Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation has a unique history of supporting education of all levels. The fund was established in 2006 and supports 140 schools in the district. In addition to enriching student lives in the classroom, the fund also sponsors 129 scholarships, including tuition assistance programs for employees and other teach specific programs. By investing in all levels of education, from student success to continued support of teachers, the foundation invests in the priceless people who support and attend Gwinnett County schools.
The fund was created to reduce the achievement gap between the socio-economic divides found across the public schools in Atlanta’s suburbs. Gwinnett’s public schools are known for their athletic and academic success compared to other school districts across the state. This month Gwinnett County seniors received exciting news from the foundation. The Posse foundation has set aside remarkable funds to support 10 Gwinnett seniors as they matriculate to college. The Posse Foundation– founded in 1989- highlights high school accomplishment in the classroom and demonstrated leadership. The foundation’s scholarship intends to shed light on students that might be traditionally overlooked by the college process. Posse has partnered with a number of both public and private universities to help these students succeed all four years of college; the fund is proud to report that Posse scholars go on to graduate at a 90% rate, greatly surpassing most college’s four year graduation rates. Posse collaborates with 57 of the most recognized colleges and universities in the nation. These include: Bard College, Boston University, Brandeis University, The College of Wooster, The George Washington University, Syracuse University and Texas A&M University host posse cohorts from the Atlanta Posse Chapter.
At the helm of this far-reaching organization is Aaron Lupuloff. Lupuloff is the executive director of the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation. When he was first introduced to the fund, he took a close look at the vast number of public schools’ and their individual demographics. Of the 180,000 students encompassed in the Gwinnett county school districts, nearly 1 in 2 students live beneath the poverty line. For Lupuloff this was a clear disparity that impacts both individual students, of all socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as the overall health of the Gwinnett county community. Where churches and government programs can assist in small ways, the GCPS Foundation is unique in it’s closeness and integration into the public schools themselves. Where third party non-profits can make marginal impacts, the GCPS foundation is embedded in the community and intimately knows what students, teachers, and parents need on a daily basis and in the long-term.
For Lupuloff, his priorities with the GCPS foundation stem from his underlying drive to support his community. He understands that when communities suffer from glaring economic and achievement gaps, people across the class spectrum suffer. Aaron Lupuloff intends to close that gap in Gwinnett public schools and create a safety net for those who need outside support to successfully navigate and graduate from Gwinnett schools. The GCPS, operating more than a decade in the county, have operated on consistent key principals. Firstly, the foundation strives to support the school system for excellence across schools and academic levels. Secondly, establishing the institutional structure to reach international standards of excellence, as well as solving short and long term problems for schools across the system. Finally the foundation aims to increase the overall financial support that schools receive- this is where Aaron Lupuloff ultimately excels in his leadership of the fund.
Lupuloff knows the value of sports participation in the overall success of schools and also takes advantage of the financial benefit to active athletics programs. The Gwinnett schools district breeds some of the finest athletics, going on to college level athletics and often the professional leagues. To celebrate these successful athletes, the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame hosts an annual induction ceremony to celebrate those home-grown athletes. On May 1st, 2019, the hall of fame inducted six new athletes in the 10th year of the celebration. David Saville, Norcross’s own graduate, joined the stage along Norcross and Collins Hill’s girls basket ball coach Angie Hembree. South Gwinnett basketball coach, John Sawyer, Shinlow softball player Megan Wiggins, Brookwood football player Rennie Curran and former Grayson coach Mickey Conn were all part of this
Saville was one of six new inductees feted at the hall of fame’s 10th celebration. The group also included one of Saville’s favorites from his high school days, former Norcross and Collins Hill girls basketball coach Angie Hembree. They were part of a Class of 2019 with longtime South Gwinnett baseball coach John Sawyer, former Shiloh softball star Megan Wiggins, former Brookwood football player Rennie Curran and South Gwinnett grad and former Grayson coach Mickey Conn rounded out the list of this years new inductees.
The event’s keynote speaker was Alabama’s legendary football coach, Nick Saban, with six national championship rings under his belt. Saban spoke at the pre-dinner speech and inspired audience members to take time to serve others. He celebrated the GCPS foundation and its work to support the thousands of students and employees that depend on the success of the Gwinnett County public schools’ success. Aaron Lupuloff, an essential leader in the event’s organization, reported that the event reached capacity quickly and organizers had to turn away people. Lupuloff, committed to GCPS missions statement, knows the fundraising potential of events like this. This events both celebrate and gives back to community members, made by and for Gwinnett citizens and students. All proceeds from the hall of fame event go directly to the Gwinnett County Public School’s many student scholarships, teacher grants, and education initiatives. The crowd of 650 generally supported the fund and Lupuloff reported his thanks to all of the funds contributors, “The 10th anniversary of the Gwinnett Sports Hall of Fame is a success because of the support of the citizens of Gwinnett raising money to make sure GCPS remains a system of world-class schools.”
The Gwinnet County Public Schools Foundation seeks to bring quality education to all students and to mold community-engaged citizens. The non-profit has already been able to donate close to $456,000 dollars in the last fiscal year, largely due to the leadership and energy of the GCPS board.
Aaron Lupuloff completed his schooling at the University of Alabama where he earned a degree in Business Administration. Lupuloff has also supported multiple organizations alongside his wife that include Partners Against Domestic Abuse, Camp Twin, and others. They have four children together and were inducted into the NHS Hall of Fame in the year 2011.