There have been rumors circulating on social media in recent weeks that the board might vote to fire Watts this spring, prompting supporters and opponents of the superintendent to speak out at recent board meetings.
Dr. Calvin J. Watts became the superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) on July 30, 2021. He returned to the district after leading Kent School District (KSD), the fifth largest and the second most diverse school district in Washington State, for six years. During his time at KSD, Dr. Watts implemented a strategic planning process that focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; enhanced organizational effectiveness to support student success; and increased graduation rates for all students to record levels.
Dr. Watts has a rich history of leadership in GCPS, where he served for 13 years in various roles with increasing responsibility. He was an assistant principal at Bethesda Elementary, a principal at Annistown Elementary and Trickum Middle schools, a Director of Human Resources, and an Assistant Superintendent in charge of school and principal leadership. He also worked as a principal and an assistant principal for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Dr. Watts began his career as a middle school teacher in Seattle and later taught at Inman Middle School in Atlanta Public Schools and at Carrollton Junior High School in Carrollton City Schools.
Dr. Watts is a member of The Broad Academy Fellowship (2018-2019) and has demonstrated a strong track record of success as an instructional, operational, and community leader. He is a member of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) American Rescue Plan Committee, which advises U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on the effective and efficient use of American Rescue Plan funding. He has presented regionally and nationally on topics such as equity, personalized learning, and parent engagement.