DHS Principal Succeeds Through Focus and Caring

Donnie Nutt uses two effective words to run a successful school.

principal Donnie Nutt describes his school in two words: caring and focused. Nutt uses those two little words to effectively run his school supporting both teachers and students on their path to success.

“My role is to be the instructional leader of the school,” Nutt said. “I am responsible for everything that is involved with the education of our students.”

Nutt expects that all students can learn and perform at high levels. The teachers at Dacula High School are a key part to this expectation.

“Two of my most important responsibilities are to ensure we have the best teachers in the classroom and to support those teachers to be successful,” Nutt said.

He proudly leads a school where students and teachers work well together with the common goal of a solid educational foundation.

“The students and staff in our school care about each other and are building lasting relationships,” Nutt said. “They are focused on all students achieving at the highest possible levels.”

Knowing exactly what students and teachers need plays an important part in Nutt’s success as Dacula High School’s principal.

“It seems that sometimes people are too busy talking to hear what other people are saying,” Nutt said. “I want to make sure I am crystal clear about the needs of our staff and students.”

The most exciting and important goal of course is not only that students are successful in school, but after graduation and in life as well. There is no time to waste when working to achieve this important goal.

“From the time a student enters our building as a freshman until they graduate, we only have 720 possible days to work with them,” Nutt explains. “We have no time to waste and need to make sure each and every day is meaningful and productive.”

Along the way to graduation day, there are many rewarding achievements to experience. These moments are what keep Nutt dedicated to the education of Dacula’s future leaders.

“It is rewarding when we know we have had a positive impact on a student’s life,” Nutt said. “Sometimes it can be as simple as a test score or as emotional as when they return years later explaining how you had an impact on their life. Those life changing stories are the ones that really keep you going and are the most rewarding.”          

This is Nutt’s 12th year as principal at Dacula High School. He has been in education for 32 years. Over the years he has been a teacher, coach and administrator. His love for education led him to his role as principal.

“It was just a natural fit to go into the education field where I could teach, coach, mentor and lead students to become great adults,” Nutt explained.

Nutt and his family moved to Dacula in 1970. He graduated from Dacula High School in 1975. He returned to teach and coach from 1980 to 1984. Then, in 1999, he came back again as an assistant administrator and was appointed as the principal the next year.

Nutt’s wife, Darenda, works at . His daughter, Brittany, is a second grade teacher at and his son, Casey, is a student at Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga.

“My wife and I made the decision long ago to live in Dacula and raise our children here,” Nutt said. “Dacula is a great community where relationships are built and community members care about each other.”

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About this column: Dacula Friends and Neighbors profiles the people who make our community a better place.

Mary K. October 19, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Thank you for your contintued dedication to the students and teachers of our community. What a wonderful testimony to you and your wife's leadership as parents and to the Gwinnett school system that your daughter would choose to follow in your footsteps and be a teacher in Dacula as well.


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