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Principal for a Day participants celebrate experience

LAWRENCEVILLE — Taurin Lyons and his wife want the best education for their young child.

The couple was considering private school, but after participating in the Principal for a Day program, Lyons discovered he had no qualms about where his child will be attending school.

Lanier Middle School principal Jamie Espinosa shared this story during Friday’s celebration luncheon for the seventh annual Principal for a Day program.

The program, a joint venture of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and Gwinnett County Public Schools, sends business and community leaders into schools and offers them an inside look at the job of a principal. The experience is designed to build strategic partnerships between schools and businesses.

“The Principal for a Day program is composed of community leaders, educators and administrators, or as I like to call them ‘Gwinnett Superheroes,’” said Katie Sweeney, the vice president of business development for Gwinnett Federal Credit Union, which sponsored the celebration luncheon. “It’s a way for local community leaders and business owners to be inspired by everyday talents that every employee of Gwinnett County Public School system exemplifies. In turn, I hope that the principals feel the exhilaration and support that their community has to offer.”

Espinosa, who has participated in the program since its inception, said he was anxious for the day to start — and, admittedly, finish. But after meeting Lyons, manager of Nordstrom at Mall of Georgia, Espinosa said his appreciation of the Principal for a Day program was renewed.

“I was ashamed of myself because I had taken the day and experience for granted,” he said.

Lyons said he was impressed by what he saw at the school — the trust Espinosa had in his leadership team, the passion of the teachers, the hard work of the students.

“We have a school district that is one of the best in the country,” Lyons said. “It’s been proven.”