Forsyth County's school superintendent has been named one of the 100 top leaders in education around metro Atlanta in a recent report.
“It’s really humbling, to be honest,” said Buster Evans of his recognition by The Atlanta Business Chronicle. “I realize so much that it’s the work of other people that makes it much more of an honor.
"Anything that happens to be attributed to me or really any other individual in this system, really reflects the work of a lot more people that really deserve the credit and recognition.”
Evans said while he may have received the publicity, the system’s success is a combination of the school board’s leadership and the efforts of teachers, students and the community.
“Hopefully, I contribute a little bit along the way,” he said. “It’s a privilege just to be affiliated with a school system and community that value education.”
Evans said the recognition will help attract more attention to local initiatives, many of which are community efforts, such as the SAT 2400 Challenge and the PROPEL, or Pathways for Reaching Opportunities in Preparing for Excellence in Life.
James McCoy, president and CEO of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, has worked with Evans on these and other efforts.
McCoy said Evans is a “bright, shining star in the state.”
“He has been very focused on key performance measures that we are seeing marked differences in, beginning first with SAT scores [the 2400 Challenge] and now with high school graduation rates [PROPEL],” McCoy said.
“He’s just a strong leader in a strong school system and he’s making some very positive changes and improvements that are clearly getting noticed.”
McCoy said the school system’s success leads to the high quality of life that county residents enjoy. It also attracts economic development.
“One of the most important things about the success of our community is that we have a great, progressive and successful school system and that’s true across the board,” McCoy said.
“You can’t go to a school in Forsyth County and not see really high quality ... and I think as the leader of that organization, he’s the primary driver behind that.”
Evans said he may have been recognized for work outside the school system, including a statewide vision project with other education leaders.
“It’s part of our role here," he said. "We’ve built relationships ... and a lot of our officials get out and work with other districts.
“Hopefully, we’re doing the right things and not only does this affirm that, it energizes us to stay focused on what’s important and that’s the children in this community.”