Robert Avossa, Ed.D., was named Superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County in June of 2015. The Palm Beach County School District is the 11th largest district in the country with a student enrollment of more than 183,000 students. The annual budget exceeds $2.3 billion and the District is the largest employer in Palm Beach County with over 21,000 employees. Prior to joining the School District of Palm Beach County, Avossa served as Superintendent of the Fulton County Schools from June 2011 through June 2015.
Avossa was responsible for the leadership, administration, and management of approximately 96,000 students, 101 schools, 14,000 employees, and a $1.4 billion dollar budget. Under Avossa’s four years at the helm, Fulton County Schools achieved dramatic academic gains, earning the District the highest graduation rate of Georgia’s large school systems. Additionally, their students scored the second highest average SAT score in the state, with 85% of seniors taking the test, which is twice the national average. The graduation rate over the entire student population increased from 70.1% to 78.7%, while the dropout rate decreased from 24.3% to 11.9%. The African-American graduation rate increased from 58.2% to 67.7%, while the dropout rate decreased from 34.1% to 17.3%. The Hispanic graduation rate increased from 54.3% to 62.1%, while the dropout rate decreased from 36.8% to 24.8%. The Caucasian graduation rate increased from 86.6% to 92.2%, while the dropout rate decreased from 10.5% to 4.3%. Avossa achieved these results by building consensus with the School Board, community, and staff through building and implementing a comprehensive research-based strategic plan.
Before coming to Fulton County Schools, Avossa served as Chief Strategy and Accountability Officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, one of the largest school systems in the country. In that role, he led the District in driving key performance management initiatives. He also served as Area Superintendent and as Chief of Staff, both of which resulted in significant student achievement improvement; and before that, spent more than a decade in Florida as a teacher and principal. Being active and involved in the community is a priority for Avossa. He has served on many non-profit Boards throughout his career and is a current board member for the American Heart Association, Junior Achievement, and the United Way of Georgia. Avossa served on both the Georgia’s Governor’s Commission on Educational Reform in 2015 and the taskforce on the Federal Government’s Role in Public Education in 2014.
Avossa has dedicated his entire career to ensuring that every child is given an opportunity to succeed in college and a career of their choice. He considers himself a teacher at heart. Public education is his passion. Avossa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Education and Behavior Disorders as well as a Master’s Degree in Special Education, both from the University of South Florida, and a Doctorate from Wingate University. He also is a graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy, an advanced executive development program that identifies and prepares experienced leaders to successfully run large urban public education systems.
Avossa and his wife, Kellee, have two children.