Purpose Built Schools Atlanta is pleased to announce that Dr. Nikkita Warfield has accepted the position of Chief Academic Officer. Dr. Warfield recently completed her 22nd year as an educator, having served in both the Dekalb County School System and Newton County School System.
The announcement follows a competitive search process, which included excellent candidates from within Purpose Built Schools and throughout the Atlanta Public Schools’ district and beyond. Dr. Warfield will take on this role following the retirement of Purpose Built Schools’ co-founder, Barb Preuss, who served as the organization’s Head of Schools.
Over the course of the past two decades, Dr. Warfield has served as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and principal. Most recently, Dr. Warfield served as the Director of Secondary Education and Professional Learning for Newton County School System.
Dr. Warfield has dedicated her life and career to serving youth. She founded Young Ladies of Distinction, a mentoring group that served young women seeking social, academic, and community advancement through the pursuit of academic achievement. She is also a mother of two, wife, educator, worship leader, choir director, mentor to youth, and tutorial instructor.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Warfield join Purpose Built Schools,” says Greg Giornelli, president of Purpose Built Schools. “In addition to her impressive experience, Dr. Warfield felt like an instant fit when our leadership and recruitment team met her during the selection process. Her passion for education is contagious. She will make an immediate impact and we look forward to welcoming her as she begins this summer.”
Earlier this year, Purpose Built School shared the bittersweet news that after 43 years in education, Barb Preuss, the Head of Schools and chief architect of Purpose Built Schools, will retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
In her extensive career, Barb has filled countless roles in education. Starting as a P.E. teacher in the tiny East Texas town of Seguin in 1977, she has been an instructional specialist, a camp director, an elementary school principal, a charter school leader, and an education reform pioneer. Her varied background and vast instructional knowledge made her uniquely qualified to lead the effort five years ago to create a ground-breaking educational organization – a Partner School rooted in the Drew Charter School experience.
Purpose Built Schools exists today because of Barb’s vision, commitment, leadership, and organizational abilities. Barb led the hiring, curriculum and instructional decisions, and organization for Thomasville Heights Elementary School in 2016.
“Every single success of Purpose Built Schools can be directly tied to Barb Preuss,” says Giornelli. “The extraordinary student academic growth, the improvements in student culture as evidenced by attendance gains and reductions in suspension, the dramatic decreases in student transiency, the recruitment and development of an amazing team of principals, and the quality and stability of our teaching staff are all a result of Barb’s leadership and hard work. We are who we are today, in large part, because of Barb, and we will achieve our long-term goals because of Barb, as well.”