Return to Headlines

Gwinnett BOE approves school and district leaders

January 20, 2023

    At its regularly scheduled business meeting on January 19, 2023, the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE) approved the appointment of new principals at Couch Middle School, Harbins Elementary School and Taylor Elementary School, as well as a new Executive Director of Facilities and Operations.

  • Ms. Capucina “Cappy” Douglass has been named the new principal at Couch Middle School. Ms. Douglass currently serves as principal at Hilsman Middle School, Clarke County Schools. She replaces Devon Williams who is retiring.
  • Dr. James “Jimmy” Lovett has been named the new Principal at Harbins Elementary School. Dr. Lovett currently serves as assistant principal at Grayson Elementary. He replaces Jennifer Chatham, who resigned.
  • Ms. Tawanda Sanks has been named the new principal at Taylor Elementary School. Mrs. Sanks currently serves as Assistant principal at Taylor Elementary. She takes over from Paula Cobb, who retired.
  • Mr. Patrick Burke has been named executive director of Facilities and Operations.

Capucina “Cappy” Douglass, Principal, Couch Midddle School:Capucina "Cappy" Douglass

GCPS Employment:

2019-Present               Principal, Hilsman Middle School, Clarke County Schools

2018-2019                    Assistant Principal, Grayson High School

2016-2017                    Principal, Social Circle Middle School, Social Circle City Schools

2012-2016                    Assistant Principal, Couch Middle School

2006-2012                    Teacher Leader, Shiloh Middle School

Other Employment:

2003-2006                    Teacher, Bullard Havens High School, Connecticut Vocational Education System, Bridgeport, CT

2002-2003                    Teacher, Wallace Middle School, Waterbury CT Public Schools, Waterbury CT

1992-2002                    Social Worker, Department of Children and Families, State of Connecticut Protective Service


Bachelor’s degree in Science General Studies—Post College

Master’s degree in Education— University of Bridgeport

Specialist degree in Education—Georgia State University

Dr. James “Jimmy” Lovett, Principal, Harbins Elementary School:Dr. James "Jimmy" Lovett

GCPS Employment:

2015-Present                Assistant Principal, Grayson Elementary School

2011-2015                     Assistant Principal, Berkmar Middle School

2004-2011                    Teacher, Meadowcreek Elementary School

1998-2004                    Teacher, Bethesda Elementary School



Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education—Georgia State University

Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Policy—The University of Georgia

Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership— The University of Georgia


Dr. Lovett is a graduate of the 2022 Quality Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Principal Program, Cohort 15, and a graduate of the 2011 Quality Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Leader Program, Cohort 2.

Ms. Tawanda Sanks, Principal, Taylor Elementary School:Tawanda Sanks

GCPS Employment:

2017-Present                Assistant Principal, Taylor Elementary School

2007-2017                    Gifted Teacher/ Instructional Coach, Corley Elementary School

2002-2007                    4th grade Teacher, Mason Elementary

Other Employment:

1999-2002                    4th grade Teacher, Manning Elementary, Manning, SC


Bachelor’s degree in Science Early/Elementary Education—Lincoln University

Master’s degree in Instructional Accommodation—Francis Marion University

Specialist degree in Leadership—Lincoln Memorial University


Ms. Sanks is a member of the 2023 Quality Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Principal Program, Cohort 16, and a graduate of the 2017 Quality Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Leader Program, Cohort 8.

Mr. Patrick Burke, Executive Director of Facilities & Operations:Patrick Burke

GCPS Employment:

2021-Present                            Director of Planning, GCPS

Other Employment:

2008-2021                                Chief Operations Officer/Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Fulton County Schools

2000-2008                                Executive Director of Operational Planning, Fulton County Schools

1998-2000                                Research Associate, Georgia Institute of Technology

1997-1998                                Research Associate/GIS Coordinator, Kennesaw State University  

1994-1996                                Research Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology

1991-1993                                Associate, Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele and Associates



Bachelor’s degree in Legal/Business Administration and Political Science —Ball State University

Master’s degree in Public Administration— Ball State University

Master's degree in City Planning— Georgia Institute of Technology