Opie Blackwell was named Principal of Centennial High School in 2023 and has seventeen successful years working with the Fulton County School district. His experiences include serving as a teacher at Alpharetta High School, Curriculum Assistant Principal at Riverwood High School, and Principal of Ridgeview Middle School. Dr. Blackwell is originally from Canon City, Colorado, and has called Georgia home since 2006.
Dr. Blackwell received his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Colorado, his Master's Degree in English Education from Georgia State University, his Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University, and his Doctorate in School Improvement from the University of West Georgia. Dr. Blackwell's dissertation explored the impact of professional learning communities of educators on classroom instructional strategy implementation. During his seven years serving as Principal of Ridgeview, Dr. Blackwell's work was recognized in the Congressional Record by Congresswoman Lucy McBath and by the Georgia Association of Educational Leadership and Georgia Association of Middle School Principals. Under his leadership, his school earned two national recognitions for academic and social-development excellence: the Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch designation earned in 2019 from the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform and the School of Distinction designation earned in 2022 from the Association of Middle Level Education.
Dr. Blackwell is a relationships-driven servant leader who believes that the education provided at Centennial High School can change the trajectory of students' lives. While at Centennial, Dr. Blackwell strives for students to be smart, happy, and connected.
Outside of school Dr. Blackwell has an elementary-aged daughter, a partner of almost 20 years, and a geriatric dog -- a whippet named Devo (for those who might know the song "Whip It, Whip It Good"). Dr. Blackwell is an avid exerciser who is up at 5:00 a.m. every weekday, a bit of a foodie, a lover of cars (though he can't fix them), and a person who prides himself in being someone others can depend upon.
For information about the Centennial Administration and their primary responsibilities, visit our Administration Overview page in the Staff section.