Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) announced Dr. Calvin Watts as the sole finalist for the soon-to-be-vacant position of CEO/Superintendent.

When he is officially appointed Watts will be GCPS’ first Black superintendent. In 2018, GCPS Board of Education Chair, Everton Blair became the first black person on the GCPS board of education.

“It’s exciting,” Blair said. “In time, people will see he cares about everybody and wants to see every student succeed.”

Watts is currently superintendent of Kent School District (KSD), the second-most diverse school district in Washington.

Before his position at KSD, Watts served as Assistant Superintendent in GCPS for seven years.

He worked in GCPS for a total of 13 years including as principal at Trickum Middle School and Annistown Elementary School.

According to Blair, the selection process included multiple interviews with multiple candidates; the board had a strong preference for a sitting superintendent.

Blair said Dr. Watts was able to stick out among the applicants because of his track record of success in the areas the board considered critical, increasing student achievement and closing gaps.

The 2020 four-year graduation rate in KSD was 87.8 percent. For GCPS the 2020 four-year graduation rate was 83.56 percent, just below the Georgia average of 83.8 percent.

On his application posted on the site, Watts noted that the graduation rate at KSD increased by 8.1 percent during his five-year tenure with the district.

He pointed out that the graduation rate increased for students of all races as well as students with IEPs and English Language Learners.

A special meeting of the board has been called for Thursday, July 29 to hold a vote to officially appoint Watts.

Dr. Calvin J Watts (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gwinnett County Public Schools)
Dr. Calvin J Watts (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gwinnett County Public Schools)

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