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Elmore honored as finalist for CIO of the Year

November 11, 2021

     On Friday, November 5, Gwinnett County Public Schools Chief Information Officer (CIO) Frankie Elmore was honored as aFrankie Elmore finalist for the  2021 Georgia CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards. The ORBIE program honors chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership. The ORBIE signifies exceptional leadership, innovation, and vision; representing the characteristics and qualities that inspire others to achieve their potential. Finalists in the Global, Large Enterprise, Enterprise, Large Corporate, Corporate, and Public Sector categories were honored at an event on November 5 at the Cobb Galleria.

     Mr. Elmore, who was one of six finalists in the Public Sector Category, joined Gwinnett County Public Schools in June of 2015 as the district’s Chief Information Officer. Prior to that, he had served as CIO of Orange County Public Schools in Florida, a position he had held since 2012. His career also includes service in senior tech positions for several companies in Orlando and Tampa and a distinguished 22-year career with the Marine Corps.

     As part of this year’s recognition of outstanding CIOs, Vish Narendra—the 2021 Chair of the Georgia awards program and CIO and SVP of Graphic Packaging International, Inc.—praised the work of CIOs during the pandemic. In a special publication honoring this year’s finalists, he said, “Since last March, chief information officers everywhere have supported the largest work-from-home experiment in the history of the world. Thanks to these innovative technology leaders, most organizations have managed to continue operating through this pandemic disruption. Technology has enabled our new virtual lives, provided access to entertainment, food and products delivered to our homes, and connected us with colleagues, friends and loved ones. Technology has helped us adapt, adjust and survive our new abnormal. Without the leadership, planning and foresight of CIOs, conducting business would be impossible under these circumstances.”

     Regarding his leadership of GCPS’ technology team during this uncertain time, Mr. Elmore highlights three initiatives of which he is particularly proud—the district’s move to an updated email system, the work that has been done to strengthen the system and processes, and cost savings that have been realized. He explains, “Our transition from an antiquated email system to a cloud-based platform has improved communication districtwide. More significantly, the systems, applications, and processes our team implemented allowed us to provide uninterrupted 24/7 instruction to approximately 180,000 students and support 12,500 teachers during the pandemic. And our focus on fiscal responsibility helped us to realize savings of about $10 million annually which is allowing us to replace technology at a faster rate, ensuring our students and staff have access to the most modern technology available.”

     Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts applauds the ORBIE’s recognition of Mr. Elmore saying, “Technology is a must for today’s learner. Mr. Elmore has ensured that Gwinnett County Public Schools’ students and staff members have had the technology needed to support both teaching and learning. His team has worked diligently to provide the digital learning tools students have needed to learn (at school and while at home) in the changing educational landscape of today. These tools have expanded the use of technology in ways that have helped students to build 21st century skills while increasing their engagement.”