Barididum Kponi, Senior at Central Gwinnett High School
GCPS is looking for a new superintendent and I believe the individual selected must be capable of representing and listening to the students and teachers of GCPS.
Gwinnett county has become much more diverse and we just simply aren’t even stratching the survive of the change needed here. It starts with the head, which is the superintendent. I believe the next individual for this position must reflect the image of the county by either being Latino, African American, or Asian.
This individual should be able to understand what it is like in a school environment whether as a teacher or principal, being able to see firsthand the many students from different walks of life, and what improvements are mandatory to better students learning environments. They must be able to give opportunities to all schools especially schools in more racial diversity areas where not enough attention is given towards the academic or extracurriculars.
The individual must notice the needs of all students including special needs who tend to receive the short end of the stick. They should be able to invest funding into bettering the resources and environment for schools and not treat it like a business because Gwinnett County Public Schools’ main business should only be making sure that students have access to the best education and families needs are met. They should be able to hear the concerns of the people in the community and take action and create a much-needed change in GCPS.
Gabrielle Lorentz, Sophomore at North Gwinnett High School
As you know we are in the search for a new superintendent. As a student in Gwinnett County, I feel that we need a superintendent who cares about mental health. Social emotional learning programs on the district and in our local schools (elementary through high school) should have additional resources for mental health support for our families outside of the classroom. Especially since many families may not have insurance that provides these services.
Students need consistent access to quality mental health resources of their own, because mental health should be valued just as much as academics.
Not only does the new superintendent need to have the best interest of the county in mind, but the safety and wellbeing of its students, and that includes their mental health. As a sophomore, I have six classes a day, I work a part time job, I volunteer and I help my friends when they’re in need. But too often I don’t feel supported adequately from my school.
Many of my closest friends are suffering mentally. As this is Mental Health Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to uplift the need for more resources in our schools. A superindentent focused on equitable resources for students would begin with providing more, efficient mental health resources for GCPS students. I want a superintendent supporting the creation of stronger social emotional learning programs, training and family resources for support outside of the classroom.
This is why we need the new superintendent to not only care about students’ mental health struggles, but who will actively work to create better outcomes for students. Covid-19 has negatively affected all of us, and has changed the way schools are operated.
Aderinsola Osinowo, Senior at Central Gwinnett High School
As a Black girl living in Gwinnett, I’ve always wished to have a superintendent that truly understands the issues marginalized teens face in this county. Some people with power in Gwinnett County’s school board seem to have a problem understanding, or rather, not caring for social issues. They may act a bit performative by creating some form of meeting to talk on diversity, but that’s about it.
They don’t act on ways to help minorities in Gwinnett’s school system, they just act performative enough to get away with discriminatory acts. I would just like to have a superintendent that wants to help minorities. A superintendent that implements the care of minorities into their school system, and works to make sure that EVERY one of their students gets the support that they need in their school system!
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.