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IPA_Gwinnett_LeadershipIvy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett will begin the 2015-16 school year under new leadership.

The Governing Board of Ivy Preparatory Academies has promoted Mr. Chaz Patterson to serve as principal of Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett. Mr. Patterson, a veteran educator for nearly a decade, has worked as an assistant principal at IPA Gwinnett since 2011. He has been instrumental in building academic achievement and preserving the culture of professionalism, responsibility, engagement, and perseverance demonstrated by Ivy Prep scholars.

IPA Gwinnett’s former principal, Ms. Joy Treadwell, has been promoted to Director of Academic Affairs for Ivy Prep Academies’ network.

“I know that Ivy Prep Gwinnett is in great hands,” Treadwell said. “Mr. Patterson is going to bring additional programs to the school and additional rigor. The 2015-16 school year will be awesome.”

Under Mr. Patterson’s leadership, IPA Gwinnett will make lessons more challenging for scholars and increase their exposure to careers. Mr. Patterson also plans to boost parent engagement by adding more family events that build school spirit. More than 400 scholars will attend IPA Gwinnett’s middle and high school this academic year.

“I am a very structured individual, but at the heart of hearts, I am a fun person, ” Mr. Patterson said. “I want to make sure that the girls are performing well academically and also having fun at the same time.”

Mr. Patterson joined the staff of IPA Gwinnett in 2009 as an English teacher. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from Florida State University; a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Instruction from the University of Phoenix; and an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from University of Georgia.

Mr. Patterson plans to build on the success of IPA Gwinnett’s first graduating class, which boasted a 100 percent graduation rate, a 100 percent college placement rate and scholarship offers of more than $170,000. The Class of 2015, now alumni of IPA, will be college freshmen this fall.

“After seeing their growth and development over the years, it was very heart-warming to see them walk across the stage and enter into the colleges and universities of their choice,” Mr. Patterson said. “I look forward to the rising seniors reaching those same goals and even more goals.”

The Class of 2016 will graduate with more exposure to careers. Mr. Patterson is working to build partnerships with local businesses and organizations that will lead to internships for scholars.

“I don’t want any of the girls that graduate from Ivy Prep to choose a major and have to change it later on because they don’t know what they want to do,” Mr. Patterson said. “We want our girls to take over positions at partnering businesses and learn what the operations are so when they go to college they are savvy and really have a passion for a career.”

Mr. Patterson also plans to host family events including health seminars, blood drives, and other activities to increase parent involvement.

“We are a school of choice and our parents choose to bring their scholars here,” he said. “Some families live close to Ivy Prep. Some live far away. We want to make sure that we are not just here for the students; we are here for everyone.”

Mr. Patterson will be supported in the administrative office by Dr. LaShaunda Hawkins, who will serve as the new assistant principal at IPA Gwinnett. Dr. Hawkins is a former interim assistant principal at IPA Kirkwood School for Girls. She has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University.

Like Mr. Patterson, Dr. Hawkins says she will “sweat the small stuff” when it comes to making sure scholars follow school rules established to help them grow and succeed. “In today’s society the small stuff is important – it can be as simple as being polite, respecting yourself and respecting others,” Dr. Hawkins said.

“Sometimes respect can lead you further in life than being a straight-A student,” she added. “I tell students all of the time that I’d rather have a hard working ‘C’ students that’s teachable than an all-A student that is not teachable because they don’t have respect.”

Leaders at Ivy Prep Academies believe that Mr. Patterson and Dr. Hawkins have the experience necessary to keep IPA Gwinnett moving ahead as a state leader in single-gender education.  

“Ivy Prep Gwinnett’s new leaders will work to ensure that scholars have a quality education that prepares them for success in college,” said Nina Gilbert, founder at IPA.

Read more about Dr. Hawkins in this Q&A (.pdf download). Read more about Mr. Patterson in this Q&A (.pdf download).
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