The new school year is off to a great start in Marietta City Schools. New superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera has brought great vibes into all of the school district’s schools. Morale appears high between students, staff, and the community unlike anything recently seen within Marietta.

Many who I’ve interviewed see Rivera as a great motivator, and somebody you would really like to work for. Rivera, for example, led a group of about 500 volunteers of staff and business and community leaders to knock on the door of every student in the Marietta district the weekend before school started to welcome students and their family back to school. This was the district’s way of “going to the student” since, in some cases, their families may not be able to make the open house for a particular school.

On the first day of school, the superintendent could be seen starting his day by riding the bus to school with several Marietta High School students. After this start to his day he visited every school in the district, as well as a few different departments throughout the district. He sat down with a kindergarten class, and helped unload children during morning carpool on the first day to introduce himself to the children and welcome them to  A.L. Burruss Elementary. Rivera then made his way to Lockheed Elementary where he went through the lunch line and dined with several students.

To say Rivera was a busy man is an understatement!

Rivera also continued the annual tradition of seniors rolling Marietta High School with toilet paper. He even invited the senior class over to the school for a cookout before the event. The students had to promise they would be off the campus by 10:30, and show up by 4:00 Friday afternoon to help clean up the mess. The tradition was in jeopardy two years ago when many seniors in the class of 2016 were threatened with arrest, and eventually spending a few days of in-school suspension.

Marietta High School, and Marietta City Schools as a whole, is filled with many traditions that have carried on through the last 125 years. The community has embraced its new school leader, and looks forward to many more years under Rivera’s leadership.

It is a school system, many say, that can serve as an example to Georgia.

Rosser Southerland is an intern with InsiderAdvantage Georgia/James magazine.



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