Fayette School Board names Gwinnett’s Patterson as finalist for superintendent

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The Fayette County Board of Education on Aug. 10 named Gwinnett County schools Associate Superintendent Dr. Jonathan S. Patterson as the sole finalist for Superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools.

The school board is expected to vote on the appointment at the Aug. 24 meeting.

The announcement was made at the Aug. 10 work session. The decision came after a nationwide search, conducted by the Georgia Schools Boards Association, that yielded the consideration of 30 qualified applicants, and was followed by a comprehensive candidate interview process, said school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach.

Berry-Dreisbach said Patterson currently serves as the associate superintendent of curriculum and instructional support for Gwinnett County Public Schools. He brings 25 years of educational progress, achievement and leadership working for one of the largest school systems in the nation, she said.

Patterson began his tenure in Gwinnett as a high school biology, chemistry and physics teacher where he quickly rose through the ranks of leadership as a middle and high school assistant principal and principal, followed by a promotion to area assistant superintendent, and then to his current associate superintendent position, Berry-Dreisbach said.

“If selected as superintendent, I will use my knowledge, experience and passion to further the vision and mission of Fayette County Public Schools,” said Patterson. “I am prepared and committed to accept the challenge of leading a successful school system in a direction that continues to serve and accelerate results for the board of education, teachers, employees, parents, community members, and most importantly, students.”

Noting Fayette County’s high expectations for teaching and learning, student behavior and community engagement, Patterson said he will work collaboratively with the board of education to continue to improve the well-documented successes of Fayette County Public Schools.

Fayette County Board of Education Chairman Scott Hollowell said Patterson is a great fit to serve the school system as its next leader.

“I am confident Dr. Patterson is the right leader at the right time for Fayette County Public Schools,” said Hollowell. “We are excited to introduce Dr. Patterson to our students, parents, teachers, staff and the Fayette County community.”

Patterson is replacing retiring superintendent, Dr. Joseph Barrow, who has led the school system for the last seven years. He postponed his retirement that was set to take effect June 30 in order to help lead the school system through the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.

Hollowell praised Barrow’s leadership, and voiced the board’s appreciation for postponing his retirement to help the school system through such a turbulent time.

“Every challenge our board has given Dr. Barrow, he has performed admirably,” said Hollowell. “The board has worked great as a team in large part because of his leadership. We will miss working with such a hardworking, conscientious leader like Dr. Barrow, and we greatly appreciate all that he has done to help navigate our school system through these uncharted waters.”

In compliance with Georgia law, the school board must wait a minimum of 14 days between announcing a final candidate for the position of superintendent and making the appointment official. The board is expected to vote on Dr. Patterson’s appointment at its Aug. 24 meeting at 7 p.m.

The public can review Dr. Patterson’s resume on the school system’s website and submit comments to board of education members via email (go to www.fcboe.org, click on the “Board of Ed” tab at the top, and select the “eBoard” link for email addresses).

Written comments can be mailed or dropped off Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Fayette County Board of Education, located 205 LaFayette Avenue in Fayetteville.