Margaret Winn Holt Elementary School
588 Old Snellville Highway; Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Years Principal 2004–2014 Dr. James P. “Jim” Curtiss 2014–Present Ellyce Cone
School Colors: Black and Gold
School Mascot: Black Knights
Board of Education
Daniel Seckinger - Chairman
Dr. Robert McClure - Vice Chairman
Dr. Mary Kay Murphy
Dr. Billy Britt
Superintendent: J. Alvin Wilbanks
Architect: Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart, & Associates, Inc.
Contractor: Nix-Fowler Constructors, Inc.
Dedication Date: 2004
Margaret Winn Monfort Holt was a lifelong resident of Lawrenceville. She was the great-great-greatgrandaughter of Elisha Winn, who is considered the father of Gwinnett County. Born on September 26, 1924, she grew up in the shadow of the courthouse in the center of town. The young Margaret Winn Monfort was the valedictorian of the 1941 graduating class at Lawrenceville High School and won honors in debate, theater, drama, art, music, basketball, and track.
In 1945, she became the second woman in the history of the University of Georgia to be named valedictorian, earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with minors in English and Spanish. She returned to Lawrenceville where she taught Spanish and English at Lawrenceville High School. She also coached the girls’ debate team and was the first female basketball coach in Gwinnett County, winning region and state honors.
Margaret Winn Monfort married William Grady Holt, Jr., also of Lawrenceville, and raised three children— Rebecca Winn Holt Roberts and Margaret Winn Holt Mathis, both of Lawrenceville; and William Grady Holt, III of New Haven, Connecticut. Four grandchildren followed— Rebecca Elizabeth Mathis, Christopher Holt Roberts, Margaret Annette Mathis, and William David Roberts, Jr.— and four greatgrandchildren. Her husband, children, grandchildren, and all four great-grandchildren attend or have attended Lawrenceville-area schools.
In the 1950s she helped establish the PTA at Lawrenceville Elementary School and worked with Dora Gunter to help build a modern lunchroom for the school. Mrs. Holt served on the Board of Trustees for the Gwinnett Historical Society and worked tirelessly on fundraising for the Elisha Winn House. She was a member of the Gwinnett Council for the Arts Board of Trustees, and served as a board member of Families First Foundation, as chairman of the Lawrenceville Municipal Housing Board, and as a council member of the Gwinnett County Swim League.
Mrs. Holt was a member of the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church, volunteering as a Sunday school teacher and church pianist for many years. Margaret Winn Holt’s legacy will continue through her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She never refused anyone who needed her help improving her hometown, local schools, or her surrounding community. Mrs. Holt’s love for her community lives on through all of the lives that she has touched.
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary School opened its doors for learning to 1,189 students on August 9, 2004. The previous July 22, the newly-completed school welcomed students, parents, and the community to an open house, to experience the beautiful new facility. Teachers and staff began their new careers during preplanning, which opened with a candlelight ceremony at midnight, August 2! Staff met for the first time that night as a unit, and recommitted themselves to their careers as educators, promising to bring their best to the students every day.
The school dedication was held at 3:30 p.m., on Sunday, September 26, 2004, which would have been Mrs. Holt’s 80th birthday. In attendance were members of the Gwinnett County Board of Education, CEO/ Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks, Mrs. Holt’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, friends, business and political leaders, and her very close friend and pastor, Rev. Joeann Moore, who gave a rousing invocation. Almost 100% of the staff was in attendance as was the first PTA Board.
A Title I Targeted Assistance School at its inception, Winn Holt Elementary earned schoolwide Title I status in the spring of 2006. In addition to the world-class AKS curriculum that the students learn, Winn Holt has offered PE, music art, computer technology, Creative Minds, vocabulary study, math, and science-literacy as “specials.” In keeping with Mrs. Holt’s lifelong dedication to civic enterprises, her namesake school has been honored as a Relay for Life Silver School for several years. The Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Environmental Award has been earned every year since 2004, thanks to the environmental efforts of the teaching staff. The school also has earned Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s highest honor, having been honored as a “Reaching Higher School.” In May of 2006, the school’s first principal, Dr. Jim Curtiss, was named one of Georgia’s Outstanding Principals by the state PTA.
The state of Georgia and Gwinnett County Public Schools has recognized Winn Holt Elementary for academic excellence throughout the years. Winn Holt earned the Title I Distinguished School/Title I Rewards School status each year until 2013 when that recognition was discontinued. It was a Platinum Award winner in 2011 for Greatest Gains in Percentage of Students Meeting and Exceeding Academic Standards and a Highest Progress Rewards School winner in 2012, 2017, and 2018. Also, Winn Holt was recognized by both the county and stat as a PBIS Operational School in 2017.
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary is a school dedicated to the pursuit of success for all involved: students, teachers, parents, and community members. The staff has embraced the concepts and practices of a professional learning community where meaningful, data-driven discussions about student learning are regularly held. That information translates into targeted instruction assisting those students who need more time and opportunity and challenging those who are mastering the AKS more readily. This practice highlights and supports our school motto, prominently displayed in our lobby: Learning for All… whatever it takes. It is what we believe… and, more importantly, it is what we do.