What did Dr. Wallace do this summer?

Dr. Wallace (right) and his son (left)

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Dr. Wallace (right) and his son (left)

“What did you do this summer?” Is a question frequently asked during the first several weeks of the school year. Most peoples’ answers usually consist of the beach trips or cruises they went on. However, when we asked Dr. Wallace, his answer was much more impressive.
Over this past summer, Dr. Wallace, one of our AP’s, earned his doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Georgia.
He began his teaching career with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Indiana State where he also played division 1 football as a walk-on. With this type of first-hand experience, he spent the first five years of his career coaching football and track along with teaching math. He furthered his education by getting his masters degree in educational leadership from Indiana University, which provided him with a wide range of opportunities within the teaching community.
After teaching at a few other schools, he found his place here at Lanier High School and has been a full-time asset to our administration for the last seven years. The 2022-2023 school year marks his eighth year as a longhorn, but this semester brought about a major change in his schedule. Rather than spending his entire work week at Lanier, he now has to split his time with another Gwinnett County school, Norcross High School. When the students and faculty gained word of this change we set out to find the reasons behind our shared “custody” of Dr. Wallace. When we approached him with our questions he said, “There are some Title 1 schools in Gwinnett County, such as Norcross that don’t meet the administrator requirement. Being classified as a Title 1 school depends on the number of students in the free and reduced lunch program. These schools receive more federal funding and have to hire more teachers and administrators.” Dr. Martin was in charge of deciding who would take on this role at Norcross High School, and Dr. Wallace was the winning candidate.
After getting a better understanding of the reason behind his part-time position, we wanted a closer look into his feelings on the situation. Dr. Wallace made it clear that there are both positive aspects and challenges to his role. For example, being employed at two different schools gives him the opportunity to learn what other schools are doing to solve problems similar to what we face here at Lanier. “It’s like seeing someone else put salsa in their spaghetti, and realizing that it actually makes it taste better,” he compared. Despite gaining a new perspective, he faces many challenges, such as knowing where to go on what days. On Mondays and Wednesdays he spends the day at Lanier, Tuesdays and Thursdays are spent at Norcross, and he alternates schools every Friday. Fortunately, the commute to both schools is about equal distance from Wallace’s home. He also explained that adapting to a new environment, and making connections with a new staff after being at Lanier for so long will be a process. On top of the social aspect, Wallace is now juggling the responsibilities of two schools, and as tough as it seems he is very excited to take on the role.
We are so thankful to still have Dr. Wallace as an active member of our community, and we wish him the best of luck as he takes on this new chapter!