Opening Remarks - Georgia's Turnaround Initiative Summer Kick-off Event

Published

By Eric Thomas

Presentation June 2018

Session Description

Opening Remarks presented at the Georgia's Turnaround Initiative Summer Kick-off Event.

About the Presenter

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Eric Thomas, Ph.D.
Chief Turnaround Officer, Georgia Department of Education

As a native of Savannah, last October Dr. Thomas was selected to become the state’s first Chief Turnaround Officer.  In this role he is responsible for creating and executing the strategy to support the state’s lowest-performing schools. 

Prior to this role, Eric spent six years as the Chief Support Officer for the University of Virginia’s Turnaround Program.  The program is widely recognized as the top turnaround program in the country. Dr. Thomas led the overarching approach on how to support districts across the country as they worked to turnaround their lowest performing schools.

Before moving to the University of Virginia, Eric was the Chief Innovation Officer for the Cincinnati Public Schools. As a member of the superintendent’s cabinet, Thomas’ responsibilities included redesigning the district’s teacher evaluation system, leading new district improvement initiatives, facilitating the development of new schools, and launching a Principal Development Academy.  Before his role as innovation Chief, Dr. Thomas was a successful turnaround principal, principal coach, district coordinator, and teacher during his 15+ years in Cincinnati Public Schools. 

Eric’s practical turnaround experience is buttressed by his research, culminating in his dissertation which explored the role and practices of district leaders during turnaround. Dr. Thomas has been an instructor in the University of Cincinnati’s Educational Leadership program, a trainer at the Ohio State Fisher Business School, and has consulted with the Ohio Department of Education’s efforts to address low-performing districts. He has been a featured speaker, most often with a focus on leadership development, turnaround, and strategies to support the needs of at-risk males.  

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