J. Alvin Wilbanks was named chief executive officer and superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools in March, 1996. Under his leadership, the school district has earned a reputation as one of the most successful in the country. The Broad* Foundation selected GCPS as a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education three times—in 2009, 2010, and 2014—and awarded Gwinnett the Broad Prize in 2010 and 2014.
As superintendent, Mr. Wilbanks has been tapped by three Georgia governors and two United States Secretaries of Education to help craft significant education-reform legislation at the state and federal levels. He serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Teachers Retirement System. In 2017, Governor Nathan Deal appointed Mr. Wilbanks to chair the Joint Study Committee charged with establishing a statewide leadership academy for Georgia. He is a leader in organizations that advocate for public education at the state and national levels, including the Georgia Education Coalition and the national Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium.
Mr. Wilbanks is the founding president of Gwinnett Technical College, which opened in 1984. Throughout his career, he has won numerous honors for his professional accomplishments and civic contributions, including being named “2005 Georgia Superintendent of the Year” and one of four finalists for the national title. Other major honors include the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year;” the Boy Scouts of America’s “Distinguished Citizen Award;” Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s “Environmental Legacy Award;” and the University of Georgia College of Education’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Most recently he was chosen by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators as its honoree for the 2016 “A PAGE Turning Event” that recognizes outstanding business and civic leaders for their contributions to public education in Georgia.
Mr. Wilbanks earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Georgia, and his education specialist degree from Georgia State University. He is a member of several professional organizations and is a leader in his church.