More than 600 guests honored CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks and Gwinnett County Public Schools at the 12th annual “A PAGE Turning Event” on Sept. 12. The event, sponsored by the PAGE Foundation, recognizes leaders from business, philanthropy, government and education for exemplary support for public school improvement. This is the first time in the event’s history that an educator has been honored.
Mr. Wilbanks accepted two awards from PAGE Executive Director Dr. Allene Magill— the first on behalf and in appreciation of the faculty and staff of Gwinnett County Public Schools, and the second in recognition of Mr. Wilbanks’ exemplary leadership benefiting Georgia’s educators and students. John Yates, Mr. Wilbanks’ 11th grade mathematics teacher at Commerce High School, also attended the event and was recognized as the favorite teacher of the evening's honoree.
During Mr. Wilbanks’ 50-plus years in public education, three Georgia governors and two U.S. secretaries of education have called upon him to help craft significant education reform legislation. In 2005, he was named Georgia’s “Superintendent of the Year” and was a finalist for the national honor. Gwinnett County Public Schools is the 13th largest school system in the nation, employing 22,000-plus employees who serve more than 178,000 students. As a three-time finalist and two-time winner of The Broad Prize for Urban Education, GCPS is widely recognized as one of America’s top urban school districts.
Check out scenes from the evening.