We are excited to have these distinguished leaders
as our Keynote speakers!
Superintendent Mr. Trend North
Douglas County Schools
Mr. Trent North was appointed superintendent of the Douglas County School System effective June 1, 2017. Mr. North worked in education in the Carrollton City Schools for the past 26 years, most recently at Carrollton Middle School where he served two stints as principal for a total of seven years. Other school positions include serving as founding principal of the New Horizons Alternative School, assistant principal of Carrollton Elementary, teacher of history and government at Carrollton Junior High, and para-professional. He spent five years as director of community affairs, program compliance, human resources, and Race to the Top for Carrollton City Schools.
In addition to having experience in education, Mr. North served as a commissioner for Carroll County for 24 years. As longtime vice chair, he oversaw an annual budget of $48 million, directly contributed to the growth of more than 3,000 jobs through negotiations and support of new and relocating businesses, served as liaison to Tanner Medical Center, and negotiated board support for construction of the University of West Georgia student center and stadium/sports complex.
Mr. North holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of West Georgia. He earned a specialist’s degree in leadership and curriculum from Lincoln Memorial University.
A lifelong Georgian, Mr. North is deeply committed to the children and families of our state and regional area. Mr. North will always strongly advocate for students regardless of socioeconomics, zip codes, gender, race, or religion.
John M. Tyson, Jr.
Director, Helping Families Initiative
Volunteers of America Southeast
Tyson is married to Beth and they are blessed with two children, Elizabeth and Jeanne.
A graduate of the University of South Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Law, John M. Tyson Jr., JD, was elected to the Alabama State Board of Education in 1980. He held the office for the next 14 years, 9 of those as the presiding officer of that body.
In 1994, Tyson was appointed to the position of Mobile County (AL) District Attorney by then-Governor Jim Folsom. In 1998 and 2004 was elected to continue his service in the position. He stepped away from the position in January 2011, after 17 years of service.
Tyson’s administration was marked with many strategic and technological improvements. A comprehensive reorganization of the District Attorney’s Office into 16 service teams allowed staff members to develop, accomplish and monitor annual goals and objectives in keeping with the agency’s established “compelling focus.” Tyson’s teams delivered over 40,000 felony convictions on time during his tenure. Part of his practice included his personal presence on approximately 700 homicide scenes.
Tyson gained national recognition when his crime prevention program, “Make the Right Choice,” was named as a best practice by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. He made a number of appearances on national television and radio in conjunction with “Secret Safe Place for Newborns” — the first-of-its-kind effort to provide mothers in crisis with a safe, anonymous option for giving up their unwanted newborns for adoption. “Secret Safe Place” was named a finalist in the “Innovations in American Government Awards,” sponsored by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. More than 3,000 babies and their mothers have been saved nationally since the program began. All 50 states have passed statutes authorizing versions of the program.
Another trend-setting initiative by Tyson’s office was the “Good Samaritans” crime victims assistance program, in which trained citizen volunteers offer on-the-scene assistance to vulnerable victims such as the elderly and women living alone. The United States Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime designated the program as a national pilot program.
In 2003, the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office established the “Helping Families Initiative” to intervene with the county’s at-risk youth before they get in serious trouble with the law. As of Fall 2008, the program enjoyed the active cooperation of about 188 public and private agencies, which offered over three hundred different services. This crime prevention program achieved a 93% per cent success rate.
The Helping Families Initiative won the Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Effort for 2017, which was awarded by the University of Alabama Council on Community-Based Partnerships.
Tyson’s innovative leadership and administration earned him the title of Alabama District Attorney of the Year in 2004. He was appointed as a Supernumerary District Attorney in 2011 and will continue his service in this position for life.
Tyson is currently the Director of the Helping Families Initiative at Volunteers of America Southeast.
The Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Effort for 2017, by the University of Alabama Council on Community-Based Partnerships. Left to right – Dr. Carl A. Pinkert, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Tyson, Dr. Kevin W. Whitaker, Executive Vice President and Provost, and Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, Vice President of Community Affairs