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Outgoing Gwinnett Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks reflects on tenure after last regular school board meeting


J. Alvin Wilbanks has participated in a staggering number of school board meetings in his 25-year career as Gwinnett County Public Schools superintendent.

The number adds up — by Wilbanks’ estimate — to 307 monthly meetings.

But, Thursday was a milestone for Wilbanks, who will turn 79 and leave his position at the end of this month. It was his last regularly scheduled board meeting as superintendent.

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Gwinnett school board names Kent School District chief Calvin Watts as sole finalist for GCPS superintendent position


The Gwinnett County Board of Education has named Calvin Watts as the sole finalist to replace outgoing Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, putting the district on the cusp of a history-making leadership appointment.

The vote to name Watts as the finalist came during the board’s monthly meeting Thursday night at the Instructional Support Center named for Wilbanks.

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Gwinnett Sheriff’s Office will hand out free book bags, school supplies at July 24 Back-to-School event


The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office is planning to invite families to enjoy some pre-Back-to-School fun, and to get some free school supplies, later this month.

The sheriff’s office is planning to hold a Back-to-School celebration from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on July 24 at Rhodes Jordan Park Pavilions 1, 2 and 3 in Lawrenceville. The event will feature several activities for families to enjoy, but its main attraction will likely be a free book bag and school supply giveaway at the Sheriff’s Office’s community relations table.

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Mitsubishi Electric Classic’s Birdies for Charity program makes donations to local programs


Together, the Gwinnett Championship Foundation and Primerica donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local 501(c)(3) organizations through the 2021 Mitsubishi Electric Classic’s Birdies for Charity program.

This year’s Birdies for Charity beneficiaries included Annandale Village, Cooper’s Crew, Grayson Cluster Schools Foundation, Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett and the Women’s Club of Sugarloaf Country Club. The Mitsubishi Electric Classic, a PGA Tour Champions tournament, is held annually at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth.

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Norcross middle school student takes part in National Young Leaders conference


Summerour Middle School student Caroline Fierro-Chavez recently returned from a unique trip to Washington, D.C., where she took part in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference.

The conference is one of the Envision by WorldStrides family of programs that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom.

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Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education recognizes students for scholastic achievement


Nearly 60 Gwinnett County Public Schools students have been recognized by the Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education for their scholastic efforts with awards or, in some cases, scholarships.

The alliance announced about 51 Gifted Students of the Year from elementary, middle and high schools in the county, as well as eight students who received $100 summer scholarships. It also named the GCPS Accelerated Programs and Gifted Education Program as the recipient of the 2020-2021 Hughes Award, with Director of Accelerated Programs and Gifted Education Keena Ryals-Jenkins, Gifted Instructional Specialist Kelly Snyder, Curriculum and Instructional Support Assistant Rita Shue, and Instructional Coach Hilary Pinter highlighted.

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