President Kirk Nooks addressed superintendents in GSC's roundtable discussion
President Kirk Nooks addressed superintendents in GSC's roundtable discussion


Creating conversation centered on how higher education and area K-12 school systems can
work together to bridge the gap between students leaving high school and entering college
shaped Gordon State College’s The Power of WE: Superintendent’s Roundtable Friday.

The college called on superintendents within its’ 14-county primary service region, along with
partners in its Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA), which included Butts, Clayton,
Coweta, Crawford, Fayette, Henry, Lamar, Macon-Bibb, Meriwether, Monroe, Newton, Pike,
Spalding, Talbot and Upson counties to partner for regional progress and performance.

superintendent roundtable

Superintendents from 15 surrounding counties were invited to GSC's round table opportunity

“Gordon State College is honored to host some of the most respected leaders in the education
realm/world,” President Kirk Nooks said. “Sharing data that reflects the students we produce
will ultimately shape and guide us towards a vision of success for our/those students.”
Dr. Curtis L. Jones, Jr. has served as superintendent in Macon-Bibb County Schools since 2015.
His career as an educator began in Griffin-Spalding when he took a role as JROTC instructor in
his hometown after retiring from serving as an Army officer for twenty years. The American
Association for School Administrators (AASA) named Jones the 2019 National Superintendent of
the Year.

Jones said he was excited to participate in the round table opportunity with President Nooks
and superintendents from various counties. The leaders reviewed aggregated data placing
Gordon State College the as number two school in the 15 surrounding counties for first time
freshman to University System of Georgia institutions, as reported from The University of
Georgia Carl Vincent Institute. The group also reviewed freshman demographics, dual enrollment statistics and degrees awarded within the counties represented as well as the data
for high-school students who start a college application but do not complete or attend for
various reasons.

“I enjoyed diving into the data and discussing ways to strategically increase student applications
and enrollments for college,” Jones said. “One of our initiatives in Bibb County School District is
‘Enrolled, Enlisted and Employed,’ and the goal of this initiative is for each high school senior to
be enrolled, enlisted in the military, or employed upon graduating from high school. Our
partnership with Gordon College will help us to further achieve this goal.”

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis joined Henry County Schools as superintendent in 2017. Before her
current role in Henry County, Davis served as the Chief Academic Officer for Cobb County Public
Schools and as an assistant superintendent overseeing various instructional departments while
also serving as a teacher earlier in her career and tenure with the district.

“The Superintendent’s Roundtable demonstrated the compelling leadership at Gordon State
College not just models but takes action to build a pipeline with academic opportunities.” Davis
said. “I walked away immediately inspired by the data and how we hold ourselves accountable
to student success.”

Gordon State College’s Strategic Plan specifies to convene and nurture partnerships to build an
education ecosystem approach with K-12 partners focused on increasing the regional college rate. Nooks said hosting area superintendents Friday was a progressive step toward
understanding the student-success data that connects the region and meet a strategic goal of
the institution.