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Gwinnett BOE approves school leaders and new assistant superintendent for elementary schools

November 23, 2021

     At its November 18, 2021, business meeting, the Gwinnett County Board of Education appointed a new district leader and principals for three schools- Arcado Elementary, Corley Elementary, and Head Elementary.

  • Paula Thompson, an assistant principal at Harbins Elementary School, has been tapped to serve as the new principal at Arcado Elementary School. She will fill the vacancy created as Penny Young retires in December.
  • Aleshia Duckworth, an assistant principal at Sycamore Elementary School, will be the new principal at Corley Elementary School. She will transition to this new position with the retirement of Ruth Tomlinson on December 31.
  • Tonya Burnley, the principal of Magill Elementary School, will transfer to the principal position at Head Elementary School, filling the role held by Lisa Marie Johnson. Mrs. Johnson also is retiring at the end of December.
  • The Board appointed Melissa E. Walker, the principal of Jordan
    Middle School, as a new Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools. Dr. Walker will move to the District Office to fill the position previously held by
    Dr. Donna Ledford who has retired.

Dr. Paula Thompson, Principal,
Arcado Elementary School

GCPS Employment:Dr. Paula Thompson

2012-Present                     Assistant Principal, Harbins Elementary School

2006-2012                         Gifted Teacher K-5, Alcova Elementary School    

1998-2006                         5th Grade Teacher and Gifted Teacher (Grades 2-5), McKendree Elementary School  

 

Education:

Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education—Kennesaw State University

Master’s degree in Foundations in Education—Troy University

Specialist’s degree in Teacher Leadership—Walden University

Doctorate in Teacher Leadership—Walden University

Educational Leadership Certificate—Georgia State University

 

Dr. Thompson is a graduate of the 2021 Quality-Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Principal Program, Cohort 14 and the 2012 Quality-Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Leader program Cohort 3.


Aleshia Duckworth, Principal, Corley Elementary Middle School

GCPS Employment:Aleshia Duckworth

2019-Present                     Assistant Principal, Sycamore Elementary School

2015-2019                         Assistant Principal, Corley Elementary School

2010-2015                         Instructional Coach/Teacher, Jenkins Elementary School

2008-2010                         5th Grade Teacher, Winn Holt Elementary School

 

Education:

Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education—North Carolina A&T State University

Master’s degree in Reading and Literacy—Walden University

Specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership—Argosy University

 

Ms. Duckworth is a graduate of the 2015 Quality-Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Leader Program, Cohort 6.


Dr. Tonya Burnley, Principal, Head Elementary School

GCPS Employment:Dr. Tonya Burnley

2017-Present                     Principal, Magill Elementary School

2012-2017                         Principal, Gwin Oaks Elementary School 

2007-2012                         Assistant Principal, Meadowcreek Elementary School 

2006-2007                        Teacher, Snellville Middle School

2003-2006                        Teacher, Magill Elementary School

 

Other Employment:

2017- Present                    Adjunct Professor, Thomas University

2001-2003                         Teacher, Harriet Tubman Elementary School (Fulton County Schools)

1998-2001                         Insurance Agent, Allstate and InsurAmerica

 

Education:

Bachelor’s degree in Marketing—Georgia State University

Master’s degree in Elementary Education—Georgia State University

Specialist’s degree in Administration/Supervision—Lincoln Memorial University

Doctorate in Educational Leadership—Mercer University

Dr. Burnley is a graduate of the 2012 Quality-Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Principal Program, Cohort 6


Dr. Melissa E. Walker, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary Schools

GCPS Employment:Dr. Melissa E. Walker

2015-Present                     Principal, Jordan Middle School

2010-2015                         Principal, Benefield Elementary School 

2005-2010                         Assistant Principal, Richards Middle School 

1999-2005                         Special Education Teacher, Crews Middle School

 

Other Employment:

1998-1999                         Special Education Teacher, Clayton County Public Schools

1996-1998                         Special Education Teacher, Milpitas Unified School District (CA)

1993-1996                         Special Education Teacher, Alief Independent School District (TX)

1990-1993                         Behavior Specialist and Special Education Teacher, Department of Defense Dependent Schools (Germany)

1987-1990                         Special Education Teacher, Alief Independent School District (TX)

 

Education:

Bachelor’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction—Texas A&M University

Master’s degree in Educational Administration—Texas A&M University

Doctorate in Educational Administration—Texas A&M University

 

Dr. Walker is a graduate of the 2009 Quality-Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Principal Program, Cohort 3