Teacher of the Year Lee Allen leaves Gwinnett County

Lee Allen said he was resigning due to issues within the Gwinnett County School District.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The teacher of the year for the state’s largest school district is in the process of quitting.

Lee Allen was a teacher for eight years, three of those years at Archer High School in Gwinnett County. Allen teaches math and coaches wrestling. However, he said his frustrations with work eventually grew too much.

Just months after being named Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Allen said he was stepping down due to issues within the district such as teacher retention, apathy and lack of support. respect for students, large classes and the use of mobile phones. He said those issues have worsened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allen made his intentions public Thursday night at the Gwinnett County School Board meeting. He suggested solutions such as administrators spending a week in class, having smaller classes and having more transparency in discipline. Allen said he knows many other teachers share these same frustrations, but he’s still surprised at the response he’s received.

“I wanted to try to speak on behalf of some of the other teachers at my school and in Gwinnett County. And it’s really resonated around the country. Currently I’ve had messages from California, North Dakota, Louisiana – a friend from Baltimore, it was apparently on their morning radio show,” Allen said. “I didn’t expect any of this, but I guess it’s a message that resonates with a lot of people right now because it’s a potential crisis that we could be on the precipice.”

Allen also calls on parents to help with the issues.

“Their schools are not collapsing, they are in great shape, they have good financial reports and they have the capacity to have a great education for everyone. And I still live in the community but I think that they need to understand that parents are going to have to get a lot more involved right now and be part of the regeneration process,” he said.

Allen said he still enjoys teaching, so he’s moving his family and will start working in a small school district next year.


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