On Monday, October 17th the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Mike Looney speak.
Dr. Mike Looney has served as the Superintendent for the Fulton County School District (FCS) in Georgia since June 2019. In the middle of his first year on the job, he became the first school leader in the state to be faced with reacting to the unknown – a confirmed, positive case of COVID-19. He immediately jumped into action, calling upon his 28 years as an educator, 15 years of previous experience as a school superintendent in Tennessee and Alabama, as a retired marine, father and community leader to guide the district through two years of COVID-19 protocols and safety measures, all while maintaining a focus on the mission of educating students.
Dr. Looney provided us with an update on some of the more recent challenges and triumphs that the school system is facing. Top on the list of the challenges is the current shortage of teachers. Currently, they have over 20 teaching spots that need to be filled. They are exploring many different options to combat the shortage including a new program where they will accept anyone with a 4 year degree and help train them and pay for them to receive their teaching certificate.
A few of the more recent triumphs of FCS include recording its highest-ever graduation rate and exceeding state scores by 5.2 points in 2022. FCS students also outscored the state and national average ACT score for the sixth consecutive year, while also showing a 60% increase in participation rate. FCS is also continually improving upon their career tech program as the post high-school routes students choose continually evolve. Looney commented that he would like to change the narrative on what success looks like after college through the use of their career tech program.
Thank you for your leadership in our school system and in our community, Dr. Looney!