Robert Gunn Named Principal of New JCPS Middle School Program: W.E.B. DuBois Academy

W.E.B. DuBois Academy to open in 2018-19 school year

Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Acting Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio has named Robert Gunn the principal of a new district middle school program designed to help serve and meet the needs of young males of color. The program will be known as the W.E.B. DuBois Academy.

“Robert Gunn has served as a principal, an assistant principal, and a teacher since joining our district in 2005,” Dr. Pollio said. “Robert has a passion for this work that will help successfully propel the program into a model on how to help increase student engagement and achievement across our district. He is also tireless in building relationships with students and families, which will be integral to the success of the DuBois Academy.”

Gunn joined JCPS in 2005 as a social studies teacher at Conway Middle School. He became an assistant principal of Olmsted Academy North, a middle school for males, in 2008 and served in that capacity until 2012. Gunn later served as the principal of Foster Traditional Academy and Byck Elementary. 

“It is an honor and privilege to be selected to serve as the very first principal of the W.E.B. DuBois Academy,” Gunn said. “I see limitless potential in terms of the opportunities and experiences our program will provide to engage, educate, and empower young men in our community. I believe my personal journey and educational experiences have prepared me to build authentic relationships with students, while simultaneously building a culture predicated on high expectations, teamwork, respect, and responsibility. I look forward to the strategic planning process to open our doors at the start of the 2018-19 school year and have no doubt our program will positively impact the lives of each of the young men we serve.”

Gunn will officially begin his duties on September 23. He will immediately begin planning the successful opening of the school for the 2018-19 school year. Gunn will have an administrative team in place in January 2018.

Prior to joining JCPS, Gunn served as a teacher with St. Louis Public Schools.

About the W.E.B. DuBois Academy

The program, which will initially serve 150 sixth graders and grow into a sixth- through eighth- grade academy after three years, will be named the DuBois Academy after world-renowned scholar W.E.B. DuBois.

In 1895, DuBois became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. DuBois was a civil rights activist and cofounded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.

The DuBois Academy is modeled after the Carter G. Woodson Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. The JCPS program will serve males of all color and will have a culturally inclusive curriculum to help increase relevance and student engagement. The academy will become a model for all JCPS schools to create more culturally inclusive curricula. A location for the school is still being determined.

Parents who would like to learn more about the DuBois Academy may visit the Showcase of Schools on October 28 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

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