PAGE One Magazine, Aug.-Sept. 2014

Page 1

August/September 2014

The Growing

With 27.2% of the state’s children living in poverty, Georgia now has the 6th highest childhood poverty rate in the nation.


in Georgia K-12 Schools

U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey Profile September 2013

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August/September 2014

Vol. 36 No. 1



06  The Growing Face of Poverty in Georgia K–12 Schools 14  PAGE Summer Event: Georgia Educators Examine Poverty’s Toll



4  From the President Georgia Educators on the Frontline of The Invisibile Epidemic

Guest Columns 16  A Restoration of Purpose: Building a Foundation of Democratic Values

5  From the Executive Director To Meet Student Needs, We Must Engage in Public Policy at the Grassroots Level


18  Georgia’s New Tiered Certification System Technology 22  Integrate Technology with These Fun, Interactive Apps

2014 FEAST Participants ‘Dive Into Teaching’ 28  Honor Your Favorite Teacher News and Information 29  PAGE Welcomes Two New Membership Services Representatives 30  MSR Map 32  2014–15 PAGE Planner

Foundation News 24  ‘A PAGE Turning Event’ to Honor Wells Fargo and Mike Donnelly Chick-fil-A Foundation Donates $30,000 PAGE Foundation Awards Annual Scholarships 26  PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon Teams Earn Record Number of Medals at Nationals PAGE ONE magazine 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.

August/September 2014

26 Editorial Staff

New South Publishing

Editor Tim Callahan

President Larry Lebovitz

Graphic Designer Jack Simonetta

Associate Editor Meg Thornton

Publisher John Hanna

Production Coordinator Amber Mosler

Contributing Editor Lynn Varner

Editor Lindsay Field

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

Associate Editor Jacqui Frasca


From The President

Georgia Educators on the Frontline of ‘The Invisible Epidemic’ Leslie Mills

I call poverty the ‘invisible epidemic’ because educators and communities throughout the state have selflessly worked to counter its devastating impact.



have never been prouder to call myself a Georgia educator than during the 2013-2014 school year. As a First District RESA consultant, I’ve had the privilege to work in schools throughout southeast Georgia. I have seen educators meeting the demands of TKES/LKES, SLOs, budget cuts, higher healthcare insurance premiums and a shortened school year, while working harder than ever to achieve academic excellence. The challenges for Georgia educators and their students have never been greater. In addition to budget cuts during the past decade, the number of Georgia children living in poverty has soared, making Georgia one of the poorest states in the nation. I call poverty the “invisible epidemic” because educators and communities throughout the state have selflessly worked to counter its devastating impact. While school personnel have not seen a pay increase in years, they continually attempt to meet the burgeoning essential needs of all Georgia students. As a result, if you walk into a Georgia classroom, you often cannot distinguish impoverished children from their classmates. In schools throughout Georgia, teachers pack weekend bags to ensure that hungry students receive nourishing food when not in school. Summer is a particular worry. In one district, the nutrition director solicited grant money to provide children with lunches during the summer. Buses delivered lunches, and if students needed a safe environment to eat, they were invited to seek refuge on the bus. In another district that requires school uniforms, each school maintains a closet so that children from low-income families have access to uniforms. The first year

that the policy was in place, a high school student from a low-income family told his principal, “Look, we are all rich now!” Like poverty, homelessness is also on the rise. Reportedly, Georgia has more than 35,000 homeless students, but many people believe that the number is underreported. According to the McKinney Vento Act, homeless children and youth are defined as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.” This includes children and youth who are: •  Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as “doubled up”); •  Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camp grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; •  Living in emergency or transitional shelters; •  Abandoned in hospitals; •  Awaiting foster care placement; or •  Living in a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. I am proud to be a Georgia educator, but I am disheartened by the decade of budget cuts. In this important election year, we must educate ourselves on each of the political candidates so that we can better educate all Georgia students. We must determine which candidates are willing to restore full funding for public education in Georgia. Learn about the candidates, and then get out and vote. Educators must also continue to tell their stories through “Community Conversations.” If we do not tell our stories, it is likely that an inaccurate version n will be told for us.

August/September 2014

From The Executive Director

To Meet Student Needs, We Must Engage in Public Policy at the Grassroots Level Dr. Allene Magill


his issue of PAGE One addresses the alarming growth of poverty among Georgia students. Our state now ranks sixth in the nation for the percentage of low-income students in K–12 schools. Nearly 60 percent of all Georgia students are impoverished. That’s challenging enough, but couple it with the fact that public school funding has been cut by $8 billion in the past decade, and we have a serious crisis on our hands. As you read the cover story, you will recognize the students whose lives are depicted. You’ve seen them at school. They are in your classrooms or in those of your colleagues. You’ve joined in helping them. Educators have always worked to assist underprivileged students, but as I travel throughout the state, I am learning that there is a difference now in the number of students who need special support and the types of support they need. Schools are struggling to meet student needs in ways that schools were never set up to do. That was the message at our June conference in Atlanta where we brought together teams of educators from schools throughout the state. They heard from the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) about the alarming growth of low-income students and from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) regarding the stark decline in education funding. Learning that we are sixth in the nation in low-income students and 40th in K–12 funding does not come as a shock to educators, but it is a reality to be reckoned with and one that should shock the public conscience.

August/September 2014

There is a difference now in the number of students who need special support and the types of support they need. Schools are struggling to meet student needs in ways that schools were never set up to do. We took this message to the Georgia Association of Education Leaders conference this summer, where I was asked to present the Fulbright Lecture. I used this opportunity to share unpleasant facts with my colleagues in leadership positions at schools and systems throughout the state. I wish you could have seen the heads nodding as I described the situation. I began the lecture by establishing a common understanding of the situation created by the two phenomena: increased poverty and decreased funding. My main point was to urge action on multiple fronts. First, we have to do what we do best—meeting the comprehensive needs of our students, taking them where we find them. Second, we must reach out to our communities. Local citizens may not be aware of the totality of the problems we are facing, and they cannot help us if they do not know.

Through our “Community Conversations” initiative and guide, now available on the PAGE website, we are working with systems throughout Georgia on ways to convene representative groups in local communities—business, civic, church, legislative delegations and others—to share the message and engage them in helping educators meet the challenges. This fall, we will also take the GBPI and the SEF data on the road in a planned series of regional meetings to drive home the message that we are shortchanging our students, and in doing so, we are shortchanging our state’s future. We simply must do better. Finally, we are continuing our efforts to get more educators registered to vote and then out to vote on election day. This information is also on the PAGE website. If the past 10 years have taught us anything, it is that we cannot simply expect that K–12 education will be appropriately funded. We must engage in the public policy process at the grassroots level. An important part of that is addressed with Community Conversations, but the truly critical piece of it takes place at the ballot box. PAGE brings the message of public education to the General Assembly each and every day, but that alone is not enough. You must register and vote, and let your legislative delegation hear from you regularly. The facts of poverty in our schools are real. The funding crisis is equally real. We have the tools to tackle both situations. Let’s n join together and do it.


… about 57 percent of

The Growing

of With 27.2% of the state’s children living in poverty, Georgia now has the 6th highest childhood poverty rate in the nation. U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey Profile September 2013


About 57 percent of the students in Georgia’s public schools are considered low-income, according to “A New Majority: Low Income Students in the South and Nation,” a 2013 report from the Southern Education Foundation. The state ranked sixth—in terms of having the highest percentage of lowincome children in the public school student population—behind Mississippi (71 percent), New Mexico (68 percent), Louisiana (66 percent), Oklahoma (61 percent) and Arkansas (60 percent).

August/September 2014

students in Georgia’s public schools are low-income


By Christine Van Dusen

ne girl quietly asked for two breakfasts in the cafeteria. Another said her family moved more often than the birds. A third, when presented with a picture book, didn’t know what it was or that it could open. A little boy, who in December knew how to write his own name, somehow lost the skill by March and seemed too distracted and tired to

The study also found that 87 percent of the school districts in Georgia serve a majority of low-income students. Educators know that these students need special support and intervention to succeed and that the programs cost money—money that many schools simply don’t have. To help, the 2015 state budget includes a $350 million increase in education funding, but administrators say this will do little to reverse the $8 billion in austerity cuts they’ve suffered in the past decade.

learn it again. Another boy showed up at school and at 15 couldn’t identify simple shapes. Yet another is living inside a storage unit at night. These children are from all over Georgia, attending public schools in districts as different as the City of Atlanta and rural Taliaferro County in northwest Georgia, but they have one thing in common—poverty.

Behind all the dollars and data points are the students, and in Georgia, they’re more and more likely to show up to school hungry because they can’t afford food, are tired because they’re taking care of their siblings or are scared because they don’t know where they’re going to sleep that night—or all of the above. “People recognize that poverty has increased, but I don’t think they understand the full impact it has on the child,” says Reada Hamm, principal at Lanier

County Middle School in south Georgia. “They don’t realize that these kids, while they’re trying to get a good score on a standardized test, they’re also worrying about what’s going to be on the table tonight and whether the lights will stay on.” And that’s if the students make it to school at all. “I’ve had students who disappeared for two weeks,” says Lisa Beck, a science teacher and academic decathlon coach at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Catoosa County, which borders

in Georgia K-12 Schools August/September 2014


The 2015 state budget includes a $350 million increase in education funding, but that will do little to reverse the $8 billion in austerity cuts suffered in the past decade. Tennessee. “They didn’t have electricity. They didn’t have a place to get ready for school. This is the reality for kids living in poverty.”

A Life in Chaos

One week, the 5-year-old boy could write

his own name, but the next he couldn’t. His attention drifted and his motivation leaked away, and his teacher didn’t know why. It wasn’t an issue of an attention disorder or a lack of interest in school—the boy was distracted by the chaos of his personal life. His father was sent to jail and his mother suffered from mental illness. They lost their home and moved into a motel, then moved in with a grandmother where several other family members were already bunking up. “You could see in the child’s eyes how worried he was,” says Jackie Taylor, the lead social worker for Dalton Public Schools, also in northwest Georgia. His bed was the living room couch, and every night his aunt and uncle would sit there with the television turned up loud, keeping the boy from getting the rest he needed. “I met with the child’s mother and talked about this, and she opened up,” Taylor says. “The next thing I knew, he came to school and said, ‘We’re moving, and I don’t know when.’” Taylor drove past his house and saw his family’s belongings out on the street.

From the website of Family Promise Augusta, an interfaith network.

Poverty Rates of Georgia’s 5 Largest Cities* 30%


More Than 94,000 Poor Georgia Children Not Served by Child Care and Early Education Programs







29,000 Georgia Head Start (including Early Head Start) 34,000 Children Under 6 Served by GA CAPS


10% 48,000 Low-Income Children Served by GA Pre-K







Source: *Poverty rates of the overall population. Child poverty rates are higher.


94,000 Poor Children Under 5 Not Receiving Public Supported Early Ed.

Columbus Source: Georgia Budget & Policy Institute report, March 2014

August/September 2014

A Science Buff’s Unrealized Potential

The 16-year-old boy was a science whiz. He could look at any experiment and analyze its complex parts, but he never knew when his mother would be around or when she’d disappear. If she wasn’t in jail, she was following a new boyfriend to yet another part of Catoosa County. “This kid was brilliant. This is someone who could have achieved at high levels if he had the support at home,” Beck recalls. “He was a good student, but he didn’t have a place to study or the work ethic that you get from a stable household.” At night, after meeting with the academic decathlon team, he’d climb into a friend’s car and take a ride through town until he arrived home. Home wasn’t in a leafy residential neighborhood. He lived in a storage unit. “He had a good sense of humor about his situation,” Beck says. “He wasn’t bitter, he just knew this was the way his life was.” The boy finished high school, but he didn’t make it to college. He ended up in jail and then Beck lost track of him. “We’ve had multiple stu-

dents in this past year who were kicked out of their houses. There are students who are hungry in my class,” she says. “There are students who live in households with people who are not equipped to parent effectively. All of these kinds of things are working against the students. They can be high achievers, but they can

In Georgia, (students) are more likely to come to school hungry because they can’t afford food, are tired because they’re taking care of their siblings or are scared because they don’t know where they’re going to sleep that night—or all of the above. More than 1 in every 4 Georgia children are food insecure—28.8%. That’s more than 700,000 children under age 18. (Feeding America, 2013)

Low-Income Students Achieve Reading and Math Proficiency at Lower Levels 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Fourth-Grade Reading Proficiency

Eighth-Grade Reading Proficiency

Fourth-Grade Math Proficiency

Eighth-Grade Math Proficiency

Low-Income Georgia Students (eligible for F&R Lunch) Georgia Students Not Eligible for F&R Lunch

Source: Georgia Budget & Policy Institute report, March 2014

August/September 2014


At night, after meeting with the academic decathlon team, he’d climb into a friend’s car and take a ride through town until he arrived home. Home wasn’t in a leafy residential neighborhood. He lived in a storage unit. still fall behind because they are dealing with all of these other issues.”

18 Cats and Heaps of Trash

The teacher was concerned. One of her students, an 11-year-old boy, had terrible body

odor and wasn’t keeping up good hygiene. A social worker was brought in, and she talked to the boy about his home life. He told her that he lived with his grandmother and 18 cats, and that the pets sometimes got lost in the mess of the house. When two sought refuge in the clothes dryer, he said, they were killed when his grandmother turned on the machine. The social worker drove to his tiny and dilapidated home in Dalton and saw that the porch was cluttered with dirty clothes, boxes of electronics, screws, plastic flowers, broken dishes, kitty litter, old ceiling fans and other garbage. The grandmother waved off the social worker’s concerns, blaming the boy’s problems on puberty, so he continued to go to school in the same condition, struggling to make friends but easily endearing himself to his teachers. Despite his problems, he still managed to pass all of his classes and exceeded expectations in science, giving the social worker hope that the boy might break the cycle of poverty in his family.

‘You could see in the child’s eyes how worried he was.’ His bed was the living room couch, and every night his aunt and uncle sat there with the television turned up loud. Lower Educational Attainment Keeps Georgians Closer to Poverty Line Median Salary by Educational Attainment (Poverty Line for a Family of Three)

30% $51,979 (284% of FPL)

$60,000 $50,000







$40,000 $30,000

Poverty on the Rise in Georgia, But Faster in the Suburbs

$20,925 (114% of FPL)

$27,706 (152% of FPL)

$29,453 (161% of FPL)









$0 Less than High School

High School

Some College

Source: Georgia Budget & Policy Institute report, March 2014





Bachelor’s or Higher





Rural Areas


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey

August/September 2014

‘Teachers are spending their own money to pay for supplies and activities for the students. ... So many issues go unresolved. Our education system, as an institution, isn’t set up to serve students in poverty.’ —Lisa Beck, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School (Catoosa County) First Day of School at 16

While his classmates were reading “Romeo and Juliet,” the 16-year-old boy was struggling to identify basic shapes. He mostly spoke Spanish, but even in his native language, he didn’t have the basic academic skills that most children learn in elementary school. He was an “unaccompanied minor,” a child who traveled to the United States from Guatemala by himself. He had just the clothes on his back and one pair of worn-down shoes on his feet. He was sent to live in a small apartment with 10 other people, some distant relatives and some distant strangers, in a rural county in Georgia. The boy had never gone to school even for a day, so he could not read, write or point out the color red. And then this boy found himself in a high school classroom, surrounded by native English speakers whose skills far surpassed his, but he was happy to be there because there was a school for him to attend. He wouldn’t have to work for any dangerous men in his home country, and the place where he was living had a floor and air conditioning.

Gifted Writer Escapes Her Fate

In a speech at school, the girl spoke softly but sadly about how people judged her mother harshly—that they assumed

Educators Identify 6 (of Many) Critical Needs Georgia educators would, of course, welcome more funding as a means to address the issue of poverty in their schools. Absent that, what do teachers and administrators wish they had in order to better provide for low-income students and prepare them for a solid future?


Interaction with role models in the professional world

“Students don’t have access to professionals, and they don’t know how to interact with professional adults,” says Lisa Beck of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Catoosa County. “That puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to interviewing for awards, honors and jobs.”


Follow-up after students graduate from high school

“We’re judged so much on graduation rates, but we send a lot of kids out unprepared,” Beck says. “We give them as much rigor as we can and expose them to as many opportunities as we can, and then they get out and there are no support structures. It’s very sad. We get them to the point where they can move on, and then some can’t overcome the barriers they’ve faced all their lives.” Nancy Ratcliffe, PAGE District 7 member services representative and a retired educator, says, “They receive scholarships, but they oftentimes don’t have the family support or the emotional support. They may go to college, but they often return home simply because there are too many things going on in their family life and the family can’t support them. It makes that cycle so difficult.”


Access to local colleges

“The nearest college to us is 50 miles away, so it’s not like any metro area, where you have a college at your doorstep,” says Allen Fort, Quitman County superintendent. “So, our kids are behind the eight ball, in terms of poverty and in other ways.”


Reinforcement at home

“We get bogged down in the 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. of what’s happening at school, and sometimes we send these kids home and there’s just no reinforcement,” Fort says. “There’s not continuous learning there. There’s no motivation to learn.”


Extension of the school year to at least 180 days

“There is regression when they’re off in the summer,” says Dr. Jim Hawkins, superintendent of Dalton Public Schools and secretary for the Board of Education.


Education and training for parents and other caregivers

“A lot of our families living in poverty are there because of a lack of education on the part of the parents,” says Jackie Taylor, lead social worker in Dalton. “The parents can’t accept the most basic public assistance because the applications are online and they have to recertify every six months online. They don’t have computers and don’t know how to use them.”

Continued on page 12 August/September 2014


The 16-year-old boy was a science whiz. He could look at any experiment and analyze its complex parts, but he never knew when his mother would disappear. she was looking for a handout when all she wanted was the chance to support her family. Then the girl would disappear from school in Catoosa County for weeks at a time. Her teachers soon learned it was because her family didn’t have enough money to keep the electricity on inside their beat-up trailer. “Sometimes people have a hard time and need help to get back going,” Beck says. “She found it frustrating that she couldn’t focus on school as much as she wanted to.” In another speech, the girl wrote about how her mother had been hardworking until she was forced to go on disability and how the family struggled to stay financially afloat. “They were on food stamps and several times were close to eviction,” Beck remembers. “The girl was very proud that her mom had

87 percent of the school districts in Georgia serve a majority of low-income students.

worked so hard her whole life.” The student, however, found her voice and her place in school and was a beautiful writer. She ended up receiving a scholarship to a Georgia college, where she is thriving. She’s an exception, but Georgia’s educators want to make her the rule. “Teachers are spending their own money to pay for supplies and activities for the students,” Beck notes. “It’s not that the school or district doesn’t care; the school is giving us what it can, but so many issues go unresolved. Our education system, as an institution, isn’t set up to serve students in poverty. Something has to change. Maybe we can’t get more money from the state, but we n need to make this issue a priority.”

Educators face extraordinary challenges teaching children of poverty. Lisa Beck of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School offers her perspective in this brief video interview with PAGE TV: http://page. agetv/?page=949&tab=2&tab=2

Young Audiences has a new name!

In-school programs – No travel expense or time n Performances for large groups of students to experience and appreciate art. n Hands-on Workshops for small groups to understand and create art. n In-depth Residencies for students to connect art to other learning including critical literacy skills.

For more information or to schedule a program: • 404.733.5293 12  PAGE ONE

August/September 2014

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M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education This program is designed to build on the Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Early Childhood Education and meets the requirements to earn an upgraded teaching certificate (T5) from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

MAT in Special Education: Adapted Curriculum The MAT Special Education Program in Adapted Curriculum is designed for teachers of students with significant disabilities who are not currently certified in special education-adapted curriculum.

MAT in Special Education: General Curriculum The MAT in Special Education Program in General Curriculum is designed for teachers of students with mild to moderate disabilities who are not currently certified in special education – general curriculum.

Ed.S. in Special Education The Education Specialist Program is designed for





speech pathologists) who wish to advance their professional skills in special education.

A Comprehensive University of the University System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution

PAGE Summer Event:

Georgia Educators Examine Poverty’s Toll


he PAGE Summer Event convened more than 150 educators to take a hard look at growing poverty among children in Georgia and the toll it is taking on education. “We often concentrate more on curriculum and educational design than the actual living conditions of a vast number of our

children,” said Harold Chambers, director of the Coastal Plains Georgia Regional Education Service Agency (RESA). “Speakers at the PAGE event presented comprehensive data showing the state’s true depth of poverty and its influence on children and their ability to learn.” Claire Suggs, senior education policy analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, addressed Georgia’s shrinking investment in education. Steve Suitts, vice president of the Southern Education Foundation, focused on the imperatives to educate Georgia’s new majority: low income students. Educators can use the GBPI and SEF data, as well as a host of resources provided on the PAGE Community Conversations website, as a platform to inform citizens and policymakers about the dire need to address poverty in their local communities and throughout Georgia. “The PAGE event was eye-opening and enlightening,” said Wes Taylor, superintendent of Lowndes County Schools. “That’s what we have come to expect from PAGE—rich professional learning coupled with opportunities to interact with educators n from across Georgia.”



1. Steve Suitts, vice president of the Southern Education Foundation, focused on the imperatives to educate Georgia’s new majority: lowincome students. 2. (left to right) RESA directors Carolyn Williams, Dr. Hayward Cordy and Dr. Steve Miletto 3. The Schlechty Center’s Annissa Roland 4. PAGE Director of Human Resources Gayle Wooten

3 14  PAGE ONE

4 August/September 2014

2 1





1. Retired educator Maggie Glennon (left) and PAGE President Leslie Mills. 2. Dr. Tammie F. Patterson (left) and Tonja Healey of the Brooks County Central Office 3. PAGE Executive Director Dr. Allene Magill 4. & 5: Dr. Pamela Anders (left) and Lynn Robertson, both of Aaron Cohn MS, Muscogee County



6. Ellyn Angelotti, faculty of Social Media & the Law, The Poynter Institute 7. Tim Helms, SW Georgia RESA director 8. & 9: PAGE Summer Event attendees

9 August/September 2014

Photos by Meg Thornton


A Restoration of Purpose

Building a Foundation of Democratic Values

By Principal Philip Brown, Ph.D., North Oconee High School


Principal Philip Brown

ur school leadership team was recently charged with reviewing the school mission, vision and crest. Divided into four quadrants, the crest signifies the importance of a comprehensive education. After some discussion, one teacher twisted the meeting like Herschel Walker running through a defensive line in the 1980s. The teacher asked, “How can we have this crest without including a Scantron bubble sheet with A, B, C and D multiple choices?” A laugh or two filled the room followed by intense silence. The teacher’s poignant question pushed back against the low-level discussion and transformed the conversation. It required us to focus on essential questions that are often overlooked: •  What is the purpose of America’s public schools? •  Do our current practices match the purpose of America’s public schools? Recent research unveiled that Americans’ view

We must tell the accurate stories of our students who succeed against the odds and of the educators who work diligently to provide students with a first-rate education. Speaking together, we have a powerful narrative filled with teachers, administrators and community members working to build stronger communities. 16  PAGE ONE

of public education is distorted due to the perspective of the lens. In Phi Delta Kappa’s recent annual poll, 53 percent of Americans gave public schools within their own community a grade of A or B. Conversely, 72 percent assigned a grade of C or D to schools outside of their community (Bushaw & Lopez, 2013). Apparently, negative stories of the failures of America’s public schools have blurred the lenses of Americans. Educators have the power to greatly influence the viewpoints of others, although we often fail to acknowledge it. We say things such as, “I’m only one person,” or “that is above my pay grade.” Instead, we must tell the accurate stories of our students who succeed against the odds and of the educators who work diligently to provide students with a first-rate education. Speaking together, we have a powerful narrative filled with teachers, administrators and community members working to build stronger communities. It’s Time to Refocus and Collaborate

During a visit to Yosemite National Park, I was awed by the beauty of our country and by our nation’s work to preserve it. While there, a National Park Service ranger reminded me of the story of the giant sequoia trees. For years, park rangers, along with scientists and firefighters, worked tirelessly to protect the massive trees, especially from fire. Later, researchers discovered that their efforts were having the opposite effect. The trees were dwindling in number precisely because they need fire to reproduce. To germinate, a sequoia seed must be opened— August/September 2014

The truth is that fewer than half of Georgia’s public school educators are even registered to vote. Until many more Georgia educators participate in this critical civic responsibility, the governor and legislators will continue to insist that we need to do more with much, much less. the heat of fire opens the seeds and generates new trees. The story reminded me of our fight to save public education. Are we focusing our efforts in the right direction? How can we build bridges among politicians and business, industry and media members to spotlight the importance of public education in Georgia? PAGE and others are asking educators and community leaders throughout Georgia to hold “Community Conversations.” The goal is for citizens to work collaboratively to support their local public schools. Such a conversation should start with a macro perspective of the classic purpose of public schools: to prepare youth to participate in a democracy. With the push for economic development, it often feels as if some citizens believe that our schools should, first and foremost, serve the needs of a community’s business interests. Business is critical, of course, but preparing our youth to be responsible citizens must remain our overriding mission. With that understanding, communities can then narrow the conversation to the programmatic needs of specific communities. Educators Must Speak Up and Vote

In a time when austerity cuts have reduced education funding in Georgia by more than $8 billion in the past decade, educators must be the most vocal advoAugust/September 2014

cates of public education. Boys and girls in Echols County in south Georgia, as well as children in downtown Atlanta and throughout Georgia, deserve an education equaling that of America’s most privileged private schools. The health of our republic depends on it. But the truth is that fewer than half of Georgia’s public school educators are even registered to vote. Until many more Georgia educators participate in this critical civic responsibility, the governor and legislators will continue to insist that we need to do more with much, much less. Furthermore, how can educators who are not registered to vote encourage students to vote? The best educators have always practiced what they preach. My prayer is for public education to continue to be the great equalizer of the haves and have-nots. I desire for our students to receive the same education provided to the children of the wealthiest families in our nation. My wish is for us to preserve public education in the same way that our national park rangers work diligently to protect the beauty of our fine nation. And yes, Georgia

In a time when austerity cuts have reduced education funding in Georgia by more than $8 billion in the past decade, educators must be the most vocal advocates of public education. educators, I expect us to continue to stand on the front lines. We may have been burned a time or two, but the fires have opened new seeds that allow us to refocus our energy on our most important resource: our students. And in the end, I hope that our school crests display a broad view of student achievement in the classroom, in the arts, on the athletic fields and in our communities. Maybe next time we can leave n out the answer bubble sheet.

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Georgia’s New Tiered Certification System By Dr. David Hill, Director of Educator Preparation, Georgia Professional Standards Commission

To provide comprehensive, timely and accurate information to educators, PAGE invited the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to provide this article. No organizational endorsement on the part of PAGE should be inferred.


he Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) passed new rules this spring to create a Tiered Certification System for Georgia educators. While many states have tiered certification systems, Georgia’s new system is more comprehensive, including a Pre-Service certificate for candidates in teacher education programs, as well as an advanced tier that recognizes teacher excellence and provides opportunities for teacher leaders to take on significant instructional leadership roles in schools. Implementation will be staged over the next several years. All Georgia educators who held Clear Renewable certificates found that their certificates were converted to Standard Professional certificates in early July. This conversion was done electronically so no action was needed on the part of the educator. The term “professional” is commonly used throughout the nation to describe those certificates that can be renewed. The term “standard” will be used to describe certificates for those who are not evaluated under the statewide evaluation system. Once the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) is fully in place, teachers evaluated under the state evaluation system will demonstrate their ability to impact student performance. Multiple years of proficient or exemplary performance will allow these teachers to convert to performance-based certificates. In the past two years, the GaPSC staff has made numerous presentations at various meetings throughout the state to help educators understand the impact of a tiered certification system. In addition, focus groups were used last summer to get educator input. A task force of Georgia educators worked for a year to create a certification system that will support improved student achievement, as well as provide opportu-

Induction-level teachers will hold non-renewable certificates, which will be converted to renewable professional certificates after three years as teachers demonstrate the ability to raise student achievement.


nities for teachers to grow professionally without having to leave the classroom. The tiered certification rules are designed to accomplish several goals. Since the new rules link certification to the statewide evaluation system, one purpose is to raise student achievement by linking educator performance to improved student achievement. During the five-year certificate renewal cycle, teachers must demonstrate proficient or exemplary performance for at least four of the five years in the cycle. Summative performance ratings below proficient must be reported to GaPSC. Educators with any combination of two or more summative performance ratings of “needs development” or “ineffective” are not eligible for renewal until the performance deficiencies have been satisfactorily remediated. A second purpose is to improve teacher preparation by raising the requirements that teacher candidates must meet to enter the profession. The new rules create a Pre-Service certificate that all teacher candidates must hold to student teach in Georgia schools. Holding the PreService certificate will bring the student teacher under the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators. In addition, teacher candidates will need to successfully complete a nationally normed content pedagogy assessment, edTPA, as well as complete a modular program with accompanying assessments on educator ethics. A third purpose is to provide a support system for early-career teachers through differentiated support during a three-year induction period. Induction-level teachers will hold nonrenewable certificates, which will be converted to renewable professional certificates after three years as teachers demonstrate the ability to raise student achievement. As new teachers enter the profession, they will bring with them edTPA results (out-of-state educators may have a different pedagogy assessment) scored across 15 different rubrics allowing school systems to better meet the learning needs of early-career teachers. Finally, the new-tiered certification system Continued on page 20 August/September 2014

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During the five-year certificate renewal cycle, teachers must demonstrate proficient or exemplary performance for at least four of the five years in the cycle. Continued from page 18

is designed to provide opportunities for teachers to grow, yet remain in the classroom. High-performing teachers will be recognized through Advanced Professional and Lead Professional certificates. Lead Professionals will make up a corps of teacher leaders trained to support early-career teachers and serve as leaders in school-learning communities. Lead Professionals will have advanced preparation in teacher leadership either through a degree or one of several endorsements that equip teachers with skills in leading professional learning, coaching, mentoring and other teacher leader functions. Advanced Professional certificate holders will also hold advanced degrees or a National Board Certification. Both Lead Professionals and Advanced Professionals must demonstrate the ability to raise student achievement. The implementation timeline began with the conversion of Clear Renewable certificates to Standard Professional certificates. Georgia also began issuing Induction certificates at that time, and then on July 1, 2015, Lead Professional and Pre-Service certificates will be issued for the first time. Advanced Professional certificates will not be issued until sufficient TKES data is available and the state is confident in the reliability of this data. So, what really changes under a tiered certification system? First, Georgia moves from a state where teachers leave the classroom in order to grow professionally. Now, teachers may choose to make a career in the classroom knowing they have the opportunity to become Lead or Advanced Professionals. Second, by singling out early-career teachers with an Induction certificate, the state has the opportunity to create a strong support system that might encourage more teachers to remain in the profes20  PAGE ONE

sion. For many years, data consistently showed that about 40 percent of teachers leave the profession by the end of their fifth year. Providing a strong induction system with differentiated support may help reduce the number that leave. Third, more emphasis is placed on improving teacher preparation. The Pre-Service certificate is designed to significantly raise standards for those who will enter the profession. Fourth, the system makes a distinction between teachers who are the teacher of record and can therefore produce Teacher Effectiveness Measures (TEM), and those teachers who are not the teacher of record and do not produce TEM scores. Being in a position that allows the teacher to generate a TEM score is what distinguishes the performance-based professional certificate from the standard professional certificate. What doesn’t change under the new certification system? For one, when Clear Renewable certificates were converted to Standard Professional certificates in July, the validity periods for individual educators remained unchanged from current

validity periods. Second, even though the Master Teacher program will be ending, the Advanced Professional certificate will actually take its place. Third, educators who are certified and work in service fields such as media and counseling will have standard professional rather than performance-based certificates. Building-level administrators will fall under the performance-based rules because they work in positions that generate data under Leader Effectiveness Measures (LEM). Fourth, under current law, educators with two un-remediated, unsatisfactory summative evaluations cannot renew their certificates. The new certificate system is based on the same law, so school systems will still report weak performance to GaPSC. What is new is that state law has created a statewide evaluation system and specifies that two ratings—needs development and ineffective—will be reported to GaPSC. A Professional Learning Task Force is currently working to define what is meant by “remediating” needs development and ineffective evaluations. GaPSC will work cooperatively with PAGE and other organizations to keep educators informed as the new rules are implemented. Dissemination of information regarding tiered certification implementation is posted on the GaPSC website at under the “Policies & Guidelines” section of the home page with a link titled “Upcoming Certification Changes.” GaPSC has sent notices to educators through its MyPSC accounts to give them a heads up on the changes taking place. Certification Outreach Training is periodically held for school system HR staff. This means school system HR departments are the first place educators should direct their certification questions. Because the rules supporting tiered certification are so comprehensive and fundamentally change the certification structure in Georgia, an advisory group representative of Georgia educators will meet periodically during the first several years of implementation to review the certification system and provide advice to GaPSC on adjustments that may be needed once implementation n is underway. August/September 2014

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teach 21st-century learners collaborate


This PAGE One column features technology-in-the-classroom advice from tech-savvy Georgia educators.

Technology in the Classroom:

Integrate Technology with These Fun, Interactive Apps By Matt Faircloth, Science Teacher at Pine Grove Middle (Lowndes County)


tarting this year, Georgia teachers will be evaluated in part by their effective use of technology in both the classroom and lesson preparation. The new Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) includes 10 sets of standards called Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards (TAPS.) Many of these standards can be met through the use of technology both inside and outside the classroom. For some teachers, incorporating technology in the classroom comes quite easily, but for others it’s a struggle. Here are a few fun and relatively easy ways to integrate technology into your classroom and daily preparations. EVERNOTE and SKITCH

Matt Faircloth is an eighthgrade science teacher at Pine Grove Middle School in Lowndes County. He enjoys discovering new ways that students and faculty can use technology to make learning more engaging. Faircloth has presented at the Lowndes County LOCO Techno Expo and PAGE summer conference. He is also the PAGE representative for his school and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction at Valdosta State University. 22  PAGE ONE

Evernote is a great tool to capture notes, organize lesson plans, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards and more. Whatever you add is automatically synced across any computer, phone or tablet you use at home or at school. (Evernote offers a free light version and a more robust paid version with educational pricing.) Skitch, part of the Evernote family, is a fun, free and easy app that lets you mark up images in multiple ways. You can share annotated images with others or have your students use Skitch to annotate images. (If you don’t have Evernote, you can still use Skitch and email projects to others.) Here are some ways to use Skitch with your students: Math: Have students take pictures of

Skitch August/September 2014

objects, such as shelves, desks, books or pencils. Have them measure the objects and then label the pictures with the measurements (lengths, angles, volume, etc.) Take a picture of a math problem worked incorrectly and have students make annotations on the picture showing the mistakes that were made and what should be done to correct the mistakes. Science: Provide students with diagrams of anything from parts of the human body to cells, life cycles, weather maps or circuits, then have students label the diagrams. You could also have students go on a science safari around the school by taking pictures of simple machines, living and nonliving things or types of clouds. English/Language Arts: Have students take pictures of sentences in a book and then label and explain the parts of speech. Have them snap pictures of a book’s illustrations and then draw arrows to point out objects, settings or characters. Students can also note the objects’ importance to the story. Social Studies: Have students take or upload images from historical documents and note important phrases. You could also have students access political cartoons and ask them to make notes about what the cartoonist is conveying. PENULTIMATE

Penultimate, another Evernote app, allows you to easily create, record and organize all types of information, such

as writings, drawings and diagrams. You can choose a background that simulates blank, lined or graph paper. Here are a few ways to use Penultimate in the classroom: Math: With digital graph paper and handwriting, the possibilities for math are unlimited! Have students work math problems digitally, graph equations, take personal notes, complete homework problems and organize it all by units in their digital notebooks. Students can compile a notebook of all their unit work or homework and then have it available on any device. No more excuses for forgetting homework! Science: Students can use it to journal when working on science projects. What a great way to record data and add pictures of their progress! Students can create a comic strip of what happens as particles go through phase changes, draw and label rock cycles or gather pictures and resources for a research paper, for example. English/Language Arts: Have students complete daily digital journal entries. They can write a short story or essay and add pictures and drawings. They can create graphic organizers that progressively record connections among characters. Use it for brainstorming by having students write down their thoughts and then electronically cut and paste them into a graphic organizer. Social Studies: Students can gather information to support their thoughts for answering document-based questions. They can take pictures and upload text, artifacts and other media and have it all in one place. Then they can put their ideas together and create a report using the evidence they gathered. EDUCREATIONS

Penultimate August/September 2014

Educreations is an incredible interactive whiteboard that enables you to create, record and share lessons visually and audibly. You can work a math problem for students on the whiteboard while speaking to students about each step. Now students can watch as you demonstrate a skill or work a problem and listen to you teach. You can create minilessons for students to watch in class or to post on your website to help with homework. This easy-to-use app also has a pre-created bank of lessons available for educators to use. Here are some ways


to consider using Educreations: Math: Create a quick lesson that takes students through the steps of solving a math equation. You can also have students create the steps to demonstrate their knowledge through work and word. Science: Show the life cycle of a butterfly or label diagrams of plant and animal cells and then compare and contrast their structures. Teach students to balance equations or calculate acceleration. English/Language Arts: Have students record a poem and bring it to life with illustrations. Have them diagram a sentence and the parts of speech. Social Studies: Diagram the branches of government and explain the role of each. Create visual vocabulary lessons by providing a picture as well as a word definition. All of these apps offer the potential of creating a more interactive, engaging classroom, but be sure to practice with them before using them in class. Once you have learned how to handily use an app with your students, be sure to pass along what you have learned to your feln low teachers!

Helpful Resources •  reflectandrefine.blogspot. com/2012/07/using-skitchin-your-classroom.html • • • • • And always …


Foundation News ‘A PAGE Turning Event’ to Honor Wells Fargo and Mike Donnelly


ells Fargo’s Atlanta Region President Mike Donnelly will be honored by the PAGE Foundation at its 10th Annual “A PAGE Turning Event” this fall, according to PAGE Foundation President John Varner. This event recognizes business, philanthropy and government leaders for their exemplary support of public school improvement. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Vice President and General Manager Shan Cooper and Pendleton Consulting Group Partner Phil Jacobs will co-chair the host committee for this year’s event. “We are proud to sponsor ‘A PAGE Turning Event’ and place the spotlight on corporations such as Wells Fargo and business leaders such as Atlanta Region President Mike Donnelly for their leadership in and commitment to public education improvement,” Varner says. “We hope other corporate, philanthropic and community leaders will join with Wells Fargo and Mike in n support of initiatives that transform our public schools.”

Wells Fargo Atlanta Region President Mike Donnelly

Chick-fil-A Foundation Donates $30,000


he Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $30,000 to the PAGE Foundation in June, according to John Varner, PAGE Foundation president. “We are very grateful to the Chick-fil-A Foundation for this leadership gift to our foundation,” says Varner, who also notes that the goal of the Chick-fil-A Foundation is “to inspire and equip the next generation of leaders with opportunities to build a positive legacy,” which strongly aligns with those of the PAGE Foundation. “The goal of our programs is to inspire students to have high standards of academic achievement through programs that provide individual and team challenges and encourage both a team and competitive spirit,” Varner adds. “Whether it is through the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades, PAGE STAR program or the work of our Board of Trustees, the Chick-fil-A Foundation and its employees have been supportive in our shared commitment to students and educators.” Among members of the PAGE Foundation Board of Trustees is Chick-fil-A Vice President of Community Affairs and Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation Rodney Bullard, who is also a former PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle n Grades student competitor.


And the Winners Are … PAGE Foundation Awards Annual Scholarships


he PAGE Foundation awarded $1,000 scholarships to a number of PAGE Professional, Support Personnel and Teacher Candidate (SPAGE) members in July. Each scholarship recipient is either pursuing a teacher certification or an advanced degree. To see a list of winners and learn how you can apply for a scholarship, visit pagefoundation. org/scholarships or scan the QR code. n

August/September 2014

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Foundation News PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon Teams Earn Record Number of Medals at Nationals


akeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School and Parkview High School represented Georgia in the United States Academic Decathlon National competition in Hawaii in April. For the first time in PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon history, the teams came home with three medals: Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe’s Valerie King won a gold medal in speech competition; Parkview’s Sida Tang won silver in essay; and Sara Anderson won bronze in interview. “We’re very proud of these two teams,” says PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon State Director Cary Sell. “The competition is truly fierce at the national level, especially from powerhouse teams in California and Texas. While we did not score as many points overall as teams from these states, we earned a record number of Most Medals Ever! Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Parkview high medals for our program and provided a life-changing schools’ decathlon teams were a success at the USAD National experience for the Georgia Decathletes—some of whom Competition in Hawaii. had never flown on an airplane or traveled extensively beyond the state’s borders.” To see Georgia’s teams in action at the Additionally, Georgia’s small school online national competi- national competition, visit the Inside the tor, Chattahoochee County High School, earned silver and Georgia Academic Decathlon channel on bronze medals in essay; bronze medals in language and mathPAGETV at or scan this QR n ematics; and a silver medal in music. code.

2014 FEAST Participants ‘Dive Into Teaching’


n March, Future Educators Association (FEA) members from counties as far north as Fannin and as far south as Camden descended upon St. Simons Island’s beautiful Epworth by the Sea for FEA Spring Training (FEAST) 2014. Taking this year’s theme, “Dive Into Teaching,” to heart, high school students plunged into professional learning activities and competitions to explore careers in education. While there, they also elected 2014–2015 state officers: President Raney Redmond,


Lee County High; Southwest Region Vice President Caroline Pope, Early County High; Southeast Region Vice President Spencer Pipkin, Lowndes County High; and North Region Vice President Will Panter, Fannin County High. View a podcast report of FEAST 2014 on the FEA Today channel on PAGETV at n or scan the QR code.

August/September 2014

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Honor Your Favorite Teacher Mentors Touch Thousands of Lives in Southeast Georgia By Leslie Mills PAGE President


ccording to Wikipedia, a teacher rooms who do not like school, and it is (also called a schoolteacher) is our responsibility as educators to engage someone who provides educathese students.” As a young teacher, I just tion for pupils (children) and students could not imagine someone not liking (adults). It is the second school. Hence, I began a part of this definition journey with Shelly that that really made me would last more than 30 think. There are two years—a journey that “teachers” in my adult fulfilled my need to learn life who helped me new ways to engage the become the educator that students in my classI am today: one is Shelly room. Not only would Smith and the other is Shelly teach me about Susan Halligan. Both of new engagement stratethese First District RESA gies, she would conduct consultants have had a follow-up observations in profound impact on my my classroom, coaching life and the lives of thoume in becoming a better sands of other educators teacher. She would have in southeast Georgia. one-on-one conversaLeslie Mills I attended Chatham tions with me, cheering County Schools from me on and encouraging me 1959–1971 during a time of when I had new ideas of “neighborhood schools” and things that I wanted to try in received a wonderful educamy classroom. Shelly would tion. The teachers I had in always listen, even when no Chatham County motivated one else would. I may never me and inspired me to be a become the caliber of educalife-long learner. Then I went tor that Shelly Smith exemplito Georgia Southern College fies, but I am a much better Shelly Smith to study secondary matheducator today because I had ematics education. While in the opportunity to make this college, it seemed that the long journey in education world changed. Students in with her. my classroom during the While Shelly was guiding late 1970s were not at all like me in Student Engagement, the students who had been Effective Teaching Strategies, in my classes growing up in Teaching Reading and Chatham County. Writing in the Content Area, I will never forget an and Higher Order Thinking Susan Halligan after-school professional Skills, Susan Halligan was learning experience conducted by Shelly always there to guide me in the teaching Smith in the late 1970s. Shelly reminded of mathematics in both my professional us that probably everyone in that room and personal lives. I will never forget liked going to school, and that was why when my son Jason was in second grade every day since we were 5 years old, we and his teacher called me to tell me that continued to get up and go to school Jason “just could not subtract.“ Being a every day. Then came the daunting high school math teacher, I was devaswords, “There are students in your classtated that my child could not subtract.


Jason had a traumatic brain injury when he was 3 years old and had many of the characteristics of a child who had a learning disability in math. After working with Jason on traditional methods of subtraction to no avail, I made the phone call to Susan Halligan. She offered me strategies for Jason that he still uses today. Throughout my teaching career, Susan has been there for me, teaching me mathematical pedagogy. After every professional learning session that Susan taught, I would leave having a renewed feeling that I could teach math with the intent that all students could learn. After nearly 30 years as a classroom teacher, Susan and Shelly encouraged me to consider becoming a First District RESA mathematics consultant. As a RESA consultant, I always looked forward to staff meetings when I knew that one of them would be teaching. With Susan and Shelly, teaching and learning never stopped. When my husband became a laterin-life educator, he had the opportunity to spend a week of professional learning with Shelly and Susan before entering the classroom. Susan mentored him throughout his early years as a math teacher. This grounded him to become a teacher who would make a difference in the lives of many children. Susan and Shelly have both retired as full-time educators, but their influences can still be seen throughout the 18 school districts in the First District RESA area and in the classrooms where teachers had the opportunity to learn new ways to teach their students through professional learning conducted by Shelly and Susan. Both of these ladies were truly teachers of teachers! Susan and Shelly had a tremendous impact on my life as an educator, and they have had an impact on my family as well. Not only have I had the opportunity to call Susan and Shelly my colleagues, but I am also proud to call them n my favorite teachers.

August/September 2014

Jo Breedlove and Kathy Arena Welcomed As Membership Services Representatives


o better serve our growing memShe has been a PAGE member since bership base throughout Georgia, 1977 and served as a PAGE building PAGE has added two new memcontact for more than 25 years. Contact bership services representatives (MSRs), Jo Breedlove at or Breedlove and Kathy Arena. call (770) 617-6489. Jo Breedlove, a PAGE membership Kathy Arena, the District 10 PAGE consultant since 2011, is the new PAGE MSR for District 3a, composed of Cherokee County and all of Fulton County, except the City of Atlanta. A metro Atlanta native and Mercer University graduate, Breedlove taught in DeKalb County and then Gwinnett County, where she taught gifted students. Breedlove has served on many county curriculum teams and as a Jo Breedlove Kathy Arena gifted programs consultant.


representative, serves the following east Georgia counties: Clarke, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Elbert, Greene, Taliaferro, Wilkes, Lincoln, Hancock, Warren, McDuffie, Columbia, Jefferson, Richmond and Burke. Arena taught kindergarten and third grade in Columbia County for 32 years. She attended Augusta College, now Georgia Regents University, where she earned her undergraduate, master’s and education specialist degrees in early childhood education. Arena has also served on numerous school and county committees and has been a member of PAGE for 27 years. Contact Arena at or call n (706) 564-5873.






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For more information, please call 404-733-4468 or email August/September 2014


PAGE 2014-2015 Membership Services Representatives Jo Breedlove District 3a (770) 617-6489

Heather Grafton District 3b (678) 429-8641


Ha be rs

ha m

Nancy Ratcliffe District 7 (770) 773-6004


Jean Cooper District 9 (877) 564-4971

3a Melanie Evans District 5 (404) 323-3990








10th Mc Du















13th mery


1st Evans


Shirley Wright District 4 (Atlanta City, DeKalb) (770) 732-9540

Kathy Arena District 10 (706) 564-5873


Linda Woods District 1 (800) 506-0704



BJ Jenkins District 6 (888) 413-1091

ino le



Jimmy Jordan District 11 (706) 207-8612


Dale Gillespie District 8 (229) 506-2966 Angel Pressley District 12 (478) 955-7930

Gwen Desselle District 2 (229) 805-1764

Laura Clements District 13 (229) 392-4088 August/September 2014

Fewer than half of all teachers in Georgia are registered to vote. Make sure YOUR voice is heard in this important election year. It’s about the future of public education. “No election year in Georgia has ever been more important than 2014 when it comes to public education.” -Dr. Allene Magill, Executive Director, Professional Association of Georgia Educators

The on registrati he for t e n i l d a e d eral n e G 4 . v No s Election i Oct. 6.

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GACE Workshops Offered

PAGE offers preparation workshops for the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission and Content exams. The workshops are open to all, but due to high demand, advance registration is required. Be sure to allow ample preparation time between the workshop and your exam date. Visit to register or to view the 2014–2015 workshop schedule. The site also includes resources, such as study tips and links to GACE and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. n Correction for the May/June issue of PAGE One: Later-career educator Bryan Mills was previously employed at the USDA Farmers Home Administration, not for the United States Dairy Association.

Officers President Leslie Mills President-Elect Stephanie Davis Howard Treasurer Lamar Scott Past-President Dr. Emily Felton Directors District 1 District 8 Amy Denty Lindsey Raulerson District 2 District 9 Dr. Todd Cason Miranda Willingham District 3 District 10 Allison Scenna 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 Kelli De Guire Ex-Officio Megan King


2014-15 PAGE Planner SEPTEMBER 5 PAGE GAD Fall Workshop, Kennesaw State University, KSU Center, Kennesaw 7–8 PAGE Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, PAGE Office 15 “A PAGE Turning Event,” Fox Theatre, Atlanta 21-22 PAGE Principal Leadership Network, PAGE Office

NOVEMBER 6 FEA Fall Conference, Middle Georgia State College, Macon 7 SPAGE Fall Conference, Middle Georgia State College, Macon 9–10 PAGE Principal Leadership Network, PAGE Office 16–17 PAGE Assistant Principal Leadership Network, PAGE Office

JANUARY 10 PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades Regionals 11–12 PAGE Principal Leadership Network, PAGE Office 24 PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades State Championship, GA College & State University, Milledgeville 25-26 PAGE Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, PAGE Office

FEBRUARY 1–2 PAGE Designing Engaging Work, PAGE Office 27–28 PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon State Competition, Berkmar HS, Lilburn

MARCH 8–9 PAGE Principal Leadership Network, PAGE Office 22–23 PAGE Assistant Principal Leadership Network, PAGE Office

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: Tim Callahan;, PAGE One magazine; PAGE; P.O. Box 942270; Atlanta, GA 31141-2270; 770-216-8555; (800) 334-6861. Contributions/gifts to the PAGE Foundation are deductible as charitable contribution 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 2014–15 dues is allocated to lobbying. PAGE One magazine (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 non-profit postage paid at Atlanta, Georgia, and additional mailing offices. (USPS 017-347) Postmaster: Send address changes to PAGE One, P.O. Box 942270, Atlanta, GA 31141–2270. PAGE One magazine 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 ©2014

August/September 2014

Master of Education Our Master of Education with a Major in Teacher Leadership is designed to create and

foster leadership skills for teachers who wish to become stronger leaders in their own schools, districts, and communities. This degree program:

• Offers teachers of all disciplines and grade levels

to opportunity to develop leadership skills that they can take back to their classrooms, schools, and communities.

• Is designed for certified classroom teachers who

want to improve their leadership skills, but remain in the classroom.

Degree Program Admission Requirements:

• Must be a certified teacher working in the classroom • Must have at least three years of teaching experience in the K-12 classroom

• Recommended undergraduate 3.0 GPA • Official acceptable Graduate Record Examination scores

• Recommendations by administrator and peer teacher

• Provides educators with the opportunity for a Georgia Professional Standards Commission approved certification upgrade.

• Creates a community of learners through an online environment.

• Enriches understanding of the importance of school culture.

• Models best pedogogical practices for successful teaching methods and curriculum design.

• Demonstrates methods for designing assessments and analyzing results.

For more information, contact: Dr. Dennis G. Attick Program Coordinator (678) 466-4825 |

Offering Over 20 Education Programs B.S. in Education

• The Holistic Child • Early Care and Education • Early Childhood /Special Education • Middle Grades Education • Secondary Education

Master of Education

• Early Childhood Education • Middle Grades Education • Secondary Education • Reading Specialist • Independent & Charter School Leadership • Higher Education Leadership

Mercer University TIFT COLLEGE OF EDUCATION Mercer University, one of the South’s premier institutions of higher learning, brings academic excellence to over 20 undergraduate and graduate education programs. With locations in Macon, Atlanta, Henry County, Douglas County, Eastman, Newnan and Savannah, Mercer’s Tift College of Education proudly prepares more educators than any other private university in Georgia. For more information, please visit:

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

Master of Arts in Teaching • Early Childhood Education • Middle Grades Education • Secondary Education

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) • Curriculum & Instruction • Educational Leadership (P-12) • Educational Leadership (Higher Ed)

School Counseling Programs* • M.S. School Counseling • Ed.S. School Counseling

Initial Certification Programs Mercer’s Tift College of Education is one of only 14 institutions currently approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to offer initial certification programs for Georgia’s school leaders. *Offered jointly with Mercer’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies –





Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership

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