PAGE One Magazine, Aug.-Sept. 2015

Page 1

August/September 2015

Ernie Lee Georgia Teacher of the Year

2015 National Superintendent of the Year Philip Lanoue, Clarke County

RESAs Examine Poverty | Future Georgia Educators Launched | Woodrow Wilson Fellows Named

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August/September 2015

Vol. 36 No. 5


08  2015 National Superintendent of the Year


Clarke County Superintendent Philip Lanoue’s Contagious Ways Lead to National Honors

11  Georgia Teacher of the Year Windsor Forest High School’s Ernie Lee Walked Out of the Courtroom and Into the Classroom

15  2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists Columns


5  From the President Teachers are Psychologists, Technologists, Coaches, Servants ... and Much More

Professional Learning 16  Georgia RESA Summit Takes Square Aim at Student Poverty

7  From the Executive Director Engaged Students Persist in Learning and Stay in School

20  Assistant Principal and Teacher Leaders Successfully Apply Engagement Principles Future Educators 22  PAGE Launches Future Georgia Educators to Recruit and Prepare Tomorrow’s Teachers 25  Inaugural Class of Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows Develops Pipeline of STEM Teachers

11 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. August/September 2015

Legal 26 Educators Moonlighting as Tutors, Coaches and the Like Must Avoid Conflicts of Interest

Foundation News 30  PAGE Foundation to Honor Robert L. Brown Jr. and R L Brown & Associates

News and Information 28  Seasoned Educators Join PAGE Membership Staff

31  2015 PAGE Foundation Scholarship Recipients Announced




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 Jacqui Frasca


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From the President

Teachers are Psychologists, Technologists, Coaches, Servants … and Much More


eaching is hard. So hard, in fact, that many educators leave the profession before signing their fourth contract. Still, most educators return to their classrooms each day with renewed strength and commitment to do the best job possible. How is that so? In short, these teachers have learned to adroitly manage multiple roles. The TEACHER plans meaningful lessons and delivers instruction. The FACILITATOR leads a student’s quest to discover his or her potential. The MANAGER organizes the classroom and implements policies that promote learning. The LEADER takes initiative and executes plans. The GUARDIAN develops appropriate relationships in order to understand individual student needs. The PSYCHOLOGIST taps into the psyche of unmotivated, unwilling or troubled students. The SOCIAL WORKER advocates on a student’s behalf via communication with parents, staff and administration. The COLLEAGUE coordinates with teams to ensure continuity of instruction. The TECHNOLOGIST employs computer tools to enhance student learning. The STUDENT continually improves his or her craft through higher learning. The COACH develops emotional connections with students and colleagues. Perhaps the most essential role we play, however, is that of the SERVANT. Educators who remain in the profession

August/September 2015

have developed a profound sense of service; they are unwaveringly dedicated to the well-being of students. Playing these roles concurrently requires tremendous skill and talent, especially given the fact that each day we face students who lack motivation to learn due to a host of disabling societal issues, including homelessness, preoccupation with serious family issues, malnutrition, physical or sexual abuse, drug, prescription medicine or alcohol dependency and poverty. As educators, our most gratifying successes are measured by how effectively we help our most disadvantaged students overcome potentially crippling academic or social challenges: •  We witness the student who lacked personal drive develop a work ethic. •  We witness the student with the strong personality grow to become a future leader. •  We witness students who were organizationally challenged develop time management and study skills. •  We witness the homeless child graduate with honors. •  We witness students learn to contribute to their cohort, school, community and country because we made a loving and concerted effort to guide the student. These successes keep us in the profession, even as we endure increasingly frustrating and unproductive regulations, such as invalid teacher evaluation measures. The educator who observes such student transformations is rewarded n beyond measure.

Stephanie Davis Howard

Characteristics of the SERVICE-Oriented Teacher Sense of Community Our schools and classrooms become our extended families. Empowerment of Students Students are guided to rechannel and redirect strong, and often disruptive, characteristics. Relevant Content We employ up-to-date content and methodology. Values, Beliefs and Attitudes Classroom management, content delivery and school initiatives have a democratic foundation. Integration of Content Content integration and instruction differentiation enhance content literacy and student creativity. Cultural World View Cognizant of the diversity in our classrooms, we ensure that our classrooms are safe havens and we incorporate this worldview into our lessons. Equity and Authenticity Our classrooms exhibit equity and authenticity in instruction, assessment and evaluation.


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From the Executive Director

Engaged Students Persist in Learning and Stay in School Dr. Allene Magill


tate and national graduation rates are at historic highs. Completion rates of 81 percent (nationally) and 72.5 percent (Georgia) are encouraging, especially considering the headwinds of funding reductions, increased poverty, time-consuming accountability dictates and debates over content standards.* Georgia educators know the deleterious effects of these combined factors on the time and energy needed to connect with students. Educators want all students to achieve. This is evident every day in our classrooms and in the unending hours of effort outside of class. However, when there are no more hours in the day or instructional days in the school year, how are educators to reach the 27.5 percent of Georgia students who fail to earn the confirmation of success that a diploma represents? It seems that many pundits, policymakers and special interest groups believe that the answers lie in more tests, unproven measurement indicators, bureaucratic oversight of teachers or for-profit charter schools. It’s as if they think that those in public education are withholding effort, and by finding the right prod, educators finally will have the initiative to motivate students to succeed. At PAGE, we know better. We know that great educators possess an enduring optimism that they can be the difference in a child’s life — and not just one child, but an overcrowded classroom full of students with diverse abilities, needs and interests. That optimism remains even when, despite their best effort to encourage and support a child, he makes poor choices

August/September 2015

that hamper his progress or she faces life issues that distract her from academic work. We know that great educators design lessons that engage students in such a way that they get beyond doing an assignment and discover the joy of learning. We know that great educators develop meaningful relationships with individual students and seek to understand their hopes and challenges. We know that great educators persist in their chosen profession even when it seems that many people refuse to see what educators accomplish against a relentless tide of overwhelming odds. We know these things to be true because we know great educators. We also know that a key to reaching the nearly 30 percent of potential Georgia dropouts lies with the extraordinary dedication of educators who systematically plan for their students’ success regardless of barriers. In a recently aired series on the national graduation rate, NPR cited research that educators and schools serve as key influencers on whether a student drops out of high school or persists through challenges. Beyond a lack of parental involvement, among the reasons cited that students drop out are that they are bored and do not see a connection between instruction and their future; they need help academically and do not know where to get it; and/or they do not have a relationship with an adult at school who cares enough to encourage their progress. Because of what we know to be true about great educators, I believe that these

challenges can be addressed. That is why at PAGE we focus so much of our work on building the capacity of all educators to recognize the instructional needs of students and how to engage them. PAGE professional learning zeroes in on strengthening the ability of educators to engage students so that they persist in learning. A key is that educators develop meaningful relationships with individual students, including the ones who may not be easy to get to know. We also help school and district administrators understand how to support teachers in this important process. As noted in the NPR series, students often leave school prematurely when their relationships with educators are weak and when instruction fails to connect with their interests. As the new school year begins, I urge all of us to heed the warning signs for students at risk of failure. A student’s home life, level of parental involvement and challenges outside of school are often beyond our influence. What we can control is how we engage each student in our classrooms, encourage him to look beyond today and connect with her as a person who deserves our attention. Graduation rates in Georgia have increased more than 5 percent since 2011. We’re headed in the right direction, and PAGE is with you every step of the way in your quest to engage and ultimately transform the lives of Georgia’s n most at-risk students. *Latest national data from the 2012-13 school year. Latest Georgia data from the 2013-14 school year.


2015 National Superintendent of the Year

Clarke County Superintendent Philip Lanoue’s Contagious Ways Lead to National Honors By Paul Riede


hen Nancy Denson met Clarke County Superintendent Philip Lanoue in 2009, she was immediately taken by his passion for education. She also admits feeling a little guilty. Denson, now mayor of Athens-Clarke County, says Lanoue’s insistence that poverty cannot be an excuse for school failure got her thinking about her own assumptions. “I was doing something a lot of other people were doing,” she says. “I was making excuses.” Now, nearly six years later, Lanoue’s enthusiasm and “no excuses” attitude in the highpoverty, 13,000-student district have proven contagious. The achievement gap in the majorityminority district has narrowed dramatically. Lanoue, 2015 Georgia Superintendent of the Year and now the American Association of School Administrators 2015 National Superintendent of the Year, says his success has come from opening up the system — bringing clarity and transparency to its work and dealings with the public. Nowhere has that been more apparent than in the district’s classrooms. Ernest Hardaway, Clarke County’s executive director of school support, says that before Lanoue’s arrival, teachers in different schools were taking widely different approaches to instruction — and often getting the same poor results. Lanoue cracked open that go-it-alone culture, Hardaway says, first with plain talk, then with aggressive action to standardize effective classroom practices across the district. “What is teaching? What does it look like?” Lanoue says. “If you’re teaching, somebody has to be learning. If nobody is learning, you can’t call it teaching, but we have for years.” Lanoue, 58, called the new classroom practices “non-negotiables,” insisting that all teachers adopt them. Those non-negotiables — now termed “commitments for high student performance” — are readily observable, and Lanoue is not shy August/September 2015

about observing them. He has conducted hundreds of classroom walk-throughs and expects principals and even other teachers to do the same. “Too often when you were in schools of poverty there was talk of ‘all kids can do it,’ but there wasn’t really a belief that all kids can do it,” he says. “We changed that. And that’s why we take risks with our kids. We got people to ask, ‘Do you really believe this of all your kids, and if you do, why are you doing this?’” Among the risks he took was to offer the high school physical science course to all eighthgraders who wanted to take it, regardless of their academic standing. The vast majority of students who accepted the challenge succeeded. He also opened a career academy that offers dual enrollment with a local technical college at no cost to students, and he provided take-home laptops to all students in third through ninth grades, with 10th through 12th graders slated to participate within the next year or two. Despite initial concerns, only about five of the 8,000 or so laptops lent out so far have gone missing, Lanoue adds. The renewed confidence in the district’s struggling students has led to other changes. Lanoue says the district has improved its school climate by reducing student suspensions and expulsions in favor of practices based on “inner control psychology.” “As adults, we don’t control kids,” he says. “I tell people I have trouble controlling me on a good day. What we want is for kids to intrinsically make good decisions for the right rea-

‘Instead of commands and suspensions and expulsions, we put in behavior specialists … . Adults have to rolemodel exactly what they want for kids.’


sons. Instead of commands and suspensions and expulsions, we put in behavior specialists, we hold class meetings in the morning. Adults have to role-model exactly what they want for kids.” In addition to suspending fewer students, Lanoue personally tries to re-enroll those who dropped out. Each year — usually on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — the superintendent and 15 to 20 other school officials break into pairs and go door-to-door to the homes of dropouts to urge them to come back. The number of dropouts has declined from 222 in 2009 to 132 last year. For all his emphasis on “non-negotiables” in the classroom, Lanoue is just as passionate in opposing practices he believes are counterproductive. He continues to oppose Georgia’s teacher evaluation system, which bases half a teacher’s rating on observable practices and surveys and the other half on improvement on student tests. Lanoue maintains his district’s observable practices are tighter and more effective than the state’s model, and he dismisses single-measure student growth scores as an invalid and unreliable measure of teacher performance. “You cannot distill the hundreds of thousands of interactions that teachers, kids and people have into one score,” he says. Lanoue has opened up the school district

Each year — usually on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — the superintendent and 15 to 20 other school officials break into pairs and go door-todoor to the homes of dropouts to urge them to come back. The number of dropouts has declined from 222 in 2009 to 132 last year.

not only to parents who want to visit schools and classrooms, but to the news media as well. He says being transparent, rather than trying to hide the district’s struggles, is a key to gaining and keeping community trust and support. “If it’s bad, it’s bad and if it’s ugly, it’s ugly,” he says. “It’s real.” In the end, he says, the openness garners far more positive press than negative. Lanoue, born in the tiny Vermont papermill town of Sheldon Springs near the Canadian border, first made his mark in ice hockey. He says he started playing on “a pond near the swamp” and advanced to captaining and later coaching state championship teams. He attended the University of Vermont as a pre-med student, but after discovering through hockey that he loved working with children, he switched to secondary education and became a biology teacher. By 32, he was principal of Burlington High School, the largest high school in Vermont, and a little more than three years later, he was named Vermont Principal of the Year. After stints as a principal in Lexington and Weston, Massachusetts, he became an area assistant superintendent in a struggling portion of Cobb County in 2005 before being named to lead the Clarke County School District in July 2009. His wife, Vickie, commutes to Boston, spending most of her weekdays there or traveling as director of event management at MFS Investment Management. Their two grown daughters live in Boston. Denson and Hardaway both hope Lanoue stays just where he is, despite being in the national limelight for his effective organizational leadership. “I’ve been here 41 years, and the last six have been the best of my career,” Hardaway says. “I can see the difference in what we’re n doing for kids.”

Lanoue maintains his district’s observable practices are tighter and more effective than the state’s model, and he dismisses single-measure student growth scores as an invalid and unreliable measure of teacher performance. ‘You cannot distill the hundreds of thousands of interactions that teachers, kids and people have into one score,’ he says.


August/September 2015

Georgia Teacher of the Year Walked Out of the Courtroom and Into the Classroom By Meg Thornton, PAGE Publications Manager


bout five years ago, longtime attorney Ernie Lee sought a fresh start. Life had been tossing him successive curve balls. The Great Recession dried up his once-successful real estate-focused law practice, his mother was terminally ill and his dog of 18 years died. The time was ripe for soul searching. Lee asked himself what he had done to make a lasting and positive impact on the community and lives of others. Acknowledging that the practice of law left him unfulfilled, Lee, at age 50, tried his hand at substitute teaching. His first pupils were severe and profound special needs students at Windsor Forest High School in Savannah. Lee found his calling. Thus began a new late-stage career that has ignited a passion for teaching and learning within the walls of a southeast Georgia classroom. Today, as an International Baccalaureate history, U.S. Acknowledging that the practice of law left government and civics teacher at Windsor Forest High, Lee him unfulfilled, Lee, at age 50, tried his hand is the 2016 Georgia Teacher of substitute teaching. He never looked back. the Year. Beyond possessing content knowledge, Lee is known for connecting with students. “Mr. Lee says it all the time: ‘It’s about connecting and building those relationships with students.’ I think that’s been his strength all along,” Principal Derrick Butler told a local television station. “I see the amount of effort he puts into teaching us,” added senior Jordan Holmes. Lee’s classroom’s motto is “I’m not telling you it is going to be easy. I’m telling you it is going to be worth it!”


‘The Bow-Tie Guy’

A warm-hearted man with a sense of humor, Lee has a signature style. He has worn bow ties most of his adult life. In law school, he was known as Ernie the Attorney or the guy that always wears bow ties. In fact, as a way to converse with his ailing mother, Lee called her daily so she could teach him via the phone how to sew the ties. After his mother’s death, he inherited several sewing machines and a truckload of fabric. He began to sew in earContinued on page 12

August/September 2015


ated a mobile technology training lab for the Georgia Department of Technical ‘Mr. Lee has played a significant role in creating an overall school climate and Adult Education. During for academic achievement at Windsor Forest High School by establishing a his 20-year legal career, no-excuses classroom culture. Through his dynamic approach to teaching he litigated for nonprofits, students, his investment in building positive relationships with students and corporations and real estate his focus on continuous professional development, Windsor Forest students concerns. For three years, he continue to demonstrate growth in their learning. More specifically, students was an attorney for Savannah enrolled in Mr. Lee’s courses have an opportunity to apply their learning College of Art and Design. He has also served as a legislative independently and engage in critical thinking collaborative tasks. More than 90 policy analyst for the Georgia percent of his students experience course success.’ Division of Public Health. – Principal Derrick Butler, “It is inspiring to see an Windsor Forest High School (Chatham County) individual like Mr. Lee, who had a successful career as a lawyer, decide to become a teacher later in life so he nest, and soon fellow teachers were placing effort to address gun violence in America. could have a lasting and positive impact orders for the fine silk or cotton bow ties, “We work with people to discuss the on the lives of others,” said State School cummerbunds and pocket squares. taboo of talking about racism as a grassSuperintendent Richard Woods. Lee is a 1978 graduate of Clarkston roots effort to bring about reconciliation “Mr. Lee exemplifies all that a High School in DeKalb County. He in our community,” he said. great teacher stands for,” added Dr. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Arts from Mercer Until recently, Lee chaired the board Lockamy, district superintendent. University and a juris doctor degree of the Ben Marion Institute for Social Teacher of the Year candidates write in 1989 from Samford University’s Justice, a nonprofit that promotes sociessays and undergo classroom visits and Cumberland School of Law. In 2012, he etal inclusiveness whereby individuals panel interviews with a committee of earned his teaching certificate via the and groups embrace differences and educators, community leaders and former Teacher Academy for Preparation and value authenticity, empathy and fairness. Teachers of the Year. As Georgia Teacher Pedagogy program. Prior to teaching high school, Lee taught of the Year, Lee speaks to the public about In addition to teaching, Lee and a retired courses for the Georgia Department of the teaching profession and conducts n university professor spearhead a local Revenue and Human Resources and operworkshops for educators.

What His Principal Says …

Georgia Teacher of the Year Shares His Winning Approach to Teaching By Ernie Lee, 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year

BE PREPARED. I learned this from being an Eagle Scout. One cannot wing it. Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. Planning takes time and effort, and to be honest, I plan mostly out of fear. If I am not prepared, I am not respecting my students, and they will eat me alive. This is based upon the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest. Always be prepared and always have at least one back up plan. Lesson: The life you save may be your own.


TREAT ALL STUDENTS WITH RESPECT. As a child, I learned the “Golden Rule:” “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” To model respectful behavior, I say “Yes, sir” or “Thank you, ma’am” to my students. Even if a student is not respectful, I have to watch my attitude. If I show anger or disrespect toward even one student, I will lose the respect of all of my students. It is hard to build trust and respect, and even harder to gain it back. Students test all limits; that is their job. Remember that they are still children even if they are driving and are about to graduate from high school. Also, I cannot assume that my students always know how to behave. I may have to explain proper behavior and demonstrate it. It is best to do this from the first day of class. Lesson: Don’t assume that students know how to behave.

August/September 2015

SWANS ON A LAKE. Swans look so graceful gliding on water. However, if you peer under the surface, you will see that they are frantically paddling. Good teaching is like that; it may look easy, but it takes a lot of work and dedication. My heart also has to be in it to motivate both my students and myself. A fellow teacher who is struggling may not ask for help because he or she sees you as the graceful swan. Let that teacher know what you are doing and that it is not always as easy as it looks. Your positive input may make the difference between a good teacher staying in education or leaving. Teaching can be lonely, but it does not have to be. Reach out to new teachers and veterans alike. Check in and ask how their day is going. Offer help even if it does not appear it is needed. Building good working relationships means taking an interest in helping your fellow teachers. Soon, you may be the one who needs help. Lesson: Build up your fellow teachers.

STUDENTS ARE LIKE ICEBERGS. One cannot tell the depth and size of an iceberg unless one looks below the waterline. As a teacher, I have to look below the waterline to learn the depth of all of my students. If I fail to look deeply, I risk destruction and irreparable damage. I must get to know my students, meaning I need to learn about their pasts and realize their potential; every student has the potential for greatness. I must then encourage each student to see his or her own potential, even if they don’t believe it. To accomplish this, I have to build solid relationships. Most students will dress or act in a way as to only reveal what they want you to see. Many students may be hiding or covering up a fault, a bad family relationship or even abuse and neglect. (As classroom teachers, we have a duty to report abuse and/or neglect.) We must find out what interests our students and determine what it will take to move them to the next level. If a student has no goals, we need to assist the student in finding his or her purpose. At times it may just be to pass our class. Lesson: Each student is unique and has potential.

EVERYONE WANTS TO BE RECOGNIZED. I greet each of my students with a smile and address each of them by name. As I went to call the names of graduates at commencement this spring, I was embarrassed to realize that for the past year (or in some cases, several years), I had been pronouncing several students’ names incorrectly. I apologized to those students. Most said it was no big deal, but I told them that it was a big deal because names are important. Lesson: Everyone wants to be IF A JOB IS WORTH DOING, IT IS WORTH DOING RIGHT THE recognized as FIRST TIME. My parents drilled that into me as a boy, and I still think an individual. about this every day when I am working on a project or with a student. If I expect my students to do their best work, it is my duty to model the importance of doing an excellent job. A few years ago, I struck a deal with my students that when they find a mistake in my presentations or in any of my handouts, the first student to bring it to my attention receives extra credit or a prize. This keeps me on my toes, encourages me to proofread ahead of time and keeps me humble in the classroom. When a student finds an MISTAKES ARE PART error, I sincerely express my thanks and I make the correction immediately. OF LIFE. When I make a This models behavior that it is perfectly acceptable to make a mistake in mistake, I tell my students. I the classroom, and it shows a student how to be gracious and sincere. may even ask them for forHowever, this is not an excuse to let students proofread your work; you will giveness. I tell my students lose respect if they point out countless mistakes daily. Lesson: If I make a that mistakes outside of an mistake I admit it, correct it and move on. assessment are okay, for that is how we can learn. I routinely encourage the use of erasers and Wite-Out. I give them an opportunity to correct and learn from their actions, even after an assessment. I make the classroom a safe space for all of us to make mistakes and then teach them how to correct mistakes. Lesson: Mistakes are OK so long as you learn from your mistakes.

Continued on page 14 August/September 2015


MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE. I must stay focused, think about what I’m doing, double-check my work and not go on “auto pilot.” From one day to another, a website URL may have changed, so I check my links before each class to make sure they are still active. If I have a lesson I have used in the past, I pull it out ahead of class and update it. I have seen colleagues use the same handout year after year, and it has been copied so many times that it is barely readable. Some have the wrong dates or wrong class name. How can I expect my students to do their best work if I pull out an outdated, barely legible paper? Teaching is my profession. If I am coasting, then I am more likely going downhill. Lesson: Coasting is not in your or your students’ best interest.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVE WHAT YOU DO. If you do not love teaching, you will not make it. If you are experiencing burn out, try to rekindle the spark that brought you into teaching in the first place. On the other hand, if you stop loving being a teacher, do something different. I hate to be so blunt, but I have seen teachers damage students by their negative attitudes and unprofessional behavior. At the same time, if you see someone outside of the profession who you think would make an excellent teacher, encourage him or her to consider teaching as a career. That is how I became a teacher. A friend who had been a recruiter in the school system and who later became an assistant principal encouraged me to consider teaching. It took awhile for me to make the move, but it was the best decision I ever made. Lesson: Life is too short not to do what you love.

‘STAY OUT OF THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE.’ When I began teaching, my sister (now retired after 30 years of teaching) advised me to “stay out of the teachers’ lounge.” In other words, she was cautioning me to avoid talking badly about students and listening to gossip. When I complain about my students’ behavior, I am not supporting or being respectful of my students. Complaining is much different than asking a colleague for help on how to effectively manage a student’s behavior. In that case, you are actively seeking to resolve a problem. Some teachers complain about students’ bad behavior in the classroom as a way to one up each other. It is like a sport: the game of “my student is worse than your student.” Such complaints are not constructive, and they may discourage teachers around you. I also once knew a colleague would ask students before class if they had any juicy gossip. This was wrong on many levels. If I encourage students to spread rumor and innuendo, I am saying this is acceptable behavior. Nothing spreads faster than gossip in a school, and most rumors are speculation. Spreading gossip can only lead to hurt feelings and tarnished reputations. We have to check ourselves when we begin to badmouth our students or their parents, or tear down our fellow faculty and administrators. We also have to stop publicly and privately bad mouthing the profession as a whole. Lesson: Refrain from the blame game — actively work to be the solution.

‘I SHALL PASS THROUGH THIS WORLD BUT ONCE.’ This is a quote from a prominent French-born American Quaker missionary, the son of a counselor to King Louis XVI. I first read this quote when I was in high school, and it has impacted how I live my life and interact with others, especially my students. This is the entire quote: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can so show to man or beast, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” – Étienne de Grellet du Mabillier (1773-1855). Lesson: Let me show kindness, always.



n summary, it has taken me a lifetime to gain the knowledge, understanding, compassion and grace it takes to be in the classroom. Teachers make a difference by building solid, positive and trusting relationships with students, parents and our fellow faculty and administrators. Be the change you want to see. If you feel you cannot change anything, you can change your own attitude. Each day, we must wake up and take control of our lives and our classroom. We hold the future of our society in our hands — the edun cation of our children.

August/September 2015

2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists

PAGE congratulates the 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year and finalists. Seated, left to right, are: •  John Wood, Art, Luella High (Henry) •  Alexandra Vlachakis, Information Technology, Sandy Creek High (Fayette) •  Kimberly Lester, Writing/Language Arts, St. Elmo Center for the Gifted (Muscogee) •  Holly Canup, Media Resource Specialist, East Jackson Comprehensive High (Jackson) Standing, left to right, are: •  Gary Allen Jones II, Gifted, East Central Elementary (Rome City) •  Blair Inabinet, Runner-up, Georgia Studies, Youth Middle (Walton) •  Patrick Logan, First Grade, Buford Elementary (Buford City) •  Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods •  Georgia Teacher of the Year Ernest Lee, IB History/U.S. Government, Windsor Forest High (Chatham) •  Brian Patrick, English/Literature, Jasper County High (Jasper) •  Brian David Butler, Science, Rutland High (Bibb)

August/September 2015


Teaching to the Souls of Children

Georgia RESA Summit Takes Square Aim at Student Poverty By Meg Thornton, PAGE Publications Manager


his year’s annual conference of the Georgia Regional Education Service Agencies took aim at the crippling epidemic of student poverty in our state. It also provided educators with strategies on breaking through to the hearts and minds of impoverished students. “The growing incidence of poverty among our public school students has profoundly changed the scope of services that RESAs are asked to provide in support to our schools. Unfortunately, these demands for enhanced services for our neediest students come at a time when resources are greatly diminished,” stated the conference program. Taking a holistic approach, the 2015 Georgia RESA Summit, subtitled “Beacons of Hope,” provided attendees with strong data detailing the alarming increase of childhood poverty in Georgia, as well as its devastating impact on student achievement. For inspiration, the program also highlighted some K-12


schools that, having applied the principles expounded in PAGE professional learning academies, have developed a disciplined framework for designing student work and have made impressive strides in student engagement. Keynote presentations by executives of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute and the Southern Education Foundation highlighted the massive state budget cuts incurred by Georgia public schools in recent years, as well as the alarming growth of poverty. Since 2002, state funding per student has declined 12 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars. Furthermore, between 2008 and 2013 in Georgia: •  The tax digest fell in nearly 90 percent of school districts by an average of 21.7 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars. •  135 districts raised millage rates. •  Local revenues fell in 89 districts by an average of 20 percent; these districts enroll nearly 80 percent of all students.

At the same time, poverty rates in the state have soared. Georgia ranks sixth in the nation in childhood poverty, according to 2013 U.S. Census Bureau data. Nearly two out of three of Georgia’s 1.68 million public school students — 62 percent — are low income, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. THE ‘HIDDEN RULES’

In a session titled “Teaching Teachers about Children in Generational Poverty,” Maggie Glennon of Middle Georgia RESA, spoke on the juxtaposition of the “hidden rules” of impoverished families vs. those of the middle class. Schools and workplaces operate according to middle class values. To be successful in school and beyond, one must follow middle class rules. However, “people in poverty live their lives much differently than middle class people,” said Glennon. For disadvantaged children to be successful, adults, such as teachers, must explicitly

August/September 2015


teach them the hidden rules of society. Whereas middle class students learn from parents and others to show up on time, dress appropriately, use appropriate words and be respectful, children who hail from generational poverty often have very limited exposure to these codes of conduct. Educators must be acutely aware of both sets of hidden rules and of their own aversion to violations of their own rules so that, rather than be offended by a child’s unruly behavior, we make a conscious effort to teach them how to alter their behavior to achieve success. “When a student ‘pushes your button,’ it usually means that he or she broke one of your hidden rules,” said Glennon. Children in poverty typically start school behind middle class children because they have much smaller vocabularies, have difficulty express-

Brooks County High School presenters and staff, (l-r): teacher Alyce Solomon; Superintendent Owen Clemons; teacher Anya Cain; Principal Dr. Elena Ponder; teacher Lori Studstill and teacher Jarod Perry.

Continued on page 18

August/September 2015


ing emotions in words and have limited background knowledge, said Glennon. In summary, Glennon said, “It’s not about right or wrong; it is about different. It’s not about race; it’s about poverty. It’s not about ‘them’ and ‘us;’ it’s about all of us. … It is about being successful with two sets of rules.”

temporary. If it is to be, it’s up not schooled, emphasized educato me.” tion. Report card day was monuWe must influence their mental. If a child had a grade will: “I am willing to sow now lower than A, his father would to reap later. I will do my part boom, “You better pull it up.” to succeed. I control me.” A chronic stutterer, young And we must influence Cordy had low self-esteem and their emotions: “Life can saw himself as “damaged goods,” change for me; there is hope. like the discounted dented cans Dr. Hayward Cordy I am unique and created with of vegetables and old meats that a purpose. My decisions will his family sought for survival. shape my life and change my world.” Hence the name of Cordy’s recently pubCordy knows of what he speaks. He lished book, “Damaged Goods,” which grew up in abject poverty in a family of chronicles his difficult journey to becoming 13 children and sharecropper parents in an admired teacher and superintendent in rural Johnson County. The six-room tenant Jenkins and Johnson county school dishouse had no bathroom. His father, though tricts. “He learned that life was not always fair, but that he determined his destiny,” 1 wrote PAGE Executive Director Dr. Allene Magill in the forward to “Damaged Goods.” Cordy, a member of the PAGE Board of Directors, “has spent his entire life giving to others … regardless of their background, race or abilities. He understands that children must be respected, valued and given the opportunity to learn and be successful,” Magill added.


In an inspirational keynote speech, Dr. Hayward Cordy, executive director of Oconee RESA, related that we must “teach to the soul of children.” We must influence their thoughts: “My struggles make me strong. My condition is

The growing incidence of poverty among our public school students has profoundly changed the scope of services that RESAs are asked to provide in support to our schools.

Photography by Meg Thornton 2 3



August/September 2015


Whereas middle class students learn from parents and others to show up on time, dress appropriately, use appropriate words and be respectful, children who hail from generational poverty often have very limited exposure to these codes of conduct. The 2015 RESA summit was hosted by First District RESA, which serves 18 school systems in southeast Georgia. “The challenge of student poverty has profoundly changed the scope of services that RESAs are called to provide,” said Dr. Whit Myers, executive director of First District RESA. “We trust that the 2015 Summit provided RESAs with information and support for becoming even brighter beacons of hope for Georgia’s n teachers and students.”


1. From left, Aaron Cohn Middle School (Muscogee) teachers Denise Fox and Karissa Castillo with Principal Richard Green.

Cathy Mayberry, Oconee RESA.

2 From left, PAGE Executive Director Dr. Allene Magill and a panel of educators: Principal Ivy Smith and teacher Sam Clemons Jr., Pine Grove Middle (Lowndes); Principal Janet Hendley, teacher Mica Merriman and teacher Patricia Burk, Hahira Middle (Lowndes); and Principal Jennifer Hayes, Red Bud Middle (Calhoun).

5. The annual summit was hosted by 1st District RESA. From left, Dr. Trudy Sharpe, Wayne Greenway, Dr. Chris Garretson, Leslie Mills, Dave Rutz, Dr. Lisa Burkhalter and Dr. Whit Myers

3. From left, Kimberly Thorpe, Metro RESA; Holly Mauney and Jan Black, Pioneer RESA; Nichole Moulton, Oconee RESA; Susan Proctor and Marcia Williams, Pioneer RESA; and Lisa Dean and

August/September 2015



4. Gene Christie of Coastal Plains RESA (left) with Brooks County Superintendent Owen Clemons.

6. Red Bud Middle (Calhoun) Principal Jennifer Hayes (center) with teachers Christy Martin and Matt Fox. 7. Claire Suggs, senior education policy analyst, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. 8. From left, Laura Kipp, Dr. Alex Jordan and Dr. Lisa Burkhalter of 1st District RESA.


Professional Learning APTLA Graduates First Cohort

Assistant Principal and Teacher Leaders Successfully Apply Engagement Principles By Dr. Ann Stucke, Director, PAGE Professional Learning


chool teams from across Georgia are the first graduates of the PAGE Assistant Principal and Teacher Leadership Academy. The 107 assistant principal and teacher leaders spent two years growing their understanding of student and staff engagement and capac-

ity building through collaboration. Strong feedback from participants affirms the initiative’s effectiveness. “The PAGE professional learning experiences in APTLA have shaped my thinking as a next-generation leader: a school leader focused on designing engaging work for students, as well as developing teacher leaders,” says Leah Green, assistant principal at East Newton Elementary School (Newton County). Teacher leader Ashley – Leah Green, Wallace of Carroll County’s

‘APTLA [has] shaped my thinking as a next-generation leader.’

Central High School says her school has now changed its approach to collaborative planning. “We are [using] norms and protocols to maximize efficiency to allow teachers to spend time designing engaging lessons,” she says. “The work is designed around and for student success.” Should your school consider participating in the Assistant Principal and Teacher Leadership Academy? Here’s

Assistant Principal, East Newton Elementary School (Newton County)


August/September 2015

Congratulations to the 107 graduates of PAGE Assistant Principal and Teacher Leader Academy.

what a few other participants say: “A great strength of PAGE APTLA is the positive atmosphere,” says Will Zwingmann, assistant principal at Glanton-Hindsman Elementary School (Carroll County). “With all of the changes and the upheaval in education, it is nice to attend sessions that emphasize positive results from student growth and engagement through motivation.”

Stephanie Nash, assistant principal at Morgan County Primary School, says that in her school “student engagement has improved and teachers are more cognizant of how lessons are planned.” Amy Stewart, assistant principal at Sonoraville High School (Gordon County), says that through APTLA, “a core group of teacher leaders have become empowered to design highly engaging units of instruction.” Furthermore, administrators, working collaboratively with faculty, are designing compelling learning experiences for students, faculty and parents. The Assistant Principal and Teacher

‘Student engagement has improved.’ – Stephanie Nash, Assistant Principal, Morgan County Primary School Leadership Academy begins another two-year initiative this fall. To inquire about sending a team (one assistant principal and two teacher leaders), please contact Ricky Clemmons at or call 800-334n 6861 or 770-216-8555, ext. 161.

Lowndes High School teachers Casey Page (left) and Treva Gear (right) with Assistant Principal Stacy Dickey.

‘We are maximizing efficiency to give teachers time to design engaging lessons.’ – Ashley Wallace, Teacher Leader, Carroll County Central High School Photography by Lynn Varner and Meg Thornton August/September 2015


New Organization Replaces FEA Georgia

PAGE Launches Future Georgia Educators to Recruit and Prepare Tomorrow’s Teachers By Mary Ruth Ray, PAGE College Services Representative


o counter the growing teacher shortage in Georgia, PAGE is stepping up efforts to identify, recruit, prepare and retain excellent students for a career in teaching. PAGE has established Future Georgia Educators, which replaces the Future Educators Association of Georgia. The new organization lets us focus specifically on Georgia students and educators. For more than a decade, PAGE has partnered with Phi Delta Kappa International to sponsor FEA Georgia, but changes

4% INCREASE in Student Population in Georgia’s Public Schools from 2010 to 2014 2,000,000





Fall 2010

Fall 2011


Fall 2012


Fall 2013


Fall 2014

16% DECREASE in Students Enrolled as Education Majors in University System of Georgia from 2010 to 2014 30,000 27,978 26,722





Fall 2010


Fall 2011

Fall 2012

Fall 2013


Fall 2014

at the national level of FEA, coupled with a looming teacher shortage in our own state, prompted a highly localized effort to encourage young people to consider a career in education. Of foremost concern is a trend in recent years of fewer college students entering the field of education, especially in light of Georgia’s growing K-12 student population. According to data from the University System of Georgia, the number of students enrolled in an education major has decreased 16 percent since the fall of 2010 (see chart on next page). During this same period, enrollment in Georgia’s public schools has steadily increased. These trends, along with the impending retirement of throngs of baby boomer-era teachers, prompted PAGE’s renewed focus on teacher recruitment. “It is time for a Georgia-tailored approach to teacher recruitment,” states PAGE Executive Director Dr. Allene Magill. “We have valued our partnership with our friends at PDK, but as the state’s largest professional education association, PAGE must focus its lens sharply on recruiting the next generation of Georgia teachers. The transformation to FGE is the best way to make that happen.” As with FEA, high schools will establish FGE chapters of students wishing to explore careers in education. PAGE will provide local chapter support, professional learning and competitions centered on the development of teaching skills. Furthermore, FGE will support high schools that offer education pathway courses: Early Childhood Education or Teaching as a Profession. Through FGE, PAGE will provide guest speakers for education pathway classes on curriculum topics such as ethics and contemporary issues in education, as well as provide curriculum support resources on the FGE website. PAGE has also partnered with several colleges of education across the state to host a series of Future Georgia Educators Days (see page 24). Education pathway students will hear from awardwinning educators, participate in workshops and meet with representatives from colleges of education from all over the state. More information is available at “We are eager to support future educators and their teachers,” says PAGE Membership Director Jimmy Jordan. “We are working closely with committed FEA-turned-FGE advisors to make sure that we target the needs of the education pathway classes. And our relationships with colleges of education have us perfectly positioned to encourage these young people as they graduate high school and move on to the postsecondary level.” For more information on FGE, visit Editor’s Note: Veteran PAGE members may recall that the PAGE Foundation founded Future Georgia Educators in the 1980s. In 2001, the PAGE Foundation partnered with Phi Delta Kappa International to create the Future Educators Association of Georgia. The move to FGE is n a return to the original organization.

August/September 2015

Enrollment in Education Majors Drops 16% from 2010 to 2014 The chart below shows fall enrollment in education majors from 2010 to 2014 at University System of Georgia institutions. Education majors here are defined in the federal Classification of Instructional Programs as beginning with the digits “13.” While some of these majors (such as adult and continuing education, higher education, etc.) lead to careers other than classroom instruction, the data nonetheless indicates a distinct downward trend in the number of students choosing education as a career. Institution

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Fall 2010

Fall 2011

Fall 2012

Fall 2013

% Change 2010 to 2014

Fall 2014







Albany State University







Armstrong State University













Clayton State University







College of Coastal Georgia













Dalton State College







Darton State College

























Georgia Regents University







Georgia Southern University































Middle Georgia State College







South Georgia State College













University of Georgia







University of North Georgia







University of West Georgia







Valdosta State University













Atlanta Metropolitan State College

Columbus State University

Fort Valley State University Georgia College & State University Georgia Gwinnett College

Georgia Southwestern State University Georgia State University Gordon State College Kennesaw State University

Southern Polytechnic State University

Grand Total August/September 2015


PAGE cordially invites your Education Pathway students to

Future Georgia Educators Days We’ve planned a great event for education pathway students ✓✓ Keynote address from an award‐winning educator ✓✓ Engaging workshop sessions on teaching topics ✓✓ College fair with colleges from across Georgia ✓✓ Mini‐session with host college’s admissions staff ✓✓ Code of Ethics knowledge competition

Who’s invited? ✓✓ FGE chapters ✓✓ Education Pathway students (ECE or TAP) ✓✓ Teachers are also encouraged to bring any high school students interested in exploring a career in teaching

Select your preferred date/location: 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6

Georgia Southern University


Tuesday, Nov. 3

Middle Georgia State College


Thursday, Feb. 4

Berry College


Thursday, Feb. 11

Georgia Southwestern University


Tuesday, Feb. 23

University of Georgia Athens

Registration is $10 per person to offset the cost of lunch. FGE chapters qualify for discounted registration.

Online registration begins Sept. 1 24  PAGE ONE Day

August/September 2015

Inaugural Class of Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows Develops Pipeline of STEM Teachers


ext fall, some of Georgia’s most underserved public schools will employ 36 new, highly trained STEM teachers. The teachers comprise Georgia’s inaugural class of Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation fellows who were named in June. The highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math — STEM fields — and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools. The 36 Georgia fellows will be paid $30,000 each to earn a teaching degree at one of three Georgia colleges: Kennesaw State University, Columbus State University or Piedmont College. Georgia State University and Mercer University will join the program next year, and the number of fellows will increase to 60 students per year for the next four years. The program is part of the University System of Georgia’s goal to prepare 20,000 new teachers by 2020. While earning their master’s degrees, fellows will receive hands-on experience in their selected schools and will have a mentor who teaches a STEM subject. In return, fellows will commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural Georgia schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Throughout the three-

year commitment, fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring. Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education spearheaded the effort to bring the Princeton, New Jersey-based fellowship program to Georgia. The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation has provided $9.36 million in funding. Georgia joins Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio as Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship states. The Georgia program brings the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s total commitment to the fellowship to nearly $90 million. CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE EMPHASIZED

The universities, in exchange for receiving exceptional teacher candidates and a matching grant, agree to rethink their teacher preparation programs, emphasizing classroom experience early on. The foundation emphasizes closer integration between the education colleges and colleges of arts and sciences, direct oversight of the education programs by university provosts, greater collaboration between education colleges and primary and secondary schools, more experience in schools for graduate students, and three years of mentoring after the graduates start teaching. The participating universities, selected in a statewide review by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, have spent the past year and a

half tailoring their teacher preparation programs to meet the fellowship’s standards for intensive clinical work and rigorous related coursework. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation is also partnering with a wide range of school districts across the state, including Atlanta Public Schools, Banks County School System, Bibb County School District, Chattahoochee County School District, Clarke County School District, Cobb County School District, Dodge County Schools, Franklin County Schools, Fulton County Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Habersham County Schools, Hall County Schools, Houston County Schools, Marietta City Schools, Marion County School System, Monroe County Schools, Muscogee County Schools, Paulding County School District, Stephens County School System, Union County Schools, Walton County Public Schools and White County School District. “The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship will not only help improve the teacher training programs at five universities in partnership with several of their local school systems, but also produce more STEM teachers for our state,” states Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education n President Steve Dolinger. – Meg Thornton, PAGE Publications Manager

Front row, (l-r): Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education President Steve Dolinger, Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine and Gov. Nathan Deal formally welcomed the first Woodrow Wilson Georgia Fellowship Program class at the Georgia Capitol this summer.

August/September 2015



Educators Moonlighting as Tutors, Coaches and the Like Must Avoid Conflicts of Interest By Leonard D. Williams Jr., Staff Attorney


erriam-Webster defines a conflict of interest as “a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust.” Students, parents and educators benefit from an


unbiased learning environment. Therefore, educators need to steer clear of conflicts. A potential problematic situation arises when an educator has a side business or second job and students or their parents are potential customers. While it may be ethical for students and parents to patronize an educator’s private business, an educator should always review his or her school’s or school board’s policies and obtain written permission from an administrator or the local board of education, if necessary, before entering into any business relationships with students or their parents. Unless expressly approved by one’s employer, an educator may not solicit students or parents to purchase goods or services for the educator’s personal gain. Educators should also avoid initiating private business relationships with students or their parents. Compensated private tutoring, for example, is a common service that teachers provide. While it is legal and ethical to tutor for pay, a teacher should not market tutoring or other services directly to his or her students or their parents during class or any other official school activity. Further, a teacher may not charge a fee to teach something privately that should have been (but wasn’t) covered in class. An educator must also avoid blatant conflicts, such as a baseball coach recommending hitting lessons for a player then immediately offering services as a private hitting coach for pay. What about an

August/September 2015

educator who wishes to utilize a commercially available service, such as lawn care, from a student or parent? A problem is unlikely to arise so long as the student or parent offers the same service to others in the community at a similar rate. KINDLY DECLINE EXPENSIVE GIFTS

Gifts are another area of concern. It is not inherently unethical or illegal to accept gifts from students or their parents, but caution is advised. Generally, the more expensive the gift, the greater the chance that the appearance of a conflict of interest may arise. A good rule of thumb is if the gift is valued at less than $50 and there was no quid pro quo (i.e., an agreement that the student or parent would provide the gift in exchange for something the teacher gave to or did for the student), it is probably permissible to accept it (with written consent of the principal,

Unless expressly approved by one’s employer, an educator may not solicit students or parents to purchase goods or services. as added protection). If the value is more than $50, it’s probably best to kindly decline it unless you have written permission from the superintendent or a designee to accept it. It may also be permissible to accept a gift from the class (as opposed to a gift from an individual) worth more than $50, but it’s still best to obtain written permission from the principal. When handling school funds, follow

the local board of education’s policy manual and the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators. One should also follow protocol regarding keeping financial records and depositing and spending school monies. If there are no written policies for a particular issue, ask for a written directive from administration. Never use school funds for nonschool-related purposes without written permission from an administrator or comingle school funds with personal funds. Finally, be sure that all requests for reimbursement of expenses or pay that are submitted are honest and accurate. In summary, use a healthy dose of caution to avoid conflicts of interest. When in doubt, always consult the school or local board policy manual or request a written directive from an administrator. For more information on this or any other legal issue, please contact the PAGE n Legal Department at 770-216-8555.

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August/September 2015

We want you to make an informed decision about the university that’s right for you. For more about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, visit


Seasoned Educators Join PAGE Membership Staff PAGE is pleased to welcome four highly seasoned Georgia educators to its membership services staff.

PAGE District 3b Membership Services Representative Laurie Provost comes to PAGE with eight years teaching experience in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties. Provost holds a master’s degree in education and, for the past three years, was the PAGE building contact at Stone Mountain Elementary School. She also has sales, marketing and accounting experience. She takes over in Gwinnett County and Buford City Schools and can be reached at 678-8609907 or

PAGE District 12 MSR Joey Kirkland has 30 years of experience in public education, having been a teacher, coach, principal and assistant superintendent in Jenkins County. Kirkland has a doctorate degree in education and has been a PAGE building contact, chapter president of a local county PAGE chapter and member of the PAGE legislative taskforce. He can be reached at 912-531-3086 or

PAGE District 9 MSR Diann Branch comes to PAGE with 30 years in public education, most recently as school counselor at Chattahoochee Elementary School in Forsyth County. She has a master’s degree in counseling and served as the PAGE building contact at her school for several years. Branch has been recognized at the system, state and national level for her work in elementary school counseling, and she has presented at several state and national education conferences. She can be reached at 770-757-3001 or

PAGE District 11 MSR Peggy Brown has 18 years of experience in the Walton County School System at the elementary and middle school levels. She has been the science chairperson at Youth Middle School and served as the PAGE building contact there for two years. Brown also has sales and marketing experience. She can be reached at 770-634-6489 or


August/September 2015

Membership Services Representatives Nancy Ratcliffe District 7 770-773-6004

Jo Breedlove District 3a 770-617-6489

Laurie Provost District 3b 678-860-9907 Melanie Evans District 5 404-323-3990

Diann Branch District 9 770-757-3001

Ha b


ha m



Kathy Arena District 10 706-564-5873

3a Peggy Brown District 11 770-634-6489







10th Linda Woods District 1 912-237-2600

Mc Du







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



11th Bibb







13th mery


1st Evans


BJ Jenkins District 6 888-413-1091


Laura Clements District 13 229-392-4088



Gwen Desselle District 2 229-805-1764




Joey Kirkland District 12 912-531-3086

College Services Representatives August/September 2015


North Georgia

Diane Ray 678-296-7355

Jo Breedlove 770-617-6489

Dale Gillespie District 8 229-506-2966

South Georgia

Dale Gillespie 229-506-2966

PAGE ONE  29 Ray Mary Ruth


Foundation News PAGE Foundation to Honor Robert L. Brown Jr. and R L Brown & Associates


rominent Georgia civic leader Robert L. Brown Jr. and the Decatur architectural firm he founded will be honored in September at “A PAGE Turning Event,” the PAGE Foundation annual banquet that recognizes business, philanthropic and government leaders for their commitment to public school improvement. A Dublin native and magna cum laude graduate of Tuskegee University, Brown has contributed to the education of Georgia’s young people in numerous ways. He has tutored students at Bob Mathis Elementary School in DeKalb County, mentored Georgia

College & State University students through the Georgia Education Mentorship program, and he has held statewide leadership roles through the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Early Education Commission, Agnes Scott College board of trustees and Atlanta Speech School board of directors. Host committee co-chairs for the 2015 “A PAGE Turning Event” honoring Brown are Clyde Tuggle, The Coca-Cola Company senior vice president and chief public affairs and communications officer; and Steve Green, president and n CEO of Stephen Green Properties.

Kennesaw State University

Synergy 2O15-2O16 SEASON

SHULER AWARDS April 21, 2016

MASTER CLASSES are offered year round




August/September 2015

2015 PAGE Foundation Scholarship Recipients Announced


he PAGE Foundation recently awarded $14,000 in scholarships to professional, support personnel and teacher candidate PAGE members. Recipients competed through an application process, and a panel of judges determined winners. “An investment in an educator or

an aspiring educator often has a ripple effect across generations of students,” says PAGE Foundation President John Varner. “Scholarships we present today help educators become the capable professionals our students need not only next year or the year after but often for decades to come. The PAGE Foundation is very proud to support

the individuals our state will rely upon in the future to educate generations of students.” The scholarships are one-time awards of $1,000 each. The application process begins again this October. Eligibility requirements and application information will be available on the website at

2015 PAGE Foundation Scholarship Recipients PAGE Jack Christmas Graduate Scholarship Sharon M. Snyder •  Fourth-grade Teacher, Crabapple Lane Elementary School, Fayette County Schools •  Attending Brenau University •  Pursuing Ed.S. in Early Childhood Education PAGE Charles “Coach” Cooper Scholarship Cary Waite Sell •  Chemistry and Biology Teacher, Parkview High School, Gwinnett County Schools •  Attending University of Georgia •  Pursuing Ph.D. in Secondary Science Education

PAGE Professional Scholarships Malisa Donnielle Cawood •  Fifth-grade Teacher, City Park Elementary School, Dalton Public Schools •  Attending Georgia State University •  Pursuing M.Ed. in Reading, Language and Literacy

Nicholas John Scheman •  Science Department Chair and Teacher, and Renaissance Academy Director, Chestatee High School, Hall County Schools •  Attending Piedmont College •  Pursuing Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction

August/September 2015

Carrie Dillon Settles •  Science Teacher and Co-department Chair, Brookwood High School, Gwinnett County Schools •  Attending Kennesaw State University •  Pursuing Ed.S. in Instructional Technology Joy Griffith Singleton •  ESEP Teacher, New Hope Education Center, Paulding County Schools •  Attending University of West Georgia •  Pursuing Ed.D. in School Improvement Rebecca Curry Wilson •  Sixth-grade Teacher, Pulaski County Middle School, Pulaski County Schools •  Attending Georgia Southwestern State University •  Pursuing Ed.S. in Middle Grades Education

PAGE S. Marvin Griffin Scholarships Rachel Simone Fletcher •  English Education Major •  Attending Kennesaw State University

Alfonzo Garrett Washington •  Middle Grades English & Social Studies Education Major •  Attending Albany State University

PAGE Undergraduate Scholarships Lacie Lou Gunn •  Early Childhood/Special Education Major •  Attending University of North Georgia

PAGE DeKalb Scholarship Meaghan E. Curry •  Music Teacher, Henderson Mill Elementary School, DeKalb County Schools •  Attending University of St. Thomas •  Pursuing M.A. in Music Education, Kodaly Concentration PAGE Support Personnel Scholarship Rachel Olivia Hayden •  Pre-K Paraprofessional, Bloomingdale Elementary School, SavannahChatham Public Schools •  Pursuing M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education •  Attending Armstrong State University

Katlyn Oliver •  Early Childhood Education Major •  Attending Emmanuel College

Taylor Nicole Priest •  Early Childhood/Special Needs Education Major •  Attending College of Coastal Georgia



Professional Association of Georgia Educators

Have You Transferred Systems? Transfer Your Payroll Deduction at To transfer payroll deduction from another system to your new system, select “Payroll Deduction Transfer” at or complete a new paper application and include your new system information. Your current membership will expire if not updated with the new system information.

Have You Moved or Has Your Contact Information Changed? Be sure to update all your contact information online.

Update Your Membership or Renew at Benefits begin immediately when you join or renew online. Georgia’s Largest Professional Association for Educators. 86,000+ members and growing. Correction: In the PAGE One May/June cover story, the online learning program Edgenuity was misidentified as Ingenuity. OFFICERS President Stephanie Davis Howard President-Elect Amy Denty Treasurer Lamar Scott Past-President Leslie Mills Secretary Kelli De Guire 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 TBA Ex-Officio Megan King


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 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 2015-16 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 ©2015.

August/September 2015



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Secondary Programs English, History, Biology and Math

(fully online option)

Add-on Graduate and Undergraduate programs include: Gifted and ESOL endorsements Special Education certification

Music Education

(678) 466-4825

Offering More Than 20 Degree Programs B.S. in Education

• Early Care and Education • Early Childhood /Special Education • Middle Grades Education • Music • Secondary Education

Master of Arts in Teaching • Early Childhood 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

Education Specialist


• Early Childhood Education • Teacher Leadership • Educational Leadership

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

School Counseling*
















Mercer University’s Tift College of Education is committed to creating transformative change, which is why we proudly prepare more educators than any other private institution in Georgia. Our standard of academic excellence is why our graduates are highly sought after and why they are making a difference in our schools, throughout the state, and around KNO PR the world. Mercer offers more than 20 undergraduate and graduate G A IN education programs which include a variety that are approved by the SF OR Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Programs are offered DIVERSITY BE T in Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Douglas County, Henry County, The Transforming Educator is the Eastman, Newnan and Online.

living link in the educational process.


• M.S. School Counseling • Ed.S. School Counseling *Offered jointly with Mercer’s Penfield College –

Certification Programs Mercer’s Tift College of Education offers a variety of initial and advanced certification non-degree programs approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.