J. Alvin Wilbanks was named chief executive officer and superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools in March, 1996. Under his leadership, the school district has earned a reputation as one of the most successful in the country. The Broad* Foundation selected GCPS as a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education three times—in 2009, 2010, and 2014—and awarded Gwinnett the Broad Prize in 2010 and 2014.
As superintendent, Mr. Wilbanks has been tapped by three Georgia governors and two United States Secretaries of Education to help craft significant education-reform legislation at the state and federal levels. He served seven years as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia. In 2017, Governor Nathan Deal appointed Mr. Wilbanks to chair the Joint Study Committee charged with establishing a statewide school leadership academy for Georgia. He is a leader in organizations that advocate for public education at the state and national levels, including the Georgia Education Coalition and the national Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium.
Mr. Wilbanks is the founding president of Gwinnett Technical College, which opened in 1984. Throughout his career, he has won numerous honors for his professional accomplishments and civic contributions, including being named “2005 Georgia Superintendent of the Year” and one of four finalists for the national title. Other major honors include the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year;” the Boy Scouts of America’s “Distinguished Citizen Award;” Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s “Environmental Legacy Award;” the University of Georgia College of Education’s “Lifetime Achievement Award,” the Professional Association of Georgia Educators 2016 honoree at its “A PAGE Turning Event” that recognizes outstanding business and civic leaders for their contributions to public education in Georgia. In 2018, Mr. Wilbanks and the Gwinnett County Board of Education were named the state’s first-ever “Governance Team of the Year” by the Georgia School Boards Association. Mr. Wilbanks was honored in 2019 with the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education’s first “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Mr. Wilbanks earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Georgia, and his education specialist degree from Georgia State University. He is a member of several professional organizations and is a leader in his church.
* Broad rhymes with road.