Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia

Calvin Watts
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Student Enrollment: 179,554 (80% students of color, 52% economically disadvantaged, 22% Limited English Proficient)

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Superintendent Bio

Dr. Calvin J. Watts was named superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) on July 30, 2021. A former GCPS leader, he rejoined the district having served as superintendent of Kent School District (KSD), the fifth largest and the second most diverse school district in Washington State. In his six-year tenure at KSD, Dr. Watts developed a bold strategic planning process; maintained an intentional focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; and improved organizational effectiveness so that all students may thrive. KSD’s four-year adjusted cohort graduation rates rose to record levels for all students as a result.

Prior to joining KSD, Dr. Watts served in GCPS for 13 years in varied leadership roles with increasing levels of responsibility. Those roles included serving as an assistant principal at Bethesda Elementary, as a principal at Annistown Elementary and Trickum Middle schools, as a Director of Human Resources, and also as an Assistant Superintendent in support of school and principal leadership. He also has held leadership positions with the Archdiocese of Atlanta, serving as a principal and an assistant principal. Dr. Watts started his educational career in the classroom as a middle school teacher in Seattle. After relocating to Atlanta in the mid-1990s, he 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, working with 40 other superintendents to consult 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 a number of topics including equity, personalized learning, and parent engagement. In 2017, he was named Educator of the Year by the City of Kent Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Watts is thrilled to re-establish residency in Georgia, and for his family to become rooted in the Gwinnett County community. His leadership philosophy always has been to reach and teach all students as if they had his last name. With this philosophy in mind, he and his wife and son look forward to expanding their "family" to include the nearly 180,000 children served in GCPS.

Dr. Watts earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Howard University. He later earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of West Georgia, and his doctorate in educational leadership from Argosy University.