Although the Fulton County Schools district’s first two STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) schools will not open until August 2021, the South Fulton STEM School has already named its principal.

“I am excited to not only bring something into Fairburn and the south Fulton community that has never been there before, (but) I am equally excited about getting in there and serving that community,” Anthony Newbold, Ed.D, said.

This is what Newbold said as he was officially introduced Dec. 12 as the new principal of the South Fulton STEM School following the board’s 6-0 vote at an earlier meeting to appoint him to that post. District 5 representative Linda McCain was absent.

Tim Duncan was named principal of the north Fulton STEM school, known as Innovation Academy and located in Alpharetta, this past summer. With both schools opening at the same time, he and Newbold “will be working together on curriculum and other items to ensure we have consistency with the two schools,” district spokesman Brian Noyes said.

District Superintendent Mike Looney, Ed.D, said, starting next month, the hiring process for teachers at both schools will begin and once that process is completed, they will begin learning “how to teach by a new teaching method that we are expecting them to know.”

“It is not going to be kids sitting in columns of chairs anymore, but kids participating in hands-on learning and solving real-world problems,” he said.

According to a news release, Newbold is a 20-year veteran in education who is currently the principal at Centennial High School in Roswell. Aaron Moore, a retired DeKalb County principal who has also led schools in the Fulton district, will serve as interim principal at Centennial until the district hires a permanent one.

As to how he will lead the South Fulton STEM School, in an interview Newbold said after the teachers are hired, he will begin what he described as a pre-planning stage for the school in which he and the school’s teachers will “do logistics work.”

“We will begin determining programs and partnerships as we prepare to open our doors to the students of south Fulton,” Newbold said.

“One of the main things I am looking to do,” he said, “is build a team who will be ready and prepared in order to prepare our students, who believe they can change the world. We are going to equip our instructors with the skills they need to assist our students in doing just that.”

According to the release, Newbold began teaching through the Teach for America program, and to this day holds fast to the vision that “one day, all children in our country will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”

The release also stated Newbold realized early on that relationships and engagement in the classroom will lead to increased success. As he moved up the ladder in education, he made it his duty to provide these opportunities to all of those with whom he has worked.

“Education and technology are my passions,” he said.

Newbold is well versed in computer technology as he is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, a Microsoft Surface Expert and a Northwest Council for Computer Education Learning Specialist who travels the country educating educators on the use of instructional tools, the release stated.

Newbold knows technology alone will not change outcomes for students, but coupling that with solid teaching and pedagogy will, he stated in the release.

“The South STEM School will be a place that will revolutionize the way we go about educating our students.” he said.

Newbold believes the district’s programs, partnerships with other organizations and focus on academic achievement will serve to prepare those who truly believe they can change the world.

“I am looking forward to the support we will get, not only from our school district, but from the community as well,” he said.

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