Get Ready for Mother Nature: Winter Preparedness in APS

None of us can control Mother Nature, but we can do our best to plan for inclement weather. This week marks the beginning of Georgia Preparedness Week (Nov. 30 through Dec. 4). My number one priority is to make sure Atlanta Public Schools students and staff are safe and ready to learn and to teach.

Did you know that last year APS updated its comprehensive decision-making protocol for bad weather? I am committed to communicating inclement weather decisions to parents, students and employees, and this school year, we have a plan in place that continues to put safety first. Should severe weather threaten us during the school day, we will bring in additional drivers to ensure buses start and run on time. We will also ensure that district vehicles, equipment and supplies are prepared and in place before an emergency strikes.  APS has now established schedules and guidelines for early dismissal and delayed openings, and provided inclement weather training for all drivers and supervisors. Additionally, we have made emergency food, water and medical supplies readily available and easy to access at all district facilities and ensured that the needed technology and equipment are available for emergency communication.

Furthermore, this year we will again monitor weather reports closely and hold conversations throughout the day, overnight and early morning as needed with our emergency preparedness partners to help us make the best decisions for our students’ safety.

APS activates our severe Core Weather Team, which includes representatives from APS Operations, Transportation, Safety & Security, Facilities Services, Communications, Curriculum and Instruction, Nutrition and Information Technology departments when our city is under a severe weather threat.  Our team enters into a live conference call to assess the weather information we are receiving as well as emergency plans driven by the City of Atlanta and the state’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, Fulton County Emergency Management, and others.  In these conference calls, we rely heavily on information provided by the National Weather Service and local meteorologists to provide the best and most reliable information. The meteorologists often want to wait as late as possible, when better data allows for more accurate forecasts and precise modeling. Sometimes, this wait can conflict with the district’s need to notify families early as possible. Once we make a decision about school operations during bad weather, we will begin notifying parents and caregivers as soon as possible.

Here are some important steps to know when severe weather impacts our school day:

  1. APS will contact parents and guardians as soon as possible; therefore, it is important that we have current contact information. I encourage all APS parents and guardians to log in to the APS campus portal to update their preferences for emergency notifications, which include robo-calls, text messages and e-mails at Parents, make sure we know how to contact you in an emergency. We will do our part to notify you, but we need your help to stay informed.
  2. Should we need to close our schools early due to inclement weather forecasted for the same day after school has already started, the Core Weather Team will convene as early in the school day as possible, likely around 9:30 a.m. to make a recommendation. You would, in this case, begin receiving notice of our decision by 10:30 a.m. that day from the district’s communications channels, including the local news media.
  3. If inclement weather is expected the next day, our team will begin the conversations and close monitoring on whether to delay or close schools.
  4. We will aim to give you advance notice so you can put plans in place for your children should we have to cancel classes or afternoon activities early or if schools have to close for a full day or more. Depending on when the bad weather may hit, we will communicate our decisions in time for local newscasts (4 a.m., noon, 4 p.m., 5 p.m. 6 p.m. 10 p.m. or 11 p.m.). However, you don’t have to wait for news broadcasts.
  5. We will communicate with families via robo calls, texts and emails, the district website, social media such as Twitter, and local news outlets when there is a change in our normal school routine. I strongly encourage you to sign up to receive these communications from us. It is extremely important that you make sure we have updated contact information for your family.

As a district, we have a plan, but I want to make sure you do as well. In the event severe weather strikes, does your family have a plan in place? If not, make a plan today.

You should know how to contact one another in an emergency and reconnect with loved ones if you become separated. Create a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. Be sure to address all the unique needs of young children, pets, older loved ones and family members with special needs in your plan. For more information and ideas on how to create a family emergency plan, visit the Ready Georgia site.

Be prepared. You should have enough food, water and supplies to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Learn what essential items you need in a ready kit; most of these items are reasonably priced and easy to find, but could be vital in saving your life. For a detailed list and more information on how to prepare a customized Ready kit for your family, visit

Baby, it’s cold outside. Be safe and stay warm!



Twitter handles to follow during inclement weather:

@apsupdate @atlsuper

National Weather Service: @NWSAtlanta

The Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency (AFCEMA),


Take a look at the work we’ve done at APS to prepare for inclement weather:

Winter Weather Descends upon APS

APS Prepares for Winter Weather

Being Thankful in APS

As all of us in Atlanta Public Schools prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and our district closes for the extended (and, I think, much deserved) break, I think about the reasons we celebrate. The brisk weather encourages us to gather together as families and friends and put a brake a bit on our hectic lifestyles to spend quality time in fellowship and fun.

But I not only appreciate the season of Thanksgiving for the chance to be with loved ones. I cherish the moments of this holiday because it encourages us to reflect, to look more within ourselves and consider the many reasons we need to be thankful.

It gives us time to really consider others and to find ways to give back as shown at both Sylvan Hills Middle School and M.Agnes Jones Elementary, where our educators, students and families delivered food and turkeys to community members in need.

I know I am thankful for the hardest working educators, administrators and professional support staff in public education. To all of them: Be safe, enjoy time with your families and friends, and come back rejuvenated!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Understanding New Georgia Milestones Assessments

This morning, the Georgia Department of Education released the results of the first-ever administration of the Georgia Milestones assessments based on the new Georgia Standards of Excellence. I am sure many educators, students, parents and stakeholders have questions and are seeking clarification for what all of this means for the state and Atlanta Public Schools.

After seeing achievement levels on the Georgia Milestones, I needed a
lesson from our Accountability Office on how to make sense of the tests (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests and End-of-Course Test) that were
previously administered across Georgia prior to 2015 and how they relate to the new Georgia Milestones assessment. OMGosh!

So, I started with what State School Superintendent Richard Woods explained in September:

These results show a lower level of student proficiency than Georgians are used to seeing, but that does not mean Georgia students know less or that teachers are not doing a great job – it means they’ve been asked to clear a higher bar. Our previous assessment, the CRCT, set some of the lowest expectations for student proficiency in the nation, and that cannot continue.

Superintendent Woods goes on to explain that Georgia Milestones was designed to “evenBeecherMilestonesTweet.Rubye the playing field with the rest of the nation” and that is essential if our students are to remain competitive for national jobs in the future.

The ChangesDabbinMilestones.Lin

So how is Georgia Milestones different? A major change comes with Georgia Milestones assessing student learning across four levels of performance, instead of just three with the CRCT. The Milestones achievement levels are Beginning Learner, Developing Learner, Proficient Learner and Distinguished Learner. The state thoroughly explains the differences here.

APS Scores

How did APS students do?

To explain, we see these scores as creating a new baseline for APS performance. We need to be clear that Georgia Milestones and the CRCT are two different tests, with different expectations set for student achievement and, thus, not directly comparable. Because the expectations set by the Georgia Milestones system are higher, it was expected that the percentage of students considered proficient would initially be lower.


The results released today show our elementary and middle school students scored highest in Mathematics (with 63.9 percent at Developing or above) and lowest in Science (with 54.6 percent). The same report shows that APS students scored highest in Ninth-Grade Literature and Composition (70.5 percent) and lowest in Physical Science (34.2 percent). But it should be noted that the number of students taking these assessments varied widely with only 774 taking Physical Science, compared to 3,579 students taking Biology.

The charts below and our press release provide more detail. Our Data and Information Group continues to evaluate the scores so we can redirect resources, provide additional supports and remediation as necessary. We provide more results at

Table 1: APS 2014-2015 Georgia Milestones Results, Average of Grades 3-8

Beginning Learner Developing Learner Proficient Learner Distinguished Learner Developing and Above
English Language Arts 38.4% 29.4% 23.6% 8.6% 61.6%
Mathematics 36.1% 35.5% 20.1% 8.3% 63.9%
Science 45.4% 28.5% 19.0% 7.1% 54.6%
Social Studies 39.3% 33.9% 16.4% 10.3% 60.7%

Table 2: APS 2014-2015 Georgia Milestones End-of-Course Results by Subject









Developing and Above
American Literature and Composition 30.7% 40.4% 23.5% 5.4% 69.3%
Analytic Geometry 45.4% 33.0% 17.7% 4.0% 54.6%
Biology 54.0% 21.7% 19.0% 5.3% 46.0%
Coordinate Algebra 42.1% 33.4% 19.1% 5.4% 57.9%
Economics/Business 40.7% 33.1% 22.8% 3.5% 59.3%
Ninth Grade Literature and Composition 29.5% 38.8% 26.2% 5.6% 70.5%
Physical Science 65.8% 26.9% 6.7% 0.6% 34.2%
United States History 39.1% 34.5% 21.1% 5.3% 60.9%
Note: The number of students taking the EOC varies widely with only 774 students taking the Physical Science test while by comparison, 3,579 students took the Biology assessment.

Here are some positive highlights (Yay!) among the numbers:

  • 12 elementary schools had at least 80 percent of students perform at or above the Developing Learner achievement level averaged across all subjects. These schools are Morris Brandon (95 percent), Warren T. Jackson (95 percent), Mary Lin (95 percent), Morningside (95 percent), Springdale Park (93 percent), Atlanta Neighborhood Charter (90 percent), Sarah Smith (89 percent), Atlanta Classical Academy (88 percent), Charles R. Drew Charter (85 percent), E. Rivers (85 percent), The Kindezi School Westlake (84 percent) and West Manor (82 percent).
  • Seven middle schools had at least 80 percent of students perform at or above the Developing Learner achievement level averaged across all subjects. They are The Kindezi School Westlake (86 percent), Atlanta Classical Academy (84 percent), Inman (84 percent), KIPP STRIVE Academy (83 percent), Charles R. Drew Charter (81 percent), Atlanta Neighborhood Charter (80 percent) and KIPP WAYS Academy (80 percent).
  • Five high schools had at least 80 percent of students perform at or above the Developing Learner achievement level in Ninth Grade Literature and Composition – Carver Early College (98 percent), Charles R. Drew Charter (96 percent), North Atlanta (88 percent), Grady (86 percent) and Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (82 percent).
  • Four high schools had at least 70 percent of students perform at or above the Developing Learner achievement level in Coordinate Algebra – Carver Early College (96 percent), Charles R. Drew Charter (73 percent), KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (72 percent) and North Atlanta (70 percent).

Much attention has been directed to our School Turnaround Strategy and our response to the proposed Opportunity School District. It is important to note these Milestones results will inform a new CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index) score, which will be released in the next few months.

The release of the Georgia Milestones does, indeed, set a new baseline milestone for APS, providing our stakeholders with better information about our progress and setting the stage for collaboration that will help our students succeed. As always, this administration is fully committed to delivering a quality education so that all students are prepared for college and career.

Today We Honor Heroes: Veterans, Military Service Men and Women (and Uncle Ralph)

As superintendent, I often tell people that I have the best job in the world … and I do. Working with other dedicated professionals, many of whom are military veterans, who are passionate about preparing our students for college or the workforce, is such a fulfilling experience for me. That is why I feel it is so important for us to take time to genuinely thank our veterans and military servicemen and women – the people who have sacrificed so much to protect and serve our nation, keeping it a free and safe place for our students as they grow into adulthood.
UncleRalphLike many of our students, I am the proud descendant of veterans. I tweeted late last night about my beloved, late Uncle Ralph, whose sacrifice and service to our country and to his family continues to make me proud.

Uncle Ralph served as a paratrooper in the U. S. Army Elite Special Forces, also known as Green Berets. He volunteered for duty as soon as he finished high school and saw multiple tours during his six years of service, including action in Santo Domingo. He passed away around this time last year, and I will always remember his impact on my personal and professional life. I’m sharing a few photos from when we paid our final respects to him with a visit to Yellowstone National Park. (I miss you Uncle “Smalph.”)

Riding with my aunt earlier this year to honor our hero, Uncle Ralph!

Riding with my aunt earlier this year to honor our hero, Uncle Ralph!

What a view! Great way to remember my favorite veteran.

What a view at Yellowstone! Great way to remember my favorite veteran.


As we celebrate Veteran’s Day, I am equally proud to lead a school district that is honoring this holiday in so many wonderful ways:

I hope our service men and women have a sweet tooth! Look at all that candy!

I hope our service men and women have a sweet tooth! Look at all that candy!

— This week, students at Morris Brandon Elementary School will send 1,092 pounds of candy they collected on Halloween to U. S. service men and women stationed all over the world. Morris Brandon Assistant Principal Tiffany Momon said: “As an International Baccalaureate school, we stress the importance of being risk takers and world leaders to our students. This speaks to how our students take that to heart. They are risking and sacrificing their own happiness of eating their Halloween candy by giving it away for someone else to enjoy, and they are displaying leadership by stepping up to ensure that our troops know that they are appreciated.”

— Yesterday and today, cadets in the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy JROTC are providing the color guard escorts for Veteran’s Day activities at The Coca-Cola Company Headquarters. Additionally, they are serving in the USO’s “Operation Care Package,” an effort to make 10,000 care packages for service men and women overseas.

Members of the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy JROTC unit with (far left) Sierra Grigsby, Administrative Work Coordinator for the USO, and Dr. Mona Venning, CSKYWLA JROTC Program Coordinator. Cadets participated in the USO’s “Operation Care Package,” helping to create 10,000 care packages to send to U.S. servicemen and women stationed overseas.

Members of the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy JROTC unit with (far left) Sierra Grigsby, Administrative Work Coordinator for the USO, and Dr. Mona Venning, CSKYWLA JROTC Program Coordinator. Cadets participated in the USO’s “Operation Care Package,” helping to create 10,000 care packages to send to U.S. servicemen and women stationed overseas.

— As a native of Alabama, I am super excited for the Mays High School JROTC unit which today will honor a group of true American heroes, the Tuskegee Airmen, when they participate in the Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen Second Annual Veterans Day program.

Two-star U. S. Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith

APS alumni and two-star U. S. Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith will visit Douglass Thursday.

— And tomorrow, the day after Veteran’s Day is officially observed, Douglass High School will welcome one of its own back to campus. Two-star U. S. Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith will return to his alma mater to be honored for his distinguished record of service to the nation.

On behalf of the Atlanta Public Schools family, I say, “Thank you.”

APS Graduation Rate on the Rise

Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was so anxious about the release today of graduation rates for Georgia and Atlanta Public Schools.

gradtwitterpicWe tracked students all school year, and the very strong predictive data had me very encouraged, but I still wasn’t quite ready for the news I received about our graduation rate numbers for the Class of 2015 even though I knew it was coming. In short, our predictions were right—our graduation rate increased, and it increased by double digits. As expected as well, there are a complex set of reasons for the gain.

gradtwitterpic2So when the Georgia State Department of Education delivered final graduation rates to school districts across Georgia on November 9, Atlanta Public Schools had cause to celebrate: The cohort of 2015 (students who entered 9th grade in the fall of 2011) reached a recent high for the district’s graduation rate with 71.5 percent, a rate more than 12 percentage points higher than the previous graduating class. This is compared with a 2015 state graduation rate of 78.8 percent, 6.3 percentage points higher than 2014. APS closed the gap with the state by 6.1 percentage points.

We saw rate increases across nearly all of our high school programs. Overall, APS graduated 2,116 students in 2015 compared to 1,775 in 2014.

Atlanta Public School’s 4-year graduation rate increased 12 percentage points over last year to 71.5 percent. (Source: Georgia Department of Education)

Atlanta Public School’s 4-year graduation rate increased 12 percentage points over last year to 71.5 percent. (Source: Georgia Department of Education)

I’m teary-eyed while I’m typing this… It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the idea that the work of the dedicated professionals in our district made this much of a difference for our students knowing the difference it makes in the lives of students and their families to graduate from high school—their prospects for postsecondary educational options, careers and future earnings are significantly better than those who drop out. I am proud of the contributions from all of our high schools in ensuring that more students graduate on time. While there is no perfect way to really know exactly the impact of the changes to the state testing policies, based on the state data, I can say that it did contribute to our increase but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The rest of the story is that we also instituted targeted district-wide interventions that, when combined, supported these dramatic gains.

Let me start with the strategic work APS is doing to drive a clear but rigorous path to graduation for our high school students. In the 2014-2015 school year, the district developed a comprehensive plan to improve the rate of seniors graduating, including a district-wide approach for counseling seniors; increased availability of credit recovery opportunities; and improved systems and processes for managing student data.

APS School-level Graduation Rates (Source: Georgia Department of Education)

APS School-level Graduation Rates (Source: Georgia Department of Education)

Here’s a breakdown of our efforts:

  • At each high school, our graduation coaches met with students on a regular basis to review transcripts, offer opportunities for credit recovery and track student withdrawals and dropouts.
  • The new Office of High Schools, under the leadership of Associate Superintendent of High Schools Dr. Timothy Gadson, also encouraged high schools to take full advantage of credit recovery as allowed by the state of Georgia. APS focuses much of its credit-recovery efforts through the Atlanta Virtual Academy and the West End Academy.
  • From cohort 2014 to cohort 2015, there was an increase in both the number and percent of graduates earning at least .5 credit through Atlanta Virtual Academy from 333 graduates (19 percent) in 2014 compared to 697 graduates (33 percent) in 2015.
  • At the same time, the number of West End graduates during the regular school year rose from 53 for cohort 2014 to 76 for cohort 2015. Students who completed their requirements at West End graduated from to their home school. Students from Mays High took particular advantage of West End Academy. In 2014, Mays had six West End graduates, and that increased to 31 in 2015.
  • Additionally in 2015, more students with disabilities were able to receive general education diplomas due to both state assessment policy changes and our improved special education student data tracking. In the Class of 2015, 14 students received alternative diplomas or certificates that are not counted towards our graduation rate, a decrease of 71 from the previous year. Increasing our general education diploma count by 71 students accounts for about 2 points of the increase in the overall APS graduation rate.
  • Finally, all APS graduation coaches and counselors began using a newly designed data management system to track academic progress of seniors. The system includes a dashboard application that helps coaches keep track of their cohorts, and counselors completed Graduation Status Reports on each student where they categorized each student as on or off track for graduation.

I am bursting to give a shout out to our Data and Information Group and the Office of High Schools for their collaboration to design these applications and systems. Awesome, awesome job!

gradtwitterpic3With regard to the state testing changes, beginning with the Class of 2015 (students who entered 9th grade in the fall of 2011), the Georgia Board of Education removed the requirement for high school students to pass the Georgia High School Graduation Tests in each core area before they could graduate. Students still take state end-of-course assessments in core courses, and those state-wide final exams count for 20% of the student’s final grade in the course.

The change in the graduation test requirement removed a hurdle for some students. For previous cohorts, hundreds of APS students did not receive their diplomas, at least in part, because they failed one or more graduation test subjects.

It’s difficult to measure all of the contributing factors and assign percentages to each because many are inter-related, and, of course, there are many other reasons why students dropped out of school. But, I do believe that all of us made a difference, and that the number rose because of the hard work of many people across Atlanta Public Schools. I thank all of you – from volunteers and partners to teachers, students, principals, and parents! When we all work together toward the same goal, we can make a powerful difference for our kids.

While it is appropriate for us to celebrate the progress we have made in graduating more students, we must not lose sight of the fact that 29% of our students did not make it across the finish line in the Class of 2015, which is why our work doesn’t stop here. We will not stop supporting those students in Cohort 2015 who haven’t yet completed their graduation requirements. Stay tuned for the Class of 2016!

Time to “Max the Vote” for Toomer Elementary School!

Kindergarten students are incredibly curious. Whenever I visit kinder classrooms you notice two things – they love to ask questions and they love to move!

Toomer Elementary School kindergarten teacher Emily Max is a finalist in the $100K Farmers Insurance Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant contest.

Toomer Elementary School kindergarten teacher Emily Max is a finalist in the $100K Farmers Insurance Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant contest.

Emily Max and her kindergarten students at Toomer Elementary School are no different. When Emily decided to apply for a $100,000 grant through the Farmers Insurance Dream Big Teacher Challenge contest, it was no surprise that her entry would involve – what else – movement. But Emily takes it a step further. She wants EVERYBODY, not just her kindergarten students, moving. That includes those students who have mobility issues that may keep them from joining in on all the fun activities inside and outside of the school.

Emily’s entry into the contest calls for a total remake of the playground at Toomer, located in the historic Kirkwood community. It would include a rubberized floor, ramps, lower stairs, more equipment – both large and small – and a much larger play area, all to make the playground more inclusive for not only Toomer students, but for the every child in the Kirkwood community.

She says replacing mulch with a rubberized floor and adding ramps and lower stairs will allow children in wheelchairs or who use walkers greatly improved access to the playground. Also, adding smaller equipment will give the little kids more options, as most of the current equipment is for the bigger kids. And of course, an overall larger play area means more room for more kids! Check out these video features on Emily’s dream:

Emily Max is interviewed by FOX5 Atlanta reporter/anchor Ron Gant for a story that aired on "Good Day Atlanta."

Emily Max is interviewed by FOX5 Atlanta reporter/anchor Ron Gant for a story that aired on “Good Day Atlanta.”

Last month, Emily was notified that her entry was selected as one of 15 nationwide finalists – out of more than 3,500 applicants – for the grant. Now that she has done the hard part, it’s time for us to do ours!

Emily needs us to vote for her entry – once a day, every day – by going to this link,, and following the instructions at the top of the page. As you will see, you have to be logged in to Facebook in order to vote. When voting ends on Oct. 31, the entry with the most votes will win the $100,000 grant. Emily expects the winning entry to be announced sometime in November.

Emily Max  needs us to vote for her grant proposal to expand and enhance the playground at Toomer Elementary School, so that it is more accessible and fun for all children in the community,.

Emily Max needs us to vote for her grant proposal to expand and enhance the playground at Toomer Elementary School, so that it is more accessible and fun for all children in the community.

So let’s make sure Emily, Toomer Elementary, the Kirkwood community and APS come out winners! Remember, vote once a day, every day! Let’s all #MaxtheVote!

Emily Max - Farmers Insurance banner

Applauding Our Teacher of the Year Winners & Finalists – Maximus deberi puer reverential!

Maximus deberi puer reverential. Translation: The greatest reverence is due a child.

In this case, because of their dedication, the greatest reverence is due our teachers.

Every week I have the pleasure of visiting classrooms and watching teachers dive deeply into history lessons, conduct science experiments, simplify complex mathematical concepts and immerse students in foreign languages. Then I meet them again afterschool as they supervise band rehearsals, theater productions and coach athletic practices. What they do is truly ‘heart’ work, as much as it is hard work and year after year, they return to our classrooms and pour into our students with compassion and energy.

This month I had the pleasure of surprising our best of the best, our elementary, middle and high school teachers of the year, during special announcements at three schools. Join me as I applaud our winners!

The 2015-2016 Districtwide Teacher of the Year finalists are:     

APS Elementary School Teacher of the Year – Dennis Toliver

Grove Park 02

Grove Park Intermediate Principal Patrick Muhammad, me, APS Elementary School Teacher Year of the Year Dennis Toliver and finalist for APS Districtwide Teacher of the Year; his students and Grove Park Intermediate Assistant Principal Rasheema Caldwell.

Dennis Toliver, grade 3 teacher at Grove Park Intermediate Elementary School, has taught for nine years and is in his fourth year at APS. He was so shocked when we entered his classroom and I was equally shocked at his phenomenal voice as he led his students in the song “The World’s Greatest.” Mr. Toliver believes in the potential of his students and tells them everyday that they too can be the world’s greatest in whatever they choose to do in life.

APS Middle School Teacher of the Year – Travis Brown

Sylvan Hills 03

Me with Mr. Brown’s students, Sylvan Hills Middle School Principal Artesza Portee and Middle School Teacher of the Year Travis Brown and finalist for APS Districtwide Teacher of the Year. Thumbs up!

Travis Brown, grade 6 social studies teacher at Sylvan Hills Middle School is celebrating 20 years in the classroom. He showed us his super power when his students shared their fun classroom jingles  that are used to teach complex topics in history and geography. Brown’s fourth grade teacher influenced him to become a teacher; she believed in him and went the extra mile to support his learning and ultimately helped him to believe in himself.

APS High School Teacher of the Year – Scott Allen

Grady 03

Cool kids, a cool statue and me, along with Mr. Scott Allen High School Teacher of the Year and finalist for APS Districtwide Teacher of the Year and Henry W. Grady High School Principal Timothy Guiney.

Scott Allen, an AP Latin teacher for grades 9-12 at Henry W. Grady High School, is in his sixth year teaching at APS. Both of his parents were public school teachers, and so is his brother. He is such a dedicated teacher who says that he is awed by his students’ creativity and original thought. Mr. Allen embodies my favorite Latin philosophy, “Maximus deberi puer reverential.”

On October 29 the APS Districtwide Teacher of the Year will be announced during the APS Employee Recognition Celebration at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center. I’ll be Tweeting from the big event so follow me on Twitter at @atlsuper!

Click here for a video featuring surprise moments at the schools.

Grady 01 Sylvan Hills 02 Grove Park 03