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School board approves district restructuring plan

SUWANEE - The Gwinnett County Board of Education unanimously approved Thursday a new organizational structure for Gwinnett County Public Schools that renames and redistributes responsibilities of some central office departments and employees.

The new organizational structure was developed after about 20 months of review of the current structure, Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said. It is the third major restructuring of the school system.

"I feel better about this one than I did about the other ones, and I must tell you I felt good about them," Wilbanks told the board during a Thursday work

session.

With the new structure, the divisions of educational leadership and organizational advancement have become the Division of Teaching and Learning, headed by Associate Superintendent Cindy Loe, and the Division of Academic Support, headed by Associate Superintendent Bobby Crowson.

Those are the divisions that will work most directly with schools. The transition should be seamless because some shifts have already taken place, said Sloan Roach, the school district spokeswoman.

Under the Division of Teaching and Learning, three area superintendents will each work with five clusters of schools. Area superintendents Linda Anderson, Delores Hendrix and Dale Robbins will each oversee an executive director of academic achievement.

The Teaching and Learning Division will also oversee the curriculum, instruction, special education and psychological services.

The Division of Academic Support oversees support functions such as safety and security; planning; research and evaluation; school nutrition; media services; discipline and behavior interventions; athletics, community schools and services; health and social services; student advisement, assessment and accountability; and federal and special programs.

The Division of Human Resources is led by Associate Superintendent Frances Davis, who will oversee the Full-Time Equivalent Office and the Professional Learning Department.

In the Superintendent's Office, the former executive director to the superintendent, Berney Kirkland, is the chief of staff, and Jorge Gomez will become the executive assistant for administration when his position as assistant principal at Louise Radloff Middle School is filled.

The board also approved a new principal for Shiloh Middle School. Devon Williams, the assistant principal at J.P. McConnell Middle School, will take over after Shiloh Middle's current principal, Karen Robinson, retires at the end of October, Roach said.

The board also unanimously voted to honor Brookwood High School's longtime athletic director, Dave Hunter, who is retiring in December.

The school's football stadium, baseball stadium and field house will be named the Dave Hunter Athletic Complex.

Board Chairman Robert McClure said Hunter's retirement marks "the passing of an era."

McClure said at the board meeting he respected the way Hunter's athletes take the competition seriously on the field and respect their opponents off the field.