On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, Dr. Nathan Franklin publicly announced his plans to retire on May 31, 2024, after eight years of service as Walton County School District’s superintendent and 28 years of public education service in Georgia.
“I am truly grateful to the Walton County Board of Education for allowing me the opportunity to serve the students of Walton County alongside such dedicated, talented, and passionate individuals. I appreciate their unwavering support and guidance throughout my tenure,” said Superintendent Franklin.
Beginning his career in education as a high school teacher and coach in 1996, Dr. Franklin has served in various leadership roles, including assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. He began his tenure with the Walton County School District in 2007 as an assistant principal at Loganville High School.
Throughout his career, Dr. Franklin has established himself as a key leader and mentor at regional and state levels. He has served on several boards and nonprofits, including the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA) Board of Directors, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL), Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) Risk Management Board of Trustees, Northeast Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency Board of Control, Foothills Regional High School Governance Board, Walton County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Walton County Board of Health. In addition, Dr. Franklin is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Georgia, one of the nation’s oldest and most successful leadership training programs.
His outstanding work has been recognized at the local and state levels. In 2021, he was named the recipient of the GSSA Bill Barr Leadership Award and GSSA President’s Award. In addition, he won the 2022 J.L. McGarity Citizenship Award, recognizing his public service leadership in Walton County. During his tenure, the Walton County Board of Education has been recognized as an Exemplary School Board eight times by GSBA, achieving the highest level of governance in the state. They have also been named a two-time Governance Team of the Year finalist. The district has also been honored with four GSBA Leading Edge Awards, recognizing innovative projects in Culture, Climate and Organizational Efficacy, Teaching and Learning, Communication and Early Childhood Education.
As superintendent, Dr. Franklin has been instrumental in building a team of dynamic educational leaders who collaborate seamlessly to provide unwavering support to the students and staff of Walton County. Their collective efforts have significantly elevated the county's educational environment and served as a model for excellence that numerous districts across the state have eagerly adopted and replicated. Dr. Franklin's leadership and the collaborative spirit of his team have set new standards for educational achievement and innovation within the district.
Under his leadership, WCSD’s graduation rate has improved by over 10 percentage points, surpassing 90 percent every year since 2020. Students have continually demonstrated high achievement on Georgia Milestones by exceeding the State in nearly all tested grade levels and subjects. Additionally, WCSD has been recognized at national and state levels for robust Advanced Placement programs and was named to the College Board’s 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll. Loganville, Monroe Area, and Walnut Grove High Schools have also maintained Advanced Placement (AP) Honor School status for several years.
“Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones and overcome challenges, making the Walton County School District a force to be reckoned with in our state. It has been an incredible privilege to be a part of this organization, and I leave with cherished memories and a deep sense of gratitude,” Franklin continued.
Dr. Franklin remains dedicated to the success of WCSD and will assist the Board, as needed, in their search for WCSD’s next superintendent with the ultimate goal of providing a smooth transition with little impact on the staff, students, and families.