years in the Gwinnett district in varied leadership roles with increasing levels of responsibility.

The board’s selection of a finalist follows a nationwide search conducted by the Georgia Schools Boards Association that yielded 27 qualified applicants.

Under Georgia law, the board must wait a minimum of 14 days between announcing a finalist for superintendent and approving a contract.

The board is expected to vote to make Watts’ appointment official at a meeting on July 29.

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