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Remembering Dr. Gerald Dawkins: Celebrating a Life of Impact

On behalf of the K12 Insight family, it breaks my heart to share the news of the passing of our friend, colleague, teacher, coach and mentor, Dr. Gerald Dawkins. Gerald was a counselor, coach and a highly respected friend to countless superintendents and education leaders around the country.

Gerald’s impact on our work at K12 Insight is impossible to capture in words. He led passionately with a vision to serve all children, families, teachers and staff and his heart had a special place for the most underserved. On a personal note, I am overwhelmed with emotion — mostly gratitude — as I reflect on all that I have learned in my years of traveling with Gerald, visiting school districts and attending conferences  — what a privilege it has been!

As we honor Gerald and promote his legacy, our hearts go out to his family, especially his wife Gwen, and daughters Kanika and Kamaria, along with a host of family and friends, of which he had so many.

If you had the pleasure of spending but even a moment in Gerald’s company, you knew he was a man with a big heart and a sense of humor, who always saw the best in people. He believed that great things were possible, especially in our schools, where he dedicated so much of his life, as a teacher, administrator and longtime superintendent.

I leave you with this picture of Gerald that is one of my favorites — it tells a very important story about who Gerald was. This was taken in the parking lot of the Dekalb County Schools’ district office (outside Atlanta). I witnessed Gerald engage the two cadets — total strangers — in a conversation seeking genuinely to learn about their journey in life and offering them words of encouragement. Years later, he recounted the conversation to me and recalled the details as if reciting from notes. Gerald went about this sort of thing every day, everywhere he went. In Gerald’s passing, humanity lost a big one.