Page One Magazine March April 2017

Page 1

March/April 2017

Inspiring Georgia’s Next Generation of Teachers

Educators Converge on Capitol Hill | Changes in Teacher Tenure | Academic Bowl Winners

Strengthen your career in education with UGA. The University of Georgia’s classroom and online programs are designed to make it easy and efficient for teachers to increase their knowledge, enhance their capabilities, and advance their professional careers. • Advanced Placement® Summer Institute classroom sessions. UGA and the College Board offer subject-specific professional development to equip teachers with the content and resources needed to enhance their teaching of AP® courses. These workshops provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and information with peers. • Professional Interpreter in Education and in Special Education certificate programs. UGA’s instructor-led online training expands career options for bilingual individuals who work in schools or educational settings. These certificate programs are designed to increase participants’ professional skills to better serve non-English-speaking students and their families. • Developmental Therapy-Teaching online certificate program. UGA’s professional guidance program for educators that connects best practices in mental health and special education. DTT teaches social, emotional, and behavioral competencies that are necessary for elementary through high school students to be successful. • Instructional Design and eLearning certificate is a 60-hour online, instructor-led program created by the University of Georgia. Participants will learn the systematic principles of design in order to analyze instructional needs, develop clear instructional goals, and create authentic eLearning experiences.

You’ll find details on specific courses at College Board, AP®, and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.

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March/April 2017

Vol. 38 No. 4

Feature 08  Inspiring Georgia’s Next Generation of Teachers 013  School Districts Throughout Georgia


Struggle to Fill Vacancies 014  To Encourage ’Teaching as a Profession,’ TAP Needs More Funding 015  As Teachers, We Need to Encourage — and Recruit — Tomorrow’s Educators 016  In Gratitude of a Bone-Deep K–12 Education 016  PSC’s Kelly Henson: We Need to Fund Leader and New Teacher Training



4  From the President There Is No Status Quo in Georgia’s Classrooms 5  From the Executive Director Educators Show How Professional Learning Drives Engagement

Legislative 18  Policymakers and Educators Converse During Day on Capitol Hill

27  South Forsyth Is 2017 PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades State Champion

21  Casey Cagle Promotes Career Academies and Charter Systems

30  PAGE Foundation Thanks Donors and Friends

Professional Learning 22  Adding Tools to the Arsenal of Engagement

Legal 25  The State of Teacher Tenure has Changed Drastically

24  Northwest Georgia Professional Learning Network Launched

Cover photo by Wingate Downs


18 PAGE One Official Publication of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Providing professional learning for educators to enhance professional competence, confidence and leadership skills, leading to higher academic achievement for students, while providing the best in membership, legal services and legislative support. March/April 2017



Editor Craig Harper

President Larry Lebovitz

Graphic Designer Jack Simonetta

Associate Editor Meg Thornton

Publisher John Hanna

Production Coordinator Megan Willis

Contributing Editor Lynn Varner

Editor Lindsay Penticuff

Advertising/Sales Sherry Gasaway 770-650-1102, ext.145

Associate Editor Megan Thornton


From the President

There Is No Status Quo in Georgia’s Classrooms


uring Gov. Nathan Deal’s State of the State address, he said, “it should be abundantly clear to everyone, including those in the education community who so staunchly support the status quo, that this is unacceptable.” The statement was in regard to the schools identified as failing by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. During the confirmation hearings for the office of Secretary of Education, the Chicago Tribune ran an editorial with the headline, “Betsy DeVos vs. the education status quo.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines status quo as “a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs.” The example sentence that is given is, “He is content with the status quo and does not like change.” After a long career in education, I’ve decided that either the people using this term do not know what status quo means or they simply do not understand the constant change that educators face in our day-today work. I’ll share a few examples.

Our educators rise to the challenge of constant change every day. We often laugh and say that the best thing about teaching is that no two days are ever the same. The one constant is Georgia’s educators march into their classrooms daily and effect positive change for the students in their charge.


Amy Denty I returned to Georgia in 1996 after teaching in South Carolina for five years. At that time, we had the Quality Core Curriculum. Since then, I have worked with the Georgia Performance Standards, Common Core Georgia Performance Standards and now Georgia Standards of Excellence. Almost all of these curriculum changes have been positive and foster higher achievement in our students, but major changes every few years in our core curricula require constant change, study, preparation and new strategies to effectively teach. During the administration of George W. Bush, No Child Left Behind was implemented and schools began to be held accountable by the constructs of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). This required us to focus on subgroups of our students instead of simply focusing on the whole. Again, there were some positive outcomes. We learned more about how to disaggregate student data to better serve all students. We learned that children from poverty may require different strategies or experiences to master standards. We learned that as teachers we needed to provide common experiences that all of our children could use to build strong connections in their brains. After a few years of AYP, Georgia moved to a new accountability system, the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). Since 2012, the indicators and/or weights on the CCRPI have changed three times. The only two years whereby we can make apples-to-apples CCRPI comparisons are 2015 and 2016. In recent years, Georgia’s method for evaluating teachers has gone through

immense changes. Not only have teachers had to learn about the standards in the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System, but many of us have spent large amounts of time developing local assessments to ensure that all teachers have an adequate growth measure. Once again, there are many positive outcomes from this change. We have learned the importance of reliable and valid assessments, have become better assessment writers and have been reminded of the power of strong formative and summative assessments. Amidst these changes, we welcome every single day into our classroom diverse groups of students who all have individual needs that must be met. We are finding ways to communicate with our students who do not speak English, finding a new strategy that will help our learning-disabled students achieve new gains and challenging our students who are already achieving success at high levels. We do this while tending to health needs, managing school fundraisers, providing extracurricular opportunities like STEM Club, BETA Club and Student Council, and trying to help support the new teacher who works down the hall. I contend that there is no status quo in Georgia’s classrooms. Our educators rise to the challenge of constant change every day. We often laugh and say that the best thing about teaching is that no two days are ever the same. The one constant is that, in spite of a constant barrage of teacher bashing, Georgia’s educators march into their classrooms daily and effect positive change for the students in their charge. I’m proud to call these people my colleagues. n

March/April 2017

From the Executive Director

Educators Show How Professional Learning Drives Engagement


AGE provides valuable services to our members, including excellent legal advice and effective education advocacy. However, I see professional learning for teachers and leaders and the development of tomorrow’s educators as our most valuable work. The challenges our profession faces are real and everpresent; however, I am encouraged from my recent interaction with teachers, leaders and students and by their energy and passion for teaching. The work of PAGE, as well as other educator organizations and state agencies to increase support for educators and those who are exploring education as a profession, is promising. Two events that illustrate my perspective happened in January. The first was when PAGE was graciously allowed to present on any education-related topic for 15 minutes before the Joint House and Senate Education Committee. This allowed PAGE to share with legislators the vital importance of professional learning to enhance student engagement. PAGE currently has seven initiatives across Georgia that involve 32 districts (see map) and more than 575 teachers and leaders. We are

March/April 2017

Dr. Allene Magill actively involved throughout Georgia in building the capacity of educators to better understand their students and to work together to design quality learning experiences. All but one of our initiatives involves cross-district collaboration. The depth of learning is truly remarkable. To highlight the impact of PAGE professional learning, Early County

Superintendent Dr. Bronwyn RaganMartin and seventh-grade teacher Teresa Mitchell provided the joint committee with an overview of how important professional learning is for resource-starved districts. Mitchell wowed legislators with an interactive lesson using different sizes of plastic cups to illustrate how to provide just the right amount of learning inputs. She artfully demonstrated how she has learned to focus on the different needs of her students and how that drives the design of lessons. These Early County educators exemplify the high level of leadership and instruction in our schools that benefit students and communities. So many of the teachers and leaders engaged in our partnerships could relay a similar message and represent the great work they are doing in their districts. PAGE is proud of our sponsorship and support of teachers and leaders through our professional learning initiatives. It’s at the core of what we do. The second activity was the GAEL Winter Conference. With the theme of growing your own teachers and leadContinued on page 7



Swing for the Future Golf Tournament

Eagle’s Landing Country Club

100 Eagle’s Landing Way, Stockbridge, GA 30281 Monday, June 26, 2017 As Georgia’s largest education association, PAGE fosters exceptional levels of professionalism in the classroom and within administrative ranks. PAGE provides professional learning to enhance competence and confidence, build leadership and increase student achievement. Since 1985, PAGE initiatives have served Georgia students and educators by promoting academic excellence and healthy competition. Those initiatives include PAGE Foundation Scholarships; PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR); PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades; and the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon (GAD). You can help us grow our professional learning offerings, such as the High School Redesign Initiative, the School Districts Network, the Principal and Teacher Leadership Network and others, to serve even more Georgia educators and students!

Please join us by participating in our ‘Swing for the Future’ Golf Tournament Register at

A special offer for Georgia educators: 50% discount for individual golfers and foursomes

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! This is your chance to participate in a great Four-Man Captain’s Choice Scramble tournament on a Tom Fazio designed championship golf course, a 2011 Golf Course of the Year by Georgia Course Owners Association. Prizes for first, second and third place teams: Par 3 hole-in-one prize!

REGISTRATION FEE INCLUDES: Cart, Green Fees, Range Balls, Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Awards & Door Prizes For Beginner’s Clinic information, visit The PAGE Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Early County seventh-grade teacher

ers, the event focused largely on and you understand that, Teresa Mitchell wowed legislators with training and retaining educators. together, we must shore up As a conference presenter, I disour profession by advocatan interactive lesson using different cussed the importance of growing for appropriate resources sizes of plastic cups to illustrate how ing our own educators through and accountability measures to provide just the right amount of Teaching as a Profession and as well as by encouragEarly Childhood Education pathlearning inputs. ing more young people to way programs in Georgia’s high consider education. And, if schools. Additionally, I was able you can’t do that now, think to share the incredible work of about what needs to change Future Georgia Educators (FGE), in education for you to be which is sponsored by PAGE in able to support it and work 43 high schools. Through FGE, for that change to happen. approximately 1,500 students We at PAGE are hopeful attended one of eight conferences for the future because we this year held at many of the see the beginnings of a shift state’s leading colleges of educain attitude among parents, tion. Students learned about good communities, the Georgia instructional practices, visited Department of Education in small groups with education preparathe results of our educator survey in the and legislators on recognizing the chaltion candidates and took in an inspiring January-February issue of PAGE One, you lenges educators face and how that affects glimpse of college life. know that more than half of educators plan student growth. to leave within 10 years. You also know Keep up the great work that you do LET’S DO OUR PART TOGETHER that Georgia prepares fewer educators every day! And, make an effort to share The support and development of than schools need each year and that the a story of the rewards of teaching with current and future educators is vitally educator preparation pipeline is not strong. friends, neighbors and young people in important to our profession. If you read Couple this reality with retention issues your life. n


all 29 Georgia public colleges and universities on one site to find the degree, course or certificate for you.


online programs and courses from the colleges you know and trust.

There is never any distance between you and a higher DEGREE IN EDUCATION.



Inspiring Georgia’s Next Generation of Teachers In the face of a burgeoning teacher shortage, education pathway courses and Future Georgia Educators are helping Georgia grow its own teachers.

By Meg Thornton, PAGE One Associate Editor


eorgia needs teachers badly. Just as baby boomers are retiring, the pipeline of new teachers has narrowed. Enrollment in University System of Georgia schools of education was down by about 14 percent from 2011 to 2015, and the system’s new teacher production declined by about 20 percent for the same period, reports the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Why? Mostly because teacher morale has declined over the years. Educators


say they are continually burdened with changing regulations and testing requirements, and that they have been made scapegoats for public education problems. The Great Recession also left its mark on teacher pay. From 1999 to 2013, the average salary shrank 5.7 percent, according to U.S. Education Department statistics. Adjusted for inflation, the average Georgia teacher in 2014 made $26 less per year than in 1988. Moreover, many recent college graduates are saddled with hefty loans that press them to pursue more lucrative

careers. A math major, for example, can often earn more as an accountant. For all these reasons and more, two out of three educators in a 2015 Georgia Department of Education survey of more than 53,000 educators said they would be “unlikely or very unlikely to recommend teaching as a profession” to new graduates.

March/April 2017

FGE Moments

Photo by Jo Breedlove-Johnson

Burning Desire to Teach

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March/April 2017

The urgency of Georgia’s teacher crisis has been recognized and, more importantly, it is being responded to with measures that are working.

Photo by Jo Breedlove-Johnson

Add that to the fact that 44 percent of Georgia’s new teachers leave the profession within the first five years of employment, and we’ve got the makings of a severe teacher shortage. But thankfully, there is some positive activity afoot. The urgency of Georgia’s teacher crisis has been recognized, and more importantly, it is being responded

Kaitlyn Janney, an education pathway student at the College and Career Academy in Carroll County, credits a tutor for her transformation from a sad, academically struggling 13-year-old to a confident and happy honor student with a burning desire to teach. As an adolescent, “I was always the weird, adopted kid who stuck out like a sore thumb. My friends would be talking about how easy school was to them, and I would just get depressed.” Now a tutor herself, Kaitlyn says the moment she realized she wanted to become a teacher — what Future Georgia Educators calls an “FGE Moment” — happened while she was tutoring two little boys. Here’s how she tells it: The first-grader struggled in almost everything, and the kindergartener could not even say his alphabet or count to 20. They would count to 10, but get frustrated because they could not go any higher. I thought, “Wow, how are you going to do this, Kaitlyn?” That night, I started to think of ways for them to understand it. I found videos that sang numbers, and then I created a test for them. After three or four times, they understood. My next idea was to read them a story each day so they would pick up on vocabulary. Oh my heavens at the difference that made! The oldest boy, who was reading on the lowest reading level in his class, rose up to a 4.7 level! On the day he told me, he ran up to me and screamed, “Miss Kaitlyn, guess what?” He handed me a paper, and as I read it, I teared up. It said, “... his reading level and vocabulary has risen tremendously, and we would like to thank you for working with him.” I looked down at him and he was just smiling so hard. To know that I did that — taught him and helped him understand — made me feel great. That is the day I told myself that I wanted to teach,


education, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders. Teachers are also receiving a bit of relief due to last year’s passing of House Bill 364, which made positive adjustments to the educator evaluation system and lowers the number of required standardized tests. PAGE, via its Future Georgia Educators (FGE) program, and education pathway teachers throughout Georgia are immersing thousands of curious teens annually in hands-on teaching experiences. “The Teaching as a Profession (TAP) pathway shows students what a career in

education would really be like,” says Jill Dyer, coordinator of the TAP internship program at Fannin County High School. “Working with a mentor teacher at an elementary or middle school, TAP students assist their young charges through remediation and enrichment activities.” The experience also helps redirect students who discover they would rather not teach, says Dyer. “Many students begin the TAP program with misconceptions about teaching. Then one of two things will happen: They will either realize that teaching is much more challenging than they thought and they will move on to other endeavors, or they will discover a true love for children and passion for the job that they never knew they would

Photo by Wingate Downs

Working with a mentor teacher at an elementary or middle school, TAP students assist their young charges through remediation and enrichment activities.

Photo by Wingate Downs

Photo by Jo Breedlove-Johnson

to with measures that are working. Georgia education leaders, including PAGE and the Georgia Department of Education, are targeting the teacher shortage from every angle. Other key players include the state’s colleges of


March/April 2017

A Born Teacher

‘There is great power in having students physically present on a college campus to absorb the atmosphere and begin envisioning themselves as college students.’ – Mary Ruth Ray, PAGE College Service Representative

have. When that happens, a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher is born.”

Colleges Welcome Future Georgia Educators

During PAGE FGE Days, colleges of education in Georgia welcome to their campuses crowds of high school students

— in all, 1,500 throughout this school year — seeking to deepen their understanding about what it takes to be a good teacher. The teens participate in a variety of engaging workshops led by college faculty and teacher candidates. And they are inspired by award-winning educators, such as 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year Casey Bethel. The high schoolers also compete in contests that help them develop skills, and they attend a college fair, whereby they meet with recruiters from colleges all over Georgia and get an enticing glimpse into campus life. FGE Days are valuable to colleges of education as well. Beyond being a powerful recruiting vehicle for the colleges, FGE Days enable their teacher candidates to take on leadership roles and present what they are learning in the college classroom. “We encourage our teacher candidates to develop exciting presentations to engage and inform the high schoolers,” says Michele McKie, Georgia Southwestern State University School of Education clinical director. “In addition to using Kahoot, a gamebased learning platform, our candidates

Kameron Stone, a student at Gilmer County High School, is quite literally a “born teacher.” A quintuplet, Kameron has a brother with cerebral palsy. Because of Kameron’s passion to help others, her mother calls Kameron “the mother hen.” “The doctors said my brother would never walk, talk, sit up, eat without a feeding tube and on and on,” wrote Kameron in her FGE Moment speech. “There’s no need to worry though, because he has proven doctors wrong. He can do anything he puts his mind to. … Every child has their own way of learning, and it’s important we find a way for everyone to love learning,” she added. “I want to show children that they are not limited to what they can do or who they can be because of their circumstances. I believe that being a light to those in the dark can forever change their lives.”

‘I Want to Inspire People’

Jamaria Robinson, a 10th-grader at Ware County High School, began cultivating her calling early on. “My little sister with special needs has influenced my career choice more than anyone. Watching how much she needs from not just teachers, but great teachers, motivates me.” Jamaria’s passion is palpable: “I want to inspire people. I want to make a difference. I want to help others. I want to inspire people. I want to motivate people. I want to make people smile. I want to teach.”

Class Led to Job as Tutor

Kevin Johnson, a student at Hutchings College and Career Academy in Bibb County, calls his FGE experience “amazing.” Among other things, he learned the Georgia educaContinued on page 12

Continued on next page March/April 2017


tors’ Code of Ethics via a fun Jeopardy-style game, how students have varied learning styles, how to write lesson plans and even how to avoid bringing stress into the classroom. He and his group also designed their own student-based (vs. teacher-based) classroom. Best of all, beamed Kevin, they got to put their lessons to the test: “My classmates and I were all hired this year as after-school tutors for the elementary school.”

Life-Altering Internship

“As a nervous sophomore,” Savanna Hammond joined the Early Childhood Program at the College and Career Academy in Carroll County in 2015. “I thought the class would only teach me about being a teacher, but it taught me so much more. I learned how a child develops, how children act at certain ages and about diseases that a child could catch if not properly vaccinated,” she recalled. “This class could also lead you toward becoming a children’s lawyer or a child therapist.” Savanna said her internship impacted her the most. “On the first day I was terrified. I didn’t know if the children would like me or if I would say something outrageous, but I was very blessed to get a teacher who calmed my nerves. I fell in love with teaching. I adored the looks on the young students’ faces when they finally understood whatever they were learning.” Savanna said she was then put to a task last December when a specialneeds girl entered the class: This young girl had never read a chapter book or taken notes. I was to teach her how to read and comprehend the chapter book, along with asking her to reflect on what she had read. I was happy to explain to her exactly what to do and why she was doing it. I suddenly realized what I want to do with my life: I want to answer questions and help young children learn. I want to help change their lives in a positive way. I want to be a teacher. n


Beyond being a powerful recruiting vehicle for the colleges, FGE Days enable teacher candidates to take on leadership roles and present what they are learning in the college classroom. showed them how to implement formative assessments using Plickers to answer multiple choice questions with a cell phone and ‘paper clicker.’” Blindfolded health and physical education candidates were helped through a maze to demonstrate teamwork and leadership. And special education student teachers simulated having disabilities with sight, motor skills, ADHD, etc. Serving as tour guides, the college students also showed the visiting teens around campus. FGE Days are open to any Georgia high school students interested in exploring teaching as a career; the program is not limited to education pathway or early childhood education classes. Bringing students to a college campus is an important part of opening them to the realistic possibility of pursuing an education degree. “Our host colleges and

our PAGE staff are convinced there is great power in having students physically present on a college campus to absorb the atmosphere and begin envisioning themselves as college students,” says Mary Ruth Ray, PAGE College Services Representative and organizer of FGE Days. “We hope this event encourages high school students to go to college somewhere, even if they choose not to become a teacher,” McKie says. “For some of the students who are attending, this may be the first time they have set foot on a college campus.” An especially touching part of each FGE Day is when a teen shares an “FGE Moment” — his or her personal recollection of a meaningful experience that sparked a life-long desire to teach. (See “FGE Moments” sidebars.) n

Advisory Committee: Increase Teacher Pay Among the 46 recommendations made last year by the 90-member Teacher Advisory Committee (a subset of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission), the following were specifically aimed at improving staffing of Georgia schools: •  Increase K-12 educational funding to help local districts recruit, retain and reward effective teachers and establish competitive teacher salaries. •  Consider re-instituting service-cancelable loan programs for students graduating from a University System of Georgia teacher education program.

March/April 2017

School Districts Throughout Georgia Struggle to Fill Vacancies By Meg Thornton, PAGE One Associate Editor


tatewide, school districts have been struggling to fill vacancies. Last year, there were approximately 2,500 unfilled teaching positions in Georgia, “and virtually every system we have spoken to reports difficulty employing teachers in one or more fields,” according Kelly Henson, executive secretary of the Georgia Professonal Standards Commission. There’s an increasing demand for teachers in Georgia, adds PAGE College Services Representative Mary Ruth Ray. “While student numbers are growing, the number of young people going into education is decreasing, so we’re hitting a perfect storm where supply isn’t matching demand.” Special education and art, as well as science, technology, engineering and math, remain top critical-need areas. The Liberty County School System has offered signing bonuses for certified math, science and special education teachers; and Gwinnett County Public Schools offered a $250 referral fee last

year to employees who referred special education candidates. But the shortage is not restricted to those areas. Systems are in need of elementary and middle school teachers as well. Thomas Koballa, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education at Georgia Southern University, says he and his colleagues are used to being called on for help in finding math and science teachers. “Now they’re asking us about English and history teachers. So you know there’s a challenge here.” Out of necessity, school districts have been forced to hire long-term substitutes and instructors with temporary credentials. Most districts are allowed to hire teachers who lack certification because of the districts’ Strategic Waiver School System status, which offers flexibility on some rules in exchange for increased accountability from the state. Like many other districts, the DeKalb County School District has waived certification to hire for hard-to-fill positions. It hired scores of uncertified special education teachers last year. Gwinnett issued about 30 waivers, as did Thomas Koballa, Ph.D., Atlanta Public Schools. The Cobb and Fulton county dean of the College of school systems issued about Education at Georgia a dozen apiece, according to a report in The Atlanta Southern University, and his Journal-Constitution. colleagues are used to being In 2015-16, Clayton County Public Schools called on for help in finding reported using more than math and science teachers. 150 long-term substitutes. Last year, the school board ‘Now they’re asking us about instituted employee recruitEnglish and history teachers. ment and retention incentives totaling $53.4 million. So you know there’s a The system also recruits curchallenge here,’ he says. rent district employees who work in support capacities and who may qualify to earn March/April 2017

teacher certifications. The district recruits internationally, too. Last spring, Clayton officials traveled to Puerto Rico, where the district has partnerships with the schools of education at the University of Puerto Rico, Cambridge College and Intercontinental University.

Savannah- Chatham Seeks Career Switchers

Fast-growing Savannah-Chatham County Public schools turned to the Alternative Pathways to Teaching program last summer to help fill 450 openings, mostly in Title 1 schools. The pathway encourages prospective teachers to switch careers to the classroom. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in the subject that they wish to teach. The most direct route to earning alternative certification is via the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP). It can take two to three years to complete the program, but — most importantly — it allows one to work as a teacher throughout the process. Former attorney turned Windsor High School (Savannah-Chatham) history teacher Ernie Lee, 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year, entered the profession through an alternative pathway, as have many other stellar Georgia educators, such as Clayton County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year Zach Etheridge. Last fall, the Forsyth County Schools Board of Education voiced its support for implementing a GaTAPP program as well. “We have classrooms across the system that we struggle to find teachers for. We have a lot of people who would love to be in those classrooms, but when it comes to certification it becomes a barrier, so we want to be a program provider,” Associate Superintendent Cindy Salloum told the Forsyth News. n PAGE ONE  13

To Encourage ‘Teaching as a Profession,’ TAP Needs Equal Funding By Meg Thornton, PAGE One Associate Editor


any Georgia high schools (but not all) offer a pathway for students who wish to learn about the field of education. Throughout the state, 92 school systems offer the Early Childhood Education (ECE) pathway and 53 systems offer the Teaching as a Professional (TAP) pathway. The ECE pathway covers key aspects of providing excellent care for young children, whereas the TAP pathway focuses more on educating K-12 students and goes deeper into pedagogy. (See accompanying pathway descriptions.) Another difference is that ECE course completers earn credit accepted by any Georgia technical college, whereas TAP course completers earn credit accepted by any college within the University System of Georgia.

Funding for the two programs is also substantially different. ECE, which is a sanctioned Career, Technical and Agricultural Education pathway, includes a lab, so it receives lab-weighted state funding. TAP does not include a lab, so it receives only typical high school course state funding. Schools that can support only one of two programs will usually — and understandably — choose the one with greatest funding — ECE. While PAGE fully supports both programs, PAGE believes TAP is a more effective educator preparation and recruitment tool. PAGE, therefore, encourages the Georgia Department of Education, legislators and education advocates to fund TAP with at least equal weight of ECE funding. n

Earn Your Advanced Degree in Education Online from Georgia College


The Teaching as a Profession pathway provides a handson, practical experience for students considering a career in education. Teaching profession candidates learn and apply teaching strategies for diverse learners, including those with special needs. They also learn how to create effective learning environments and how to plan instruction based on knowledge of subject matter, students, community and curriculum. Candidates practice their skills and knowledge at elementary and secondary education sites and work in real classrooms under the mentorship of a regular teacher.

Early Childhood Education Pathway

We offer the following programs completely online, allowing you to obtain your degree from anywhere you need to be: - M.E.D. in Educational Leadership - M.E.D. in Instructional Technology - M.E.D. in Library Media - M.E.D. in Curriculum and Instruction M.A.T. in Middle Grades, with - M.A. concentrations in Math and Science - Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership - Ed.S. in Educational Leadership

Teaching as a Profession Pathway

Learn more at:

Introduction to the Early Childhood Education Pathway prepares students for employment in early childhood education and services. The course covers early childhood care and education and development issues, including guiding the physical, cognitive, creative, social, emotional and moral development of children. Students also learn about career paths, principles and theories of child development, the creation of a developmentally appropriate learning environment, collaborative relationships and guidance, lesson planning and appropriate response to cultural diversity and students with special needs.

March/April 2017

As Teachers, We Need to Encourage — and Recruit — Tomorrow’s Educators By Casey M. Bethel, 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year


familiar story is told of a boy who grew up idolizing his neighborhood baseball team. He attended every game, studied every play and practiced relentlessly. He got better and better, and when the time came, he approached the team with confidence. The team manager responded to his inquiry with “Are you sure, son? We haven’t won many games recently. You’re probably better off playing elsewhere.” The young man left dismayed. Alas, both of them missed out. I recently attended a Future Georgia Educators program put on by PAGE at Georgia Southern University. It was energizing to meet almost 200 high schoolers from across the state who are excited about becoming teachers. I have never given out so many high fives. And yet, it was eye-opening to learn how many of them had received warnings or discouragement about joining the teaching profession. Even more perplexing, they heard this from their own teachers. OMG! Georgia, like many other states, is experiencing a gross teacher shortage. Baby boomers are retiring in droves, enrollment in teacher preparation programs is down and, worst of all, 44 percent of new teachers in our state leave the profession within the first five years. All the while, Georgia’s student population continues to grow. Not surprisingly, teacher recruitment and retention have become top priorities. As in the baseball analogy, we can ill afford to turn away the fresh talent we so desperately need.

The Negative Drowns Out All the Good

In attracting young people to teaching, we often battle negative outside forces. Therefore, we must promote the posi-

March/April 2017

‘It was energizing to meet high schoolers from across the state who are excited about becoming teachers. And yet, it was eyeopening to learn how many of them had received warnings or discouragement about joining the teaching profession. Even more perplexing, they heard this from their own teachers. OMG!’

tives while appropriately sharing the difficulties we face. I admit that teacher life is more challenging than ever. Modern society presents new, complex obstacles that we must circumvent, and teachers endure all this in exchange for very little appreciation. But, for perspective, other occupations present daunting challenges as well. Surgeons work in high-stress environments where the health, and very often the life, of the patient hangs on their ability to think quickly. They clock in for exhausting 18-hour shifts, having no idea what cases will walk (or be rolled) through the door. And at the end of their shifts, starving, sleep deprived and needing a bathroom break, you rarely hear them discuss their challenges. Soldiers, as well, work in challenging circumstances — away from home, up early for intense physical and mental training. In executing their duties, many risk their lives to protect citizens they have never even met.


s a newlywed, I received some important advice to sustaining a marriage: “Resist sharing your disputes with others.” As a result, I won’t tell you that my wife leaves dirty dishes in the sink, and she won’t share that I leave my

socks in front of the couch. Seriously though, anyone who has made this mistake can testify that listeners can and will recall the conflict long after you’ve moved on. It’s as if the rare negative drowns out all of the more frequent good that you celebrate. We teachers should approach our profession with that same level of marital loyalty. As we remember the “aha” moments in class and the happy tears at graduation, keep in mind that outsiders will readily recall the long IEP meeting and that one unruly student who we made the mistake of venting about. So, let’s resist the temptation to share our challenges. Instead, let’s flood our listeners with good stories. I once read that it takes five good memories to erase one negative memory. That ratio puts some of us far behind, but today is a good day to begin. The shift can start with us, and together we can change the narrative. Let’s see how quickly we can restore our collective teacher morale and rebuild our communities’ faith in our schools. When we commit to this goal, I can foresee a long line of the brightest and most-talented young people beating down our doors to join us in this impactful work. After all, teaching is still the most rewarding of all professions! n


In Gratitude of a Bone-Deep K–12 Education By Nicki Salcedo, reprinted with permission from


he government did not educate me. Teachers did. If you ask me about my favorite teacher, I will start listing all of them. I’m one of the lucky ones. I had great teachers. In third grade, Ms. Lambeth encouraged us to write poetry. In fifth grade, Ms. Hunter gave me a special project. I was a good reader. Each day, I went to the library to make an audio recording of a chapter from our science book. This was to help a struggling student (she never told me who) keep up with our lessons. In sixth grade, I thought Mr. King was mean. He taught math. He was the first male teacher I ever had. He was tall and serious all of the time. It took me a long time to realize that he wasn’t mean. He wanted me to try harder in math. Eventually, I did try harder. Not only in sixth grade, but every grade after. When I think of him, I feel like I owe him an apology. Mr. Bentley loved science. In eighth

I thought Mr. King was mean. He taught math. He wanted me to try harder in math. Eventually, I did try harder. Not only in sixth grade, but every grade after. When I think of him, I feel like I owe him an apology.

grade, he took us to the Okeefeenokee Swamp. I spent my 14th birthday away from my parents on that trip. It was one of those experiences that had a big impact on my entire life — even today. I’d never seen anything in the world before that trip. I learned to notice the animals and vegetation and the night sky. I am 42 years old, and when I look up at the sky I think of my eighth-grade science teacher. His best buddy was Mr. Baird, the English teacher. He liked to hunt and fish and read. We read “Shane,” “The Outsiders” and “Where the Red Fern Grows.” I cried over all those books. In my mind, I see Mr. Baird sitting across from

me on a pontoon boat with an alligator swimming in the dark waters behind him. Mr. Zittrouer was an excellent math teacher. I had him twice. Math made sense to him, and he made sense of it to us. He had blond hair that curled like Michelangelo’s sculpture of David, but he was so very Southern. His accent made me believe he was teaching us life lessons and not trigonometry and calculus. Ms. Davidson (formerly known as Ewing) made us study the play “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry. I read the part of Beneatha Younger in front of the class. She made me do it, despite my protestations. I was in the 10th grade. It is still one of my favorite plays. She introduced me to Langston Hughes. What happens to a dream

PSC’s Kelly Henson We Need to Fund Leader and New Teacher Training


lthough recruitment of teachers is important, retention of effective teachers is even more important, said Kelly Henson, executive secretary of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission at the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders conference. “The temptation is to focus on recruiting teachers, but putting more people in a system that needs repair will


not solve the long-term issue,” Henson said. “Let’s focus much of our attention on teacher retention — not only for the purpose of addressing the teacher shortage, but also for improving the daily work experiences of all teachers throughout our state. To improve retention rates of Georgia’s new teachers — about 44 percent leave the profession within the first

five years — Henson asked that Georgia policy makers and education leaders consider the following: •  Focus on leadership development. Teachers leave for several reasons, none more prevalent than leadership. As a state, our efforts for the past decade or more have focused on “fixing” teachers. I think we got the cart before the horse, but in any event, today there

March/April 2017

deferred? Does it explode, or do we keep dreaming? That was a lifetime ago, but I’m still dreaming; maybe even more than I did back then. We read Victor Hugo. We went to see “Les Misérables” at The Fox Theater in Atlanta. Ms. Davidson took a bunch of public school kids from Stone Mountain to see a Broadway show at night. We dressed up. We thought about revolution. Ms. Speidel let me write an AP English paper on Julie Garwood’s “The Secret.” It was about friendship and feminism in the romance novel. She did this very grudgingly, but I had already read all the books on the assigned reading list like “Cry, the Beloved Country.” I think she liked my little bit of bravery. Ms. Wyatt taught AP American History. I read “The House Made of Dawn” in her class. History was not just dates and facts, but stories. She had one of those smiles. The kind of smile that made you believe she was happy to be teaching you. Mr. Crawford taught physics. He was dry and soft spoken. He wasn’t overly friendly. He was fair, and we could tell that he loved what he did. He let us create the Science Club, because I needed more science than the regular school day would allow. Mr. Reid (now a Ph.D., I think) was a chemistry guru. He had a joke for every day of school. A proton and a neutron are walking

down the street. The proton says, “Wait, I dropped an electron; help me look for it.” The neutron says “Are you sure?” The proton replies “I’m positive.” I still laugh at puns because of him. That’s what you get with a public school education. Ms. Mayweather would tell us a daily affirmation: “I am lovable and capable.” She asked us to repeat this phrase before we started any science lesson. It was eighth grade. She believed that loving ourselves was the precursor to learning. She was serious about our accuracy in the lab. She treated us like little adults. In recent years, I’ve seen Ms. Mayweather, Ms. Davidson, Ms. Wyatt and my counselor Ms. Rita Winings (she was Ms. Shredder back in the day if you want to pull out my old yearbooks). I still feel the excitement of learning. I still feel their guidance and instruction.

should be a strong emphasis on leader preparation. Some good work has gone on, such as the development of performance-based leadership prep programs, but we have much more to do. And, we must recognize that it is more important for leaders to have the needed dispositions than it is for them to be experts in facilities, finance or law. •  Utilize the power of teacher leadership. Teacher leadership is a powerful tool for both instructional improvement and teacher retention. It would help to have tangible rewards for lead profes-

sional teachers. •  Fund high-quality induction support. We now have the data and tools to individualize support for new teachers from both the district and program provider. Studies consistently show that high-quality induction support works. •  Create yearlong pre-service. In a Georgia Department of Education survey about four years ago, teacher education graduates were asked, “What would make your program better and more fully prepare you?” Most respondents said to make the pre-service field

March/April 2017


don’t need the government to do anything for my kids. They will learn, even if it is about Captain Kirk. They will learn to think and treat history with respect. The government can’t do that. The government, which some claim needs to be small, seems to be getting bigger. I want politicians to think about my teachers; the ones who studied education and placed their lives and livelihood on the hope of kids like me. They are dependent on the rest of us for their

salary and health insurance and sick leave and retirement. They are dependent on people who may never have kids to care about the future of all kids. My kids love going to school. I’ve taught them that teachers are important, and that learning and listening are important. I’m asking my children to do what many adults won’t do — listen and learn. I’m thankful for the teachers who taught me. I pray without ceasing for the teachers who care for my children. There is no one way to educate a child. The teachers who touched my life did different things. They were experts in different areas, but the same in the care they provided. We shouldn’t put the kids first. We should put the teacher first, and the children will follow. I still see Mr. Bentley as he crouched over a deer killed by poachers. Her eyes were still open; the wound almost imperceptible. My science teacher asked us not to touch the body, but he did carefully. We watched, not understanding our grief. n DeKalb County native and author Nicki Salcedo is a graduate of Redan High School and Stanford University. She and her husband, Steven, are volunteers for the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon, and their children attend City Schools of Decatur. This article was originally published online at under the title “We Don’t Need No Education.”

e­ xperiences longer. The message was, “Give us more real-world experiences.” •  Improve compensation. This is never at the top of the list of why teachers leave, but it always makes the list. I know there are tremendous pressures on the state budget every year and many critical competing demands. But if it’s at all possible, let’s look for a way to fund a significant teacher raise and reflect the raise in the state salary schedule. •  Implement the new professional learning rules. These rules will provide a framework for support for all teachers. n



Georgia Policymakers and Educators Converse During Day on Capitol Hill By Josh Stephens, PAGE Legislative Policy Analyst


AGE, the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and the Georgia Association of Colleges of Teacher Education joined forces at the Georgia State Capitol Feb. 21 to hear important updates on education from policymakers and state leaders. With more than 350 in attendance, educators from across the state heard from Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), the House Transportation Committee chairman, as he provided an update on House Bill 338, the bill to help improve struggling schools. After thoughtful questioning of Tanner, attendees heard updates from Senate Education and Youth Chairman Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta), State School Superintendent Richard Woods and Teacher Retirement System of Georgia Executive Director Dr. Buster Evans. Following the morning session, attendees “worked the ropes” inside the Capitol to discuss important policy initiatives — most notably HB 338 — with their local legislators. In delivering the keynote address, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle discussed Career, Technical and Agricultural Education and Move on When Ready initiatives, which he labeled as critical to the future of education in Georgia. The House Education Committee chair-


man, Rep. Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth), discussed House Bill 237, his legislation that creates the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation to help fund aspects of HB 338. PAGE appreciates the partnership with GAEL and GACTE, as well as all of the program participants. Save the date for next year! The 2018 PAGE/GAEL/GACTE Day on Capitol Hill is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 20. Registration will open in November. n STATUS OF HB 338

As PAGE One went to press, HB 338 — the General Assembly’s most significant education legislation of the session — had passed out of the House to the Senate where a substitute was expected to be approved by the Senate Education Committee the week of March 20. Information on the final version of HB 338 and its impact on Georgia’s schools and educators will be detailed by PAGE legislative staff in Capitol Reports. Keep up with HB 338 and other legislative action of importance to educators by signing up for PAGE’s newsletter at

March/April 2017

March/April 2017


Day on Capitol Hill continued

Photos by Chris Savas

Visit to see a video report of Day on Capitol Hill


March/April 2017

Casey Cagle Promotes Career Academies and Charter Systems By Meg Thornton, PAGE One Associate Editor


n his new book, “Education Unleashed,” Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle outlines his vision for charter systems and college and career academies throughout Georgia. Cagle, a likely candidate for governor in 2018, promotes local decision-making in school systems, saying that communities should “come together to strategically determine” the course of education for themselves. A Republican, Cagle advocates “returning as much authority as possible back to school districts,” allowing systems to “freely allocate” their funding in exchange for locally developed accountability contracts. This approach of accountability measures designed to fit the needs of the different systems is used by 40 Georgia public school charter systems. Cagle warns readers that, “It is important to understand that charter systems operate very differently than stand-alone charter schools.” Charter systems require participation from entire school districts — “leaving no one behind.” Each school within a charter system maintains its own governance board, giving it flexibility to creatively design new instructional programs. Cagle points out that different systems — for example, a district with a high percentage of students who have free or reduced

‘It is important to understand that charter systems operate very differently than standalone charter schools.’

March/April 2017

lunch compared to an economically advantaged district — have different educational needs. Elementary, middle and high schools within charter systems can coordinate operations and consolidate administrative functions, and teachers can work in sync through a system network, he says. Local autonomy also enables teachers to design individualized learning plans for students. If one student needs more time to learn and another student is not being challenged, Cagle asserts that, “We should not cause both students to suffer by combining their scores so that we can claim them as part of an average school system.” On testing, Cagle writes that, although standardized testing is needed to demonstrate basic knowledge, more direct formative evaluation methods should be incorporated. He says districts need to decide which assessments they use to quantify progress.

‘I have made it one of my highest priorities to give every high school student in Georgia access to a college and career academy by 2020.’


Cagle touts his other cause just as clearly: “I have made it one of my highest priorities to give every high school student in Georgia access to a college and career academy by 2020.” In this model, schools typically partner with businesses and technical colleges so students can earn a technical certificate upon graduation and start work with a local company. Students receive specific training for a job that utilizes those skill sets, or they earn credit toward their postsecondary education. Currently, there are about 20,000 students enrolled in 37 academies

across the state, but many more skilled workers are needed. For example, some 20,000 jobs are available in health care, but there are only about 5,000 Georgians to fill them. “Ultimately,” Cagle says, “all of our state’s students should divide their four years of high school between two years of core academic and elective classes, and two years at a college and career academy, during which time they either prepare to obtain a four-year college degree and earn an associate degree, or enroll in a certification program to train for a career.” n PAGE ONE  21

Professional Learning

Adding Tools to the Arsenal of Engagement By Lynn Varner, PAGE One Contributing Editor


1 n January, PAGE Assistant Principal and Teacher Leadership Academy (APTLA) participants advanced toward their mission of transforming their schools into learning organizations. Amanda Carden, an assistant \ principal at Carrollton Elementary School (Carrollton City), said the experience has helped streamline decision-making at her school. “The three questions from Leo Tolstoy (discussed during the session) are now an essential part of any discussion regarding moving our school forward: ‘When is the best time to do things?’ ‘Who is the most important one?’ and ‘What is the right thing to do?’” Gary DeLoach, a fifth-grade teacher at North Columbus Elementary School (Muscogee), said, “Our team’s focus for our APTLA portfolio is increasing student engagement.” He also finds the “Can-If ” thinking map to be helpful because it prompts the team to consider the driving forces and restraining forces that are working for and against them during this growing process. n








March/April 2017

Photos by Lynn Varner 8



1. (l-r) Felicia Lovett and Lakesha Lane of Blakeney ES (Burke) and SGA ES (Burke) Assistant Principal Cynthia Griffin 2. Kim Tanksley of Waynesboro PS (Burke) 3. (l-r) Richard Washington of Burke Co. MS; Mia Lakes of Burke Co. Academy of Success; and Burke Co. MS Assistant Principal Cynthia Brogan 4. (l-r) Krista Hall, Assistant Principal Amber Garlin and Terrie Ponder of Rome HS (Rome City) 5. (l-r) Renee Dittmer and Paige Robbins of Cartersville PS; Lindy Beyea, Assistant Principal Becky Bryant and Kenya Ash of Cartersville ES (Cartersville City)


6. (l-r) Jessica Trimble, Jennifer Holley and Adrienne Chadwick of Calhoun PS/ES 7. (l-r) Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe HS (Catoosa) Assistant Principal Chance Nix and Oconee Co. HS Assistant Principal Kim Harmelink 8. (l-r) Sara Bright and Michelle Gambil of Cartersville MS; Cartersville HS Assistant Principal Shelley Tierce 9. (l-r) Katie Hamilton, Lisa Fowlkes and Nicole Hannon of Carrollton ES 10. (l-r) Gary DeLoach of North Columbus ES (Muscogee); Assistant Principals Montrell McLendon and Amanda Carden of Carrollton ES 11. (l-r) Carrollton ES Assistant Principals Montrell McLendon and Amanda Carden

March/April 2017


Professional Learning

Northwest Georgia Professional Learning Network Launched The first meeting of the PAGE Northwest Georgia District Network was held recently at Calhoun High School. The professional learning initiative brings together representatives from the school districts of Calhoun City, Catoosa County, Carrollton City, Cartersville City, Dalton City, Gordon County, Rome City and Walker County. Participants are working to transform their schools into engagementfocused learning organizations while networking across districts.


$1,000 Scholarships for Future and Veteran Educators … But You Can’t Win if You Don’t Apply!

ant to lose $1,000? It is easy if you fail to apply for a PAGE Foundation Scholarship that might have been yours. Each year, the PAGE Foundation offers several $1,000 scholarships to help aspiring and veteran educators earn advanced or undergraduate degrees. Winning a PAGE Foundation Scholarship might be easier than you think; in some categories, few candidates apply. All PAGE members, including college students, paraprofessionals and veteran educators, are encouraged to compete. More than $300,000 in scholarships have been awarded by the PAGE Foundation since 1986. You could be a future recipient, but you must apply. Visit to learn more. Application deadline is April 30, 2017.

Chantrell Bruton, one of several PAGE Foundation scholarship winners


March/April 2017


The State of Teacher Tenure has Changed Drastically By Jill Hay, PAGE General Counsel


s PAGE members are keenly aware, the state of teacher tenure or fair dismissal rights in Georgia for educators has drastically changed over the past several years. The main impetus to this change was that by June 30, 2015, each local system was required by law to notify the state department of education of its intentions to become a Charter, Strategic Waiver or Title 20/No Waiver school system. The basic differences among the three types of systems are as follows: •  A Strategic Waiver School System requests flexibility from certain state laws, rules and regulations in exchange for increased accountability through a contract with the State Board of Education. That contract establishes a framework on accountability, flexibility and consequences. •  A Title 20/No Waiver School System elects not to request flexibility in exchange for accountability, and therefore remains under all current laws, rules and regulations. •  A Charter School System is granted a general waiver exempting it from most state laws, rules and regulations. WHAT TENURES MEANS AND WHO STILL HAS IT

Under Title 20 of our current state law, there is a provision known as the Fair Dismissal Act (FDA). Once a teacher has signed a fourth-consecutive, full-year, fulltime contract by the same employer, he or she enjoys a standing commonly known as “tenure.” Acquiring tenure rights simply means that one has a right to expect continuous employment in that school system. In other words, the school system must renew the tenured teacher’s contract year after year unless good cause to non-renew can be shown in a hearing that is afforded to the teacher under the FDA. Given the recent changes in Georgia law and in the wake of the Day v. Floyd County Board of Education, 333 Ga. App. 144 (2015) decision, which we reported on a year ago, the status of tenure in these three different types of systems is as follows: •  Title 20/No Waiver School System: March/April 2017

Teacher tenure exists under the FDA, which remains unchanged. •  Strategic Waiver School System: Teacher tenure exists under the FDA as long as the system did not request flexibility from it through its contract with the state board. •  Charter School System: Teacher tenure under the FDA does not exist because the system has a general waiver from the law. Therefore, a charter system is not subject to the FDA unless the system’s charter explicitly states that the FDA applies. BOTTOM LINE FOR OUR MEMBERS

As we approach the time of year for renewals and contract issuances, educators need to take note of the status of their school systems. Currently, there are only two systems in Georgia that are No Waiver School Systems: Buford City and Webster County. Therefore, all other systems are either Charter or Strategic Waiver school systems. The status of Strategic Waiver School Systems and what each district’s contract allows to be waived can be found online at: If you are in a Strategic Waiver School System, unless your district asked for flexibility from the FDA in its contract, then the FDA applies. If you are in a Charter School System, then the FDA does not apply and you must research your charter, local policies and contract to determine what due process or fair dismissal rights your system has adopted. It is our hope that most Charter School Systems will adopt some form of fair dismissal rights for educators that would apply during the term of the one-year contracts, as well as adopt one for educators who have been employed in a district for a specified number of years as it relates to renewal of contracts. It is extremely important to take note of these policies and determine what rights you would have when considering where you want to teach next school year and with which system you want to sign your next contract with. We know educators want to work for districts that value high-quality, loyal educators and that have policies that will assure fair treatment of their employees. n

It is our hope that most Charter School Systems will adopt some form of fair dismissal rights for educators


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Professional Learning

South Forsyth Is 2017 PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades State Champion

The 2017 PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades State Champion South Forsyth Middle School: (front row, l-r) Emily Zhang, Team Captain Ben Hempker, Aadi Karthik and Rohan Desai; (back row, l-r), Coach Sharon Smith, Yugesh Muralidhar, Andy Zhang, and PAGE Foundation President Ann Stucke, Ph.D. Not pictured: team member Tom Ciaccia and coaches Liz Rushton and Ashley Calloway.

By Lynn Varner, PAGE One Contributing Editor


outh Forsyth Middle School is the 2017 PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades State Champion. The competition took place at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville in January. The day began with 24 semifinalist teams from across the state competing round-robin style. In the afternoon, the winning eight teams participated in a single-elimination competition. “It is exciting to watch these outstanding academic bowl participants compete,” said Dr. Ann Stucke, PAGE Foundation president. “We appreciate the months of study, training and hard work that each student did in order to participate in the state championship.” Continued on next page March/April 2017

(l-r) Aaron Cohn Middle School teammates John Cady, Carter Sloan, Patrick Cousins, Sean Aoki and Arthur Yao collaborate during the final round of the championship competition. PAGE ONE  27

Continued from previous page

Academic Bowl questions range from Georgia history to mathematics, science, literature and the performing arts. Teams compete against the clock to answer toss-up and bonus questions. The goal of the program is to inspire students to excel academically, enhance student self-confidence through high achievement and develop both a team and competitive spirit. Statewide, more than 1,300 students competed this school year at the local, regional and state levels. This year’s competition was sponsored by PAGE and Georgia College & State University, with the Collegiate Middle Level Association serving as the host organization. n

Collegiate Middle Level Association volunteers included (front row, l-r) Caroline Sweney, CMLA Academic Bowl Chair Samantha Frankel, Jordan Lee and Megan Hardy; (back row, l-r) Dr. Joanne Previts, associate professor of Middle Grades Education at GC&SU, and students Katelyn Simmons, Hollie Floyd and Ben Ford.

The Other Winners Second Place: Muscogee County School District’s Aaron Cohn Middle School, coached by Rebecca Perez Third Place: Fulton County Schools’ River Trail Middle School, coached by Sarah Roberson, Scott Fowler, Gina Ceely and Ryan Woods

What will a Master’s or EDS degree mean to you? • Professional Development: Expand your knowledge of teaching to improve your teaching. • Career Advancement: Earn an MA or EDS degree to open new doors for promotion. • Better pay: Teachers with an MA or EDS degree earn $6,000 to $12,000 more per year than teachers with only a bachelor’s degree. That can mean a lifetime increase in earnings and retirement contributions of more than $500,000.

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Fourth Place: Atlanta Public Schools’ Inman Middle School, coached by Jessica Hughes and Nia Cannon Fifth Place: Richmond County’s (independent) St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School, coached by Donna Skidmore, Barbara Lewis and Debbie Fain Sixth Place: Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Hull Middle School, coached by Kristin Chelko Seventh Place: Columbia County School District’s Evans Middle School, coached by Ashley Bowles and Kathy Noyce Eighth Place: Cobb County School District’s Dodgen Middle School, coached by Stephen Hansard

March/April 2017

Fulton County Schools...

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A Thank You to PAGE Foundation Donors and Friends Dear PAGE Foundation Donors and Friends, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” — Albert Einstein How does one “awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge?” The Professional Association of Georgia Educators believes it is through building trust and relationships. We appreciate the trust that you place in our organization through your continued support of our work. Your efforts profoundly affect the lives of students and educators across Georgia. Thank you for understanding the power of education in helping students and educators broaden their horizons for the betterment of themselves and their communities. PAGE and the PAGE Foundation have been building relationships since the mid-1970s through PAGE Foundation Scholarships, Future Georgia Educators, the PAGE Student and Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades and the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon. Since 2003, with the establishment of the PAGE Professional Learning Department, aspiring and existing Georgia educators are supported through career-long professional learning opportunities. Through the support and donations made possible by our association members, individual donors, businesses and charitable foundations, we are privileged to work with outstanding educators and students and to encourage academic excellence. Because you value education for all; believe in transforming it to include engaging, student-focused instruction; and act on these beliefs through your philanthropy, you are working for the common good of all children. We thank you and are honored by your support as we strive to serve the students and educators in our state. Ann Stucke, PAGE Foundation President


March/April 2017

Call for Nomination of PAGE Officers & Directors PAGE, a democratically run association, encourages members to participate in the election of its officers and directors. Positions are elected by majority vote at the annual PAGE online business meeting in May. The president-elect, secretary and treasurer are elected for one-year terms. Directors serve for three-year terms (on a staggered basis). Only active PAGE members in good standing are eligible to be officers and directors. Directors must have their place of business / office in the district in which they serve.

Nominees are sought for the following positions: President-Elect

Incumbent: Kelli De Guire, Gordon County


Incumbent: Megan King, Houston County


Incumbent: Lamar Scott, Elbert County District 9 Director Incumbent: Miranda Willingham (Term expires 6/30/2017) District 10 Director Incumbent: Shannon Hammond (Term expires 6/30/2017)

District 11 Director

Incumbent: Dr. Sandra Owens (Term expires 6/30/2017)

District 12 Director

Incumbent: Donna Graham (Term expires 6/30/2017)

District 13 Director

Incumbent: Dr. Hayward Cordy (Term expires 6/30/2017)

Submit nominations for officers and directors no later than April 15, 2017, via email to (or via U.S. mail to: Dr. Allene Magill, PAGE Executive Director, P.O. Box 942270, Atlanta, GA, 31141). Please include a brief outline of nominee qualifications.

Nomination deadline: April 15, 2017.

Have You Transferred Systems?

If you transferred from another school system where you were on payroll deduction, you must fill out the short PAGE application (online or paper) to transfer your membership. Otherwise your membership will expire.

Have You Moved or Has Your Contact Information Changed?

Update your contact information at membership.

Benefits begin immediately when you join or renew online.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA EDUCATORS LEGAL DEFENSE INC. CONSOLIDATING STATEMENTS OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2016 UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS REVENUES, GAINS AND OTHER SUPPORT PAGE CONTRIBUTION FOR LEGAL DEFENSE CLAIMS...............................................$1,478,611 PAGE CONTRIBUTION FOR LEGAL DEFENSE RESERVE FUND..................................$350,000 INTEREST INCOME................................................................................................................ $2,682 TOTAL..............................................................................................................................$1,831,293 EXPENSES LEGAL EXPENSES...........................................................................................................$1,021,099 LICENSE RENEWAL.................................................................................................................. $500 TOTAL EXPENSES...........................................................................................................$1,021,599 INCREASE (DECREASE) IN UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS...........................................$809,694 BEGINNING UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS....................................................................$662,870 ENDING UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS......................................................................$1,472,564 PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA EDUCATORS LEGAL DEFENSE INC. BALANCE SHEET JUNE 30, 2016 ASSETS CASH, CASH EQUIVALENTS, SHORT-TERM INVESTMENTS AND DOI RESERVE FUND.............................................................................................................$2,269,928 TOTAL ASSETS..............................................................................................................$2,269,928 LIABILITIES & EQUITY LEGAL CLAIMS PAYABLE...................................................................................................$56,706 LEGAL CLAIMS LOSS RESERVE......................................................................................$691,908 TAXES PAYABLE.................................................................................................................$48,750

Georgia’s Largest Professional Association for Educators. 92,000+ members and growing.

OFFICERS President Amy Denty President-Elect Kelli De Guire Treasurer Lamar Scott Past-President Stephanie Davis Howard Secretary Megan King DIRECTORS District 1 District 8 Dr. Oatanisha Dawson Lindsey Martin District 2 District 9 Brecca Pope Miranda Willingham District 3 District 10 Jamilya Mayo Shannon Hammond District 4 District 11 Rochelle Lofstrand Dr. Sandra Owens District 5 District 12 Nick Zomer Donna Graham District 6 District 13 Dr. Susan Mullins Dr. Hayward Cordy District 7 Lance James Ex-Officio Vickie Hammond


TOTAL LIABLITIES............................................................................................................$797,364 UNRESTRICED NET ASSETS........................................................................................$1,472,564 TOTAL LIABLITIES AND NET ASSETS........................................................................$2,269,928

The articles published in PAGE One represent the views of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, except where clearly stated. Contact the editor: Craig Harper,; PAGE One, PAGE, P.O. Box 942270, Atlanta, GA 31141-2270; 770-216-8555 or 800-334-6861. Contributions/gifts to the PAGE Foundation are deductible as charitable contributions by federal law. Costs for PAGE lobbying on behalf of members are not deductible. PAGE estimates that 7 percent of the nondeductible portion of your 2016-17 dues is allocated to lobbying. PAGE One (ISSN 1523-6188) is mailed to all PAGE members, selected higher education units and other school-related professionals. An annual subscription is included in PAGE membership dues. A subscription for others is $10 annually. Periodicals class nonprofit postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing offices. (USPS 017-347) Postmaster: Send address changes to PAGE One, P.O. Box 942270, Atlanta, GA 31141–2270. PAGE One is published five times a year (January, March, May, August and October) by New South Publishing Inc., 9040 Roswell Road, Suite 210, Atlanta, GA 30350; 770-650-1102. Copyright ©2017.

March/April 2017



As the largest private preparer of educators in Georgia, Mercer University produces graduates who are creating transformative change in their classrooms. For busy educators seeking professional learning, Mercer’s flexible evening, hybrid and online programs offer ideal solutions.

Learn more about Mercer’s education degrees and certification programs. 800.762.5404 Degrees & Programs Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) • Early Childhood/Special Education • Early Learning and Development* • Middle Grades Education Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) • Early Childhood Education • Middle Grades Education • Secondary Education • Secondary Education – STEM

Master of Education (M.Ed.) • Early Childhood Education • Educational Leadership (P-12) • Higher Education Leadership* • Independent and Charter School Leadership* • Middle Grades Education • Reading Specialist • Secondary Education

Initial Teaching Certification (Non-Degree) Undergraduate • Early Childhood/Special Education • Middle Grades Education • Secondary Education Graduate • Early Childhood Education • Middle Grades Education • Secondary Education

Education Specialist (Ed.S.) • Early Childhood Education • Educational Leadership • Teacher Leadership

Initial Educator Certification (Non-Degree) Graduate • Educational Leadership

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) • Curriculum and Instruction • Educational Leadership Higher Education Leadership Track P-12 School Leadership Track

Endorsements • Autism • Early Childhood (K-5) Math • Early Childhood (K-5) Science • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) • Reading

*These programs do not lead to certification.

Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Education programs that lead to initial and advanced certification are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC).