Robert Avossa, Ed.D., became Superintendent of
the Fulton County School System in June 2011. As Superintendent, he is
responsible for the leadership, administration and management of approximately
95,000 students, 100 schools, 14,000 employees, and an $837 million general
Now in the third year of his superintendency,
Avossa continues to inspire and drive innovation. His early achievements
include Fulton’s creation of a Learning Communities model that decentralizes
certain aspects of district management and provides a higher level of service
to schools and the community. He also led the school system to redevelop its
approach to talent acquisition and management, particularly how teachers,
school leaders and other staff are supported throughout their careers, and
provided visible leadership during the 2011 eSPLOST referendum. Over its
five-year life cycle, the capital campaign will fund nearly $1 billion in
school and district improvements, approximately $200 million of which is
devoted to enhanced technology.
Avossa also was successful in driving the school
system forward in its quest for charter system status, which was granted by the
Georgia Department of Education in 2012. The five-year charter serves as a
contract between Fulton County Schools and the state and provides the district
more flexibility in its operations. It also serves as the way the school system
operationalizes its Strategic Plan 2017: Building Our Future, which has three
large goals that serve as a measure for long-term student success: 90% of
Fulton students will graduate on time; 85% of Fulton’s seniors will be eligible
for admission to a University System of Georgia college or university; and 100%
of Fulton’s graduates will be work-ready.
Early success stories are evident. Fulton County
Schools’ 2013 SAT scores remain among the highest in Georgia, with six schools
ranked in the state’s Top 20, and in the past three years Fulton has risen from
being ranked eighth in the state to being ranked second in overall score. Also,
the overall percentage of ninth-grade students on track for graduation
increased from 76% in 2011-2012 to 81% in 2012-2013, which indicates progress
toward the graduation rate target. Fulton’s overall graduation rate also has
risen more than 5% – from 70.1% in 2011 to 75.5% in 2013.
Employee and staff engagement also is higher.
More than half (57) of Fulton’s schools have implemented School Governance
Councils, which is one of the ways charter system status empowers parents and
staff in flexibility, decision-making and involvement. In 2014-2015, the
remaining schools will select and train their council members.
Before coming to Fulton County Schools, Avossa
served as Chief Strategy and Accountability Officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Schools in North Carolina, one of the largest systems in the country. In that
role, he led the district in driving key performance management initiatives. He
also served as an area superintendent and as Chief of Staff, both of which
resulted in significant student achievement improvement, and before that spent
more than a decade in Florida as a teacher and principal. He also is a graduate
of the Broad Superintendents Academy, an advanced executive development program
that identifies and prepares experienced leaders to successfully run large
urban public education systems.
Avossa holds a bachelor’s degree in exceptional
education and behavior disorders as well as a master’s degree in special
education, both from the University of South Florida, and a doctorate from
Wingate University. He and his wife, Kellee, have two children who attend
Fulton County schools.