Dr. Dominique Merriweather, a Morehouse College graduate, has been appointed as the first Black principal of Sutton Middle School in Atlanta, Georgia. At only 30 years of age, he is the youngest principal in the Atlanta Public School system in US.
Merriweather had originally planned to pursue a career as a business attorney, but a visit to an elementary school in the Atlanta University Center area changed his mind. After interacting with the kids, he decided to become a special education teacher, which he did in 2013. In just nine years, he has risen through the ranks to become the youngest principal ever.
When asked about his success, Merriweather said, “When you put your head in it, and never stop learning, and always are open to feedback and being better, the opportunities are there.” His leadership style has been well-received by the students of Sutton Middle School, with eighth-grader Avery Wicker saying, “He’s incredibly pleasant and fair, and if we have an issue, he helps us to improve that.”
Dr. Merriweather wants to focus on demonstrating his ability to succeed, regardless of his age, and stresses that “age is not a measure of aptitude or capacity. It is possible to be the best at what you do if you are motivated, open to learning, and sincere in your desire.”
Merriweather’s story is one that is punctuated effort, perseverance and relentless.