School board prepares to swear in first minority, youngest member
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Gwinnett County Schools is weeks away from swearing-in its newest members. One of them will make history.
Everton Blair, Jr., 26, will become the first person of color to serve on the board. He's also likely to be the youngest person to serve the board as a member.
“I know that we live in a society that often says, 'Young people, we value you, but pay your dues, wait your turn,'” says Blair. “(But), it could potentially be the best idea that our entire society needs or the best leadership we're waiting for.”
That's what he says led him to run for office.
In November, voters elected the 2009 Shiloh High School graduate to represent District 4.
“I see that we have a huge system with incredible opportunities. We do a really good job at opening new buildings and providing specialized school environments, particularly in the high school areas. I just want to make sure those opportunities are available to every student in every zip code,” says Blair.
Educators, who've known him through the years, say Blair showed qualities of a leader at an early age.
“He was falling asleep in the kindergarten class and the teacher came and said, 'I don't know what to do with him,'” says Beverly Todd-Lee, Blair's former assistant principal at Shiloh Elementary. “I said, 'I think he's bored. I think we need to see how else we can challenge him.'”
Administrators tested Blair and later moved him into a gifted program.
Blair knows a thing or two about what he says are universal needs in the classroom. After graduating from Harvard University, he taught Geometry and Calculus in metro Atlanta.
“I want to see opportunities to increase that time and space for them to collaborate and do the prep work for the job that they actually signed up to do,” Blair told FOX 5's Kerry Charles.
Blair, who worked on education initiatives in the Obama administration, completed his graduate studies at Stanford University
The swearing-in takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 20 at 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwannee.