Towns and Merisme slide.jpg

From left, T. Nakia Towns and Guerlene Merisme

Guerlène Merisme was named the new principal at Magill Elementary School and T. Nakia Towns was named the district’s new deputy superintendent during Thursday night’s Gwinnett school board meeting.

Merisme, who is currently the principal of Lilburn Elementary School, will transition to the principal position at Magill Elementary as the school’s current principal, Tonya Burnley, moves to her new role as principal of Head Elementary, Gwinnett County Public Schools officials said.

Merisme served as an assistant principal at Lilburn Elementary prior to becoming the school’s principal in 2016. She is a graduate of Gwinnett County Public Schools’ 2015 Quality-Plus Leadership Academy, Aspiring Principal Program.

Towns most recently served as interim and deputy superintendent at Hamilton County Schools (HCS) in Chattanooga, Tenn., where she led the executive cabinet to ensure that the district’s strategic goals and objectives were met.

GCPS officials said Towns championed a focus on literacy and whole child support to improve student outcomes, resulting in HCS becoming the fastest improving district in the state. Prior to joining Hamilton County, she served as Assistant Commissioner at the Tennessee Department ofmEducation and Chief Accountability Officer at Knox County Schools.

GCPS Superintendent Calvin J. Watts said he is excited about the addition of Towns, who is an alumnus of the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs program and the Broad Center Residency in Urban Education, to his executive cabinet.

“Dr. Towns’ experiences and leadership will benefit our students and schools,” Watts said. “In particular, her work in closing achievement gaps, while leading with empathy, equity and excellence, will contribute to sustainable improvements throughout the organization, particularly in the areas of instructional and operational support.”

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