PAGE One Magazine March/April 2016

Page 1

Life-Ready Graduates

March/April 2016

Henry County Meshes Academics with Career Training

The Foxfire Story | Dr. Phil Schlechty: A Great Thinker | Educators Coalesce on Capitol Hill

s r e h c a e T d e t a c i d e D ith the r w s o p f e t s e y e r g in four eas e 5 S D n a e o t Th a T-4 ion from t m c o u r r f t s o g n I d ulum and ssroom an our cla ion/Curric t a c online. u d d n E Revitalize y a n a i t e n e a r l Arts deg Metro At n i y t i s r e Master of v higan Uni c i M l a r t n ification t r Ce e c r o f s uirement q e r e t a t s rgia’s Meet Geo conduct. f o s d r a d and stan ruction t s In & m /Curriculu E A M r u o Earn y CMU. m o r f e e r g de

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March/April 2016

Vol. 37 No. 4



09  Henry County Meshes Academics With Career Training 15  Foxfire Education: A 50-Year Treasure



4  From the President Visualize How Candidate Positions May Impact Student Success and Your Career

Legislative 19  Educators Connect With Lawmakers at PAGE & GAEL Day on Capitol Hill

5  From the Executive Director Teacher Stories on TKES Push Changes; Schlechty’s Passing a Loss to Education

Professional Learning 6  Dr. Phil Schlechty’s Influence to Continue Through Educators and PAGE Professional Learning 22  PAGE Assistant Principal and Teacher Leadership Academy, 2015-2017 Legal 25  Ruling: Under the Fair Dismissal Act, Charter Schools Have Waived Employee Tenure


PAGE One Official Publication of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Providing professional learning for educators to enhance professional competence, confidence and leadership skills, leading to higher academic achievement for students, while providing the best in membership, legal services and legislative support. March/April 2016

Technology in the Classroom 26  Badges, A Means to Teacher Professional Growth and Certificate Renewal Foundation News 29  Chamblee Wins PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades 30  Your Support Enabled PAGE Foundation to Serve 2,000+ Students and Educators in 2015 31  2015 PAGE Foundation Donors News and Information 32  Proposed Amendment to PAGE Bylaws; PAGE Legal Defense Assets




Editor Craig Harper

President Larry Lebovitz

Graphic Designer Jack Simonetta

Associate Editor Meg Thornton

Publisher John Hanna

Production Coordinator Megan Willis

Contributing Editor Lynn Varner

Editor Lindsay Penticuff

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

Associate Editor Megan Thornton


From the President

Visualize How Candidate Positions May Impact Student Success and Your Career Stephanie Davis Howard

Educational issues can rarely be viewed through partisan lenses. Consider candidates who truly have the best interests of students and educators at heart.

Register to

Search ‘voter registration’



his is a critical year for educators. Issues of particular importance to our profession include the following: •  Over-testing at the expense of teaching and learning. •  Linking student test scores to TKES/LKES evaluations. •  Underfunding of classified staff insurance. •  Reducing class sizes to increase student success. •  Restoring a full school year in all Georgia districts. •  Replacing funds lost through austerity cuts. •  Establishing state takeovers of “failing” schools by establishing an Opportunity School District. This is an election year, so it is imperative that educators and supporters of public school education participate in the voting process.


VOICE: Our collective voice must be heard. Make sure that your colleagues are informed about issues regarding education in Georgia. Communicate your concerns to your state officials: the governor, legislators and the state school superintendent. Your participation in Georgia Department of Education and PAGE Legislative surveys is always appreciated. Beyond establishing our collective voice, these surveys help us develop strategies and initiatives as we approach state leaders. OWNERSHIP: As you consider your position on issues, familiarize yourself with candidates whose views are aligned with yours. Educational issues can rarely be viewed through partisan lenses. Consider candidates

who truly have the best interests of students and educators at heart. Educate yourself on the current issues — testing, evaluation and proposed changes in compensation and retirement — and visualize how your candidates’ positions may impact the following: •  Your students’ academic success •  Your educational values •  Your future job security Examine all issues on the table during this election year and understand that “tabled, delayed or reconsidered” does not necessarily mean that the discussion is over. Be an informed and educated voter who distinguishes between rhetoric and record. TURNOUT: The higher the voter turnout, the higher the concerns of the voter are valued. Strong turnout will also result in more balanced policymaking and accountability. If we are to be a serious force, we must establish a united front. Register to vote, and do not find yourself too busy to go to the polls on election days. Your vote is only wasted if you fail to cast it. EMPOWERMENT: I recently read an article that attributed the lack of teacher involvement to “fear.” I’m not sure that fear is a major concern, but our system is one in which there is a definite “chain of command.” Your vote, however, is an earned right. If an issue is important to you — to your family, your district, your community, your peace of mind — be a participant in the process designed to help you maintain some influence over your life and livelihood. Through influence, interaction and a clear, unified voice, we become empowered to effect change. Remember, as educators, we speak not only for ourselves, but n also for our students.

March/April 2016

From the Executive Director

Teacher Stories on TKES Push Changes Dr. Allene Magill


o you feel it? legislators ignored educator insight, it took understand that great teaching and a great The conversation about educadramatic actions by a national groundeducation cannot and should not be judged tion and educators shifted percep- swell of parents and students to make their on high-stakes tests. Great teachers build tibly in the past few months. Sometimes viewpoint known: They decided to drop relationships with students and make the it’s difficult to know you’re in the midst of out of public education or opt-out of testeffort to help them reach their potential — change as that change happens. This time, ing by defiantly refusing to take the tests whatever that may be. There is also a growI sense it. I hope you do, too. or by staying home on test days. Educators ing understanding that teachers and schools Positive changes are imminent regardare similarly expressing themselves: Many cannot singlehandedly overcome the influing the overemphasis on student testare retiring early, dropping out for other ence of student and community poverty. ing, testing-based educator evaluations, employment or dissuading their children Schools are beacons of hope for children, TKES observations and Student Learning from going into teaching. and educators deliver miracles every day Objectives. The pushback on merit pay On the federal level, the pressure finally — but they can’t resolve the full weight of based on student test scores is widespread induced change in December 2015 with the societal barriers that burden so many of our and formidable. passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act. children and their families. I applaud our members for proactively The law eliminates requirements that stanI am hopeful the critical view of educainforming legislators with your own stories dardized scores be used as part of teacher tors that has pervaded the thinking of about the harm of over-testing and the performance evaluations. It reduces the lawmakers for the past 20 years is waning. unfair measurements implemented with number of tests required for students and Even so, educators, parents and other pubTKES. Personal experiences with TKES and schools to demonstrate proficiency. The lic school proponents still face great chaltesting like those shared by Gordon County general public — beyond parents, students lenges in advocating in the best interest of n teacher and PAGE Board of Directors and educators — seems to collectively all Georgia students. Secretary Kelli De Guire make a powerful impact on those who don’t understand Education Lost a Great Thinker and Teacher what’s happening in Georgia I was deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Phil Schlechty, the founder and leader of the classrooms. Her story, feaSchlechty Center. Phil’s research, thinking and student engagement framework formed the tured in The Atlanta Journal bedrock of my approach to education transformation since I first heard Phil speak more than Constitution, was an important 25 years ago. I implemented his framework for developing a learning organization focused message for the public and on designing work that leads to profound learning in two school districts in Georgia. And, it’s our legislators. The changes the foundation of all of the professional learning work sponsored by PAGE. anticipated with this legislative I will miss my conversations with Phil. I learned so much from ongoing discussions about session are due to each of you his new learning about teaching and engagement. He never stopped observing and asking speaking up! questions. Many people with his level of success and who have built a company around Educators have long undertheir own research might stop thinking so deeply about the work. Phil never did. He quesstood the unworkability of tioned himself, as well as others, and revised his thinking as dictated by new learning. using student test scores to That’s what true thinkers and researchers do. judge and punish individual Thank you, Phil. educators. Sadly, when state

March/April 2016


Professional Learning

Dr. Phil Schlechty’s Influence to Continue Through Educators and PAGE Professional Learning By Craig Harper, PAGE Director of Communications


AGE and the world of education lost a great thinker and treasured friend when Dr. Phil Schlechty passed away in early January. Schlechty was the founder and leader of the Schlechty Center. His teaching — on student engagement, teacher and leader collaboration, and intentional design of meaningful work that leads to profound learning — forms the foundation of all professional learning at PAGE. “Phil’s research, thinking and student engagement framework formed the bedrock of my approach to education transformation since I first heard Phil speak more than 25 years ago,” says PAGE Executive Director Dr. Allene Magill. “I will miss my conversations with Phil. I learned so much from ongoing discussions about teaching and engagement. He never stopped observing and asking questions.” Phil and his associates at the Schlechty Center began their partnership with PAGE 15 years ago. George Thompson,

from the start. “Along with the rest of us, Phil was proud of our partnership with PAGE,” Thompson says. “Phil was also proud of PAGE for becoming a national example of how a professional organization cannot only help educators grow, but serve as a catalyst to improve the lives of children and families. Using professional learning as a platform, PAGE demonstrates both the academic and community-building purposes of public education that Phil talked and wrote about. ... He was proud that our partnership with PAGE is grounded in mutual beliefs and commitments.” ENGAGEMENT PRECEDES LEARNING

Dr. Phil Schlechty, founder of the Schlechty Center

president of the center and a former Gwinnett Public Schools superintendent, has been closely involved with the work

PAGE and Schlechty Center Beliefs •  Help leaders understand how their role helps create a focus on students and on the quality of experiences provided to students and staff. •  The best way to increase student achievement is to provide students with work that engages them and results in a profound grasp of knowledge. •  The best way to attract and retain great teachers is to ensure that they are engaged in their work and love their jobs. •  Professional learning focuses on leadership at all levels, from the classroom to the boardroom.


As educational leaders reflected on Phil’s influence on their practice, several themes emerged: Phil made people think about why they held their beliefs about education and learning. He was constantly learning himself and checking his thought process. He made himself available to everyone who cared to engage with him. Participants at conferences or meetings — whether an experienced superintendent or a first-year teacher — would find themselves deep in conversation (or debate) with Phil regarding education. “By listening deeply, Phil would frequently lift gems of wisdom from others, and he made sure to give them credit, on the spot, publicly or privately, or in print,” says David Reynolds, director of impact studies at PAGE. “The fact that he sincerely sought the opinions of others to help him tweak his own thinking, or at least how he communicated it, shows how much Phil valued learning.” Ricky Clemmons leads the High School March/April 2016

‘When Phil’s frameworks for designing work and engaging students are applied districtwide, the result for children and teachers is magic.’ – Bill McCown, PAGE Professional Learning Staff Member and Former Superintendent of Gordon County Schools Redesign Initiative and other professional learning with PAGE. He, too, experienced Phil’s interactive teaching and learning style. “I’ve learned much about the depth of Phil Schlechty’s thinking, but it amazes me that I learned something new and more in depth each time I heard him speak. His analogies and stories spoke to the way I, and many others, learn,” Clemmons says. “I’ve heard him say many times that engagement precedes learning. His ability to engage you in his teaching modeled the framework he advocated.” Clemmons also recognized Phil’s approachability. “He could converse with you as a peer, a learner or as a friend. He took the time to have one-on-one conversations with educators of all levels.” THE RESULT IS ‘MAGIC’

Gordon County Schools committed to a districtwide effort for student engagement and collaboration while Bill McCown was superintendent. McCown, who now works with PAGE’s professional

learning staff and Metro RESA, says tendent, first met Phil during Hawkins’ “When Phil’s frameworks for designing first superintendency in Texas. Hawkins work and engaging students are applied came to Georgia, in part, to continue to districtwide, the result for children and work in a district using the Schlechty teachers is magic.” Center framework. “Phil brought clarity, McCown says Phil’s genius was in developing systems and tools to make the collaboration, design, engagement and analysis process accessible to school staff, which allowed staff to develop their own solutions to instructional challenges with students. “Because he had the ability to create systems and tools to articulate his thoughts, school leaders with the desire to focus on designing engaging and meaningful work for students could truly transform the educational experience – Dr. Jim Hawkins, Superintendent for students.” of Dalton Public Schools Dr. Jim Hawkins, Dalton Public Schools superin-

‘Phil brought clarity, confidence and hope to a new superintendent who intuitively knew the value of mental models and frameworks, but who had been unsuccessful at cobbling together a way to think about all the things of education and school.’

Continued on page 8

Schlechty’s Vision: Educators Need to Build Community By George Thompson, Schlechty Center President and COO Since Phil Schlechty’s passing in January, expressions of appreciation have poured in from educators. The most frequent comment has been, “He changed the way I think.” Phil had a gift for helping others reframe problems and see opportunities in challenges. He had little patience for those who were certain that they had everything figured out. He was passionate about the importance of public education, but he did not see school as having only an academic purpose. He understood that the community function of school was at least as important as the academic function. He believed educators need to do more than serve the community: They need to build community. A key to Phil’s success was his ability to communicate with any person or audience. He once told me that in his early work, he found himself writing to please other professors. It was when he understood that his audience was practitioners, especially teachers, principals and superintendents, that his ideas gained acceptance. He also understood that practitioners needed tools, frameworks, professional development, leadership development and moral support in order to institutionalize the ideas that he was writing and speaking about. It is for this reason that he founded the Center for Leadership in School Reform in 1988. The center was renamed the Schlechty Center in 2004. Phil’s writing stimulated the design of many Schlechty Center tools. He would also say that the design of the tools stimulated his thinking and writing.

March/April 2016


‘He believed in the steady and collaborative work of schools, and knew it was hard, and knew that it takes community support. He warned against the encroachments of far away powers that knew how to mandate but nothing more.’

confidence and hope to a new knew that it takes community superintendent who intuitivesupport. He warned against ly knew the value of mental the encroachments of far-away models and frameworks, but powers that knew how to who had been unsuccessful mandate but nothing more. at cobbling together a way When I read his books, I recto think about all the things ognized that he had wisdom, of education and school,” knowledge, insight, vision, and Hawkins says. “The center he [that] all of that was grounded established provides extenin a lost quality: common sive and excellent tools that sense. We have lost a friend.” help build my capacity and The importance of building – Diane Ravitch, Education Historian the capacity of my district to strong relationships anchored and Research Professor of Education at become a great learning orgaPhil’s work. Quality relationNew York University nization and public school ships foster trust, collaborasystem.” tion and community. He Diane Ravitch, the nationintroduced educators to the ally known historian of educaconcept of deeply knowing tion and a research professor of education not magicians. He understood the limits their “who” — not just where a student at New York University, blogged about of what schools can do at the same time is on an academic scale, but their capacPhil’s contribution to education: “Phillip that he understood the awesome power ity for understanding current knowledge, Schlechty was a man of deep knowledge of teachers to change lives. … He advised interests and goals. and common sense. If you read any of many schools, helping them to improve. A quote on the wall of the Schlechty his books about education, you will know He did not believe in radical disruption Center reads: “Our customers are our at once that Phil understood teaching, or earth-shattering transformation. He friends.” Phil lived that quote to its fullest learning, education and leadership. He believed in the steady and collaborative and unfailingly encouraged others to do n understood that teachers are mortals, work of schools, and knew it was hard, and so as well.

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March/April 2016

Henry County Meshes Academics with Career Training to Develop

Life-Ready Graduates

Academy for Advanced Studies

By Christine Van Dusen


he band plays “Pomp and Circumstance,” and the graduates receive their diplomas and a handshake. But are they ready for what lies ahead? The answer, on a national scale, has been a resounding “no.” Recent studies show that while more students are graduating high school than ever before — a record 82 percent nationwide and 78.8 percent in Georgia — more than half report feeling ill-prepared for the future. That’s not good enough for Henry County Schools. The district is among a growing number of school systems that, in addition to academics, is emphasizing job training and soft skills to help students get ready

for what may come next — whether it be college, a trade school or direct placement in the workforce. “We’re challenging the stigma that there’s just college,” says John Uesseler, CEO of the Academy for Advanced Studies in Henry County. “We expose them to all their options. They can do four-year college, trade school, tech school, an apprenticeship or the military.” While conventional wisdom has long suggested that college is the best path after high school, it’s clearly not the best path for all students, and, in the end, it’s not the only path to success in this economy. Although workers with college degrees and advanced training Continued on page 10

March/April 2016


‘Over the past three years, I’ve had numerous conversations with parents about students who were unengaged in school and not interested. They had discipline issues, attendance issues. But when they found something to be passionate about, something they were truly enjoying, not only were their grades good at the academy, but they were also better at their home schools. Attendance got better, and they even started talking about post-secondary education when they had never talked about it before.’ – John Uesseler, CEO, Henry County’s Academy for Advanced Studies

tend to command higher pay, about 39 percent of jobs nationwide and in Georgia require only a high school diploma or equivalent, reports the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. “There is a change in the air in terms of whether you need to go to college — more so than I have seen in 20 years,” says College and Career Readiness Specialist Susan Bowles Therriault, a principal researcher with American Institutes for Research. “We want kids to graduate with all the opportunities available to them. They can choose to go or not go to col-

lege, or into a career, and be prepared and successful.” For Henry County Schools, preparing students for the future is a priority, and a success story. The district — with buy-in from teachers, parents, students and the community at large — is meshing traditional academic programming with advanced coursework, classes for college credit, job training and fieldwork. “Our focus for all students is that they graduate Henry County Schools as college, career and life ready,” says Aaron Randall, the secondary programming coordinator for the district.

Surveys Reveal Interests

Henry County Schools in 2013 reported a graduation rate of 78.5 percent. By 2015, that number had jumped to 84.1 percent. Why the change? Some credit the district’s personalized process for determining the right path to graduation for each student. The process begins in middle school, when every student is encouraged to aim for some kind of post-secondary training, including technical colleges, two-year colleges, four-year universities and the military, says Wes Silvey, a co-lead counselor

Community Joins with Schools to Help Students Nail the Job Interview By J.D. Hardin, Henry County Schools Communications Coordinator Henry County takes a holistic approach to preparing tomorrow’s workforce. It starts with the basic job interview. Each year, career pathway students in every local high school participate in mock job interviews conducted by a


diversified mix of local business owners and employees. In advance of the interviews, business representatives are coached by work-based learning instructors at host schools. Interviewers are instructed to treat

the events like real interviews, albeit shortened due to time restraints. The questions can be generic or tailored to a specific field if a student indicated a career interest ahead of time. Interviewers typically meet with

March/April 2016

‘We have a 99 percent graduation rate that we’re very proud of. The end game is a passion that is going to support their lifestyle. We’re getting them excited about what they can do once they’re out in the real world.’ Just a few of the scores of Henry County business representatives who participate in the week-long mock interview event involving hundreds of 9th through 12th grade students. (Photo by Contina Graham)

for grades 10 through 12 at Union Grove High School. “Our counselors conduct grade-level advisement, utilizing careerinterest surveys through virtualjobshadow. org and,” he says. The aim is to help students “tailor their education to their future dreams and desires.” Increasingly, students are pursuing their dreams via the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education program, which offers vocational training in everything

from agriscience and engineering, to marketing and management in partnership with the Technical College System of Georgia and the University of Georgia. Beyond career training, CTAE emphasizes soft skills, such as appearance, attendance, attitude, character, communication, cooperation, organization, productivity, respect, teamwork and work ethic. Enrollees also participate in mock job interviews with volunteer members

– John Uesseler, CEO, Henry County’s Academy for Advanced Studies

of the business community and education leaders. “One of the biggest things we’ve heard from business and industry is that it doesn’t matter if a student goes right to work out of high school or gets a degree — young people coming out into the workforce are greatly lacking in work ethic,” Uesseler says. “Employers want us to help students become effective problem-solvers, communicators and thinkers.”

Continued on page 10

Students engage in mock job interviews with business and education leaders. (Photos by Meg Thornton)

five to 10 students. Teachers conduct extensive lessons to prepare the teens for the all-important interviews, for which they receive grades. Students are prepped on eye contact, greetings, body language, answering questions and appropriate attire. The number of students involved in the program has

March/April 2016

swelled, forcing many schools to extend their mock interviews over multiple days. The number of businesses participating has kept pace as well. Finding businesses to participate in the program has eased in recent years because many interviewers now return year after year and have recruited associates and peers to join in as well. An

added positive outcome is that, due to working with the students, participating members of the business community envision a strong future for the county. Hundreds of businesses in Henry County also offer support with internships and/or part-time jobs through the work-based learning program or though the Partners in Education program. n


Photo by Contina Graham

GA Association of Media Assistants, Union Grove HS

One reason that Henry County’s CTAE program has become so popular is that its offerings have quadrupled. Where there were once about 10 vocational pathways that a student could pursue as part of CTAE in each high school, there are now more than 40. And that’s thanks to the Academy for Advanced Studies.

Academy for Advanced Studies

Photo by Contina Graham

academic program with community needs. Funding came from a $3.4 million matching grant (to expand Henry County High), as well as an education special purpose local option sales tax (ESPLOST); donations; the Move On When Ready program; and the general operating budget for the school district. “We’re not only striving for students to be college- and careerready, but also to try and ensure a viable workforce Where once there were about 10 for today’s jobs and for vocational pathways that a Henry future jobs,” Uessler says. “All of our programs are County student could pursue as in areas that business and part of CTAE in each high school, industry said they need folks for.” there are now more than 40. When the academy opened, about 900 students from Henry County The charter program, which is availHigh and 225 from other high schools able to all district high school students, enrolled. This school year, there are opened in 2013 inside Henry County 1,965 students, including 775 from High School after the academy foundother schools and 300 who split their ers worked with more than 70 local time between their home schools and leaders to write a charter and align the the academy. That’s close to maximum capacity for the facility. On March 1, voters approved an ESPLOST/bond referendum to fund the construction of two new schools, McDonough High and McDonough Middle. This will allow the academy to take over the Henry County High School campus, says Uesseler. “The growth has been absolutely tremendous.” Once students are on their vocational pathways — either through CTAE alone or via the academy — and reach the age of 16 in 11th or 12th grade, they can apply for the SkillsUSA students help coordinate mock interviews. work-based component of career12  PAGE ONE

related education. These are internships, youth apprenticeships or cooperative education opportunities that allow students to practice what they’ve learned. One opportunity sits close to home. Georgia United Credit Union in January opened a branch inside Henry County High. Five students now work there with full-time credit union employees and learn everything from managing transactions to working on the teller line. “What they’re studying is immensely practical and applicable. They learn what it’s like to be in that industry,” Randall says. Henry County Schools is also working with Austell-based Yancey Bros., the state’s largest Caterpillar dealer, to create a diesel technology pathway that would earn a student a technician certification. “It covers all aspects of equipment repair for Caterpillar construction equipment,” Uesseler says. “Once the students complete the program and pass hiring requirements, they will have gainful employment and the opportunity to complete their training with Caterpillar.” A pilot program is set to launch this fall.

‘The End Game Is Passion’

Henry County isn’t the first district to focus intensely on post-graduation readiness and to create some sort of Academy for Advanced Studies — it’s the 28th. But whereas some districts that created academies elected to shut down the CTAE programs available inside individual high schools, Henry County took a different route. “We had 12,000 students in career tech in the county. We couldn’t close all those programs and then expect all of those students to come to the academy. We couldn’t March/April 2016

Photo by Contina Graham

Academy for Advanced Studies

GA Association of Media Assistants, Union Grove HS

Photo by Meg Thornton

serve them,” Uesseler says. So they left the current programs in place and added the academy to expand options that students didn’t have in their local schools. It’s too soon to measure the economic impact of the district’s focus on college and career readiness, but the programming is clearly helping students. “Over the past three years, I’ve had numerous conversations with parents about students who were unengaged in school and not interested,” Uesseler says. “They had discipline issues, attendance issues. But when they found something to be passionate about, something they were truly enjoying, not only were their grades good at the academy, but they were also better at their home schools. Attendance got better, and they even started talking about post-secondary education when they had never talked about it before.” Last year, there were 282 seniors in the Academy for Advanced Studies, and

279 walked the stage in May and earned the goal of possibly attending nursing diplomas. Several others received theirs school after graduation. “I’ve talked to a during summer school. “We have a few people at nursing schools, and they 99 percent graduation rate that we’re can tell who has had previous hands-on very proud of,” Uesseler says. “The end experience,” she says. “They see that the game is a passion that is going to supstudents have more knowledge and a feel port their lifestyle. We’re getting them for it. This gives you a leg up.” excited about what they can do once they’re out in the real world.” ‘I’m doing management, upkeep, Lauren Burkett is indeed scheduling and tours of the excited about what lies ahead. She’s a 15-year-old conference space here.’ sophomore at Union Grove High, but she’s enrolled – Anthony Johnson, Sophomore, in the academy and takes Academy for Advanced Studies her traditional academic courses online. “I heard people talk about the academy, and the opportunities it offered,” Anthony Johnson agrees. The 15-yearshe says. “It opened a door for me.” old sophomore, who is enrolled at the She’s on the healthcare pathway, so she academy and takes his core Luella High takes anatomy, science and electives with School classes online, completed the law enforcement pathway. He initially thought he’d like to follow family members into that field, but he’s since decided he might rather go into business. So he’s interning as an event coordinator at the academy. “I’m doing management, upkeep, scheduling and tours of the conference space here,” he says. “My schedule allows me flexibility for these kinds of opportunities.” Next year, Johnson will begin the coursework for the business and entrepreneurship pathway. “When I heard about the academy, there was From left: Union Grove HS Principal Ryan Meeks, Assistant Superintendent for Human no hesitation,” he says. “I saw the Resources Dr. Valerie Suessmith, Superintendent Rodney Bowler, District CTAE benefit. I had the plan. There were Coordinator Sharon Bonner, Union Grove HS Business Education Chair Sarah Franklin, so many options. I think this experiUnion Grove HS Assistant Principal Dr. Teisha Waller, Academy for Advanced Studies CEO John Uesseler and District Communications Coordinator J.D. Hardin. n ence will definitely help me.” March/April 2016



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Foxfire Education:

A 50-Year Treasure

By Carl Glickman, Professor Emeritus of Education, University of Georgia


ifty years ago, a classroom in the small Appalachian town of Mountain City in Rabun County developed a progressive educational approach that captured the nation’s attention. The approach, called “Foxfire,” is distinctive in the history of American education due to its

legacy of student work outside the classroom. “Foxfire did this, as well as any other pedagogical program, for public school students in the history of American education,” wrote Julie Lynn Oliver, a former University of Georgia researcher who examined the impact of Foxfire (Oliver, 2011). The issues faced by The Foxfire Fund Inc. — its ability to survive criminal and financial calamities and then re-emerge stable and facing a positive future — is a fascinating and instructive story. This is a Georgia story, but its past and future significance on classrooms, schools and communities is far larger. In September of 1966, a young, first-year teacher, Eliot Wigginton, frustrated over the behavior of his bored and belligerent high school students, confronted them about their behavior. He asked them what would make English class more interesting. After a series of discussions, a final proposal was made. The students agreed to learn the state-required English curriculum of composition, punctuations and sentence March/April 2016

usage by way of a class project. They would create a community magazine and call it Foxfire, named for the glowing, green fungus found on decaying trees in the adjacent forest. Each issue would feature studentgenerated poetry, interviews, drawings and photos of community and family members. The first magazine sold for 50 cents and the cost of production was 65 cents. Even

with modest donations from the local community, the classroom experiment was soon to go broke. But after positive reviews by editors of local and state newspapers, the demand for and price of subsequent issues increased and donations from local merchants grew. Thus, the project was saved. By 1971, the magazine had attracted widespread interest from outsiders wishing Continued on page 16 PAGE ONE  15

to know more about living on the land, self-sustaining farming and the pioneer ways of everyday life. That school year, the students selected their best stories from previous issues and compiled them into “The Foxfire Book” published by Doubleday. The first volume made The New York Times bestseller list. What followed were more bestselling books (more than 9 million copies sold), a nationally distributed movie, a 32-building Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center on Black Rock Mountain, multiple archived collections of Appalachian life and three decades of courses and workshops on the Foxfire approach to teaching and learning for educators and education students across the country (see the Foxfire core practices on next page). Royalties and donations over the years have provided $1 million in college scholarships for Rabun County high school students, and new scholarships continue to be awarded every year. In 20 years of existence, Foxfire had become a national phenomenon and had established a wellendowed nonprofit — The Foxfire Fund. But tumultuous times threatened to wipe out the organization; more on that later. Foxfire’s Impact on Education In 1985, the book review editor for the The Washington Post, after reading the


soon-to-be-released book, “Sometimes a Shining Moment: The Foxfire Experience, 20 Years Teaching in a High School Classroom,” wrote that Foxfire “could help change our understanding of school as significantly as Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ helped change our understanding of the environment.” The editor was overly optimistic, but Foxfire did change understandings about the potential of ordinary students to become deeply involved in school learning. The approach actualized the John Dewey progressive premise of the earlier 20th century that classroom learning needs to become a form of democratic life, whereby students actively demonstrate their acquired knowledge and skills by making immediate applications to bettering society (Wigginton, 1985). Foxfire was perhaps the best example of this premise for its time.

Oliver analyzed the impact of Foxfire on earlier Rabun County students. She wrote that Foxfire provided “extraordinary opportunities for students to build communication skills. By requiring students to conduct interviews, speak on behalf of Foxfire at various organizations … students were given opportunities that most high school students would never receive in a more conventional curriculum program.” Furthermore, added Oliver, “Students developed a greater appreciation for their native culture and, with that, developed the confidence that they could carry themselves proudly as mountain people anywhere. The result was that Foxfire students became more productive citizens in our democracy.” Evaluating Foxfire My return to the Foxfire organization after an absence of more than 20 years made me think about sustainability in education and whether Foxfire could be deemed a success or failure. In the mid1980s, I headed a University of Georgia network of public schools, called the Georgia League of Professional Schools, focused on democracy, education and public purpose (Glickman, 1993). We partnered with Foxfire to provide pro-

March/April 2016

fessional development to K-12 teachers eager to engage their students in learning activities that extended into their communities. That collaboration with Foxfire continued until 1992. In every education endeavor, unilateral claims of success and failures are highly suspect. Education is a social science, not a hard science of strictly controlled studies, and a major factor is the period of time over which a program can be evaluated: five, 15 or 50 years. Since this is Foxfire’s 50th anniversary, I chose the entire period of 50 years to determine if Foxfire’s approach to education has been a success. Foxfire clearly benefited many students in Rabun County and it continues to do so. It also had a major influence on individual classrooms in schools that were members of the Foxfire Regional Networks in the 1980s and 1990s, according to the majority of teacher survey responses. But today, the name Foxfire is not often heard in describing education practices that support student activities and community service. To gain insight, I reviewed research on activity-centered programs that have kinship to the core practices of Foxfire. Those programs have titles such as project-based learning, place-based education, deep learning, academic service learning, experiential learning and civic learning. Studies of these programs show student success in academic achievement, higher interest in learning, lower dropout rates, progress beyond school in both higher education and professional careers, and greater participation as adult citizens in local and state affairs (Glickman, 2015). March/April 2016

I wondered whether an educational approach to learning that is no longer identified by its name could be claimed as a success or failure? I would argue it has been a success because, as a forerunner, it influenced many of our current progressive education practices. Educational approaches that promote student engagement and student contribution remain a glaring need for all students. Unfortunately, such experiential, inquiry-oriented learning is often only found in classes of honor and gifted students and in schools that have a preponderance of students from middle to high socioeconomic backgrounds. The students who most need an active and contributory education, receive it the least (Levinson, 2012, Levine, 2013, and “Guardian of Democracy,” 2011). Navigating Troubled Waters Earlier in this writing, I noted tumultuous times with Foxfire. It has no obvious reason to be planning its next 50 years. After Foxfire reached its national iconic stature and its founder received the MacArthur Genius Award, he was indicted for child molestation, pleaded guilty, served prison time, moved out of state and was removed from any further involvement with the program. In 1992, Wigginton was convicted on a single count of molestation, but prosecutors contended that his victims numbered many more. Although anger and feelings of hurt and betrayal persist, some of the students who were among his claimed victims remained supporters of the Firefox program. In fact, students from those same classes posted notices on the windows of downtown businesses asking the community to keep the Foxfire program and museum

alive. The students prevailed and Foxfire continued its mission. Yet, for many years, it was tough going. An immediate danger of financial bankruptcy was avoided by a Foxfire board member who donated his time to negotiate legal settlements. Teacher networks were closed due to jeopardizing the funding for the museum, local teachers, courses and student scholarships. The Foxfire teacher educational program became part of nearby Piedmont College; other collaborations were organized with faculty and staff at the University of Georgia. Several staffing changes and reorganizations have taken place, and in 2000, a new executive director and museum curator were hired to stabilize the organization and launch a 50th anniversary initiative. I surmise that Foxfire will remain vibrant in the place it was created. It belongs to the community as an irreplaceable contribution to the world, showing Continued on page 18

Foxfire Core Practices •  Learner choice and design infuse the collaborative work of teachers and learners. •  Teachers are facilitators and collaborators. •  The work is designed to internalize the academic disciplines. •  Learners are able to make connections with other schoolwork, their community and the world. •  Active learning, in an atmosphere of trust and equity, characterizes classroom activities. •  The learning process entails imagination and creativity. •  Classroom work includes peer teaching, small group work and teamwork. •  The audience for learner work extends beyond the teacher, thereby providing inspiration and broadening feedback. •  Challenging, ongoing assessments promote deeper understanding and higher levels of achievement in subsequent work. •  Reflection, an essential activity, takes place at key points throughout the work.


Foxfire will hold its education summer conference, a celebration of the past and future, at Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School June 23-25. It is open to all educators. To register and learn about other Foxfire programs, visit

the staying power of students and schools partnering with their community to make education a contribution to both. Most fittingly, this past October while I was completing this essay, Foxfire received the 2015 Georgia Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities for its sustained contributions to the welfare of schools and communities. It is unrealistic to think that every classroom and school, along with its community, could replicate what happened more than 50 years ago in Rabun County, resulting in best-selling journals and books and a vast museum. Yet it is realistic and imperative to expect that Georgia students today can apply what they are learning in English, math, science, history and the arts to making their communities healthier, more caring, economically viable and aesthetically better places to live. That would be the ultimate success of Foxfire and for our state n and nation.

Carl Glickman is a University Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Georgia and a board member of the nonprofit The Foxfire Fund Inc. Learn more by visiting or contacting Glickman at Disclaimers: A shorter version of this essay was published and reprinted with permission by Phi Delta Kappa — Glickman C, “50 Years Later, Does Foxfire Still Glow?” February, 2016. This essay is not an official position or statement of The Foxfire Fund Inc.

A small college doing big things! Join the 8,000–plus Georgia teachers who have earned Bachelor’s, Master’s, Specialist, and Doctoral degrees from one of Piedmont’s PSC-approved programs. Courses are offered at our campuses in Demorest and Athens and off–campus sites across Georgia.

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Glickman, C. (1993). “Renewing America’s Schools: A Guide for Schoolbased Action.” San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Glickman, C. (2015, March 20.). “Foxfire Lessons of the Past to Inform the Future: An Evidenced-based Compilation.” Unpublished report to The Foxfire Fund Board. Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. (2011). “Guardian of Democracy: Report of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.” Silver Spring, MD: Author. Levine, P. (2007). “The Future of Democracy: Developing the Next Generation of American Citizens.” Medford, MA: Tufts University Press. Levinson, M. (2012). “No Citizen Left Behind.” Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Oliver, J. (2011). “The Story and Legacy of the Foxfire Cultural Journalism Program” (doctoral dissertation). University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Rechtman, J. (2015, November 2). “Jamil’s Georgia: Foxfire, Still Aglow — After Catastrophic Event, An Organization’s Lessons Learned.” The Saporta Report. The Washington Post, Book review of Wigginton, E. (1985). “Sometimes a Shining Moment: The Foxfire Experience, 20 Years Teaching in a High School Classroom.” NY: Anchor Press/ Doubleday. Wigginton, E. (1985). “Sometimes a Shining Moment: The Foxfire Experience, 20 Years Teaching in a High School Classroom.” New York, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

March/April 2016


Annual Event Breaks Attendance Records

Educators Connect With Lawmakers at PAGE & GAEL Day on Capitol Hill


ore than 200 classroom teachers, school leaders and retired educators gathered in Atlanta for PAGE & GAEL Day on Capitol Hill Feb. 16. The event drew the largest attendance of its history and fostered exceptional levels of interaction among educators and legislators. Attendees heard from Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta); Education Reform Commission member and syndicated columnist Dick Yarbrough; and Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Senior Education Policy Analyst Claire

Suggs. Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods provided the keynote address. “This event is an important step in helping educators become effective advocates for their schools and public education,” says Dr. Allene Magill, executive director of PAGE. “The opportunity to speak with fellow educators from across Georgia, learn about key issues and meet with lawmakers at the Capitol builds confidence that educators can advocate for public education all the time. They learn that their voice really makes a difference and that they have the ability to

speak out on critical issues.” PAGE Director of Legislative Services Margaret Ciccarelli and GAEL Executive Director Jimmy Stokes highlighted the most important pending education bills. They also shared with attendees the process for gaining an audience with House and Senate members under the Gold Dome to talk about important education issues. Prior to the event, Tippins, the Senate Education and Youth chair, and Rep. Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth), the House Education and Youth chair, sponsored Senate and House resolutions honoring n PAGE & GAEL Day on Capitol Hill.

Continued on page 20

March/April 2016


PAGE & GAEL Day on Capitol Hill


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Continued on page 22

Photos by Chris Savas

March/April 2016


PAGE & GAEL Day on Capitol Hill

Volunteers Wanted for Academic Competitions

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March/April 2016


Ruling: Under the Fair Dismissal Act, Charter Schools Have Waived Employee Tenure By Jill Hay, PAGE General Counsel & Director of Legal Services


ast summer, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled [1] that Georgia charter school systems and charter schools have waived the Fair Dismissal Act, commonly referred to as “teacher tenure,” unless the system’s or school’s charter affirmatively incorporates the Fair Dismissal Act or allows FDA rules or policies. The ruling means that unless charter school systems and charter schools affirmatively state that they intend to extend tenure to employees, then tenure protections do not exist in the charter system or charter school. Once a teacher has signed a fourth contract by the same employer, he or she enjoys a standing as tenure. Acquiring tenure rights simply means that one has a right to expect continuous employment in that school system. In other words, the school system must renew your contract year after year unless good cause to non-renew can be shown in a hearing that is afforded to the teacher under the Fair Dismissal Act. THE RULING STANDS

The Court of Appeals case involved a Floyd County guidance counselor whose employment contract was non-renewed due to a Reduction in Force. The local school board voted in favor of Gilda Day’s non-renewal. Day objected, and the case wound through the State Board of Education, Superior Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals. The ruling was not favorable to tenured teachers employed in charter systems or charter schools. The court held that under the Charter Schools Act, “systems are granted a

March/April 2016

general waiver exempting them from most state statutory and regulatory schemes that apply to non-charter public schools under Title 20.” Day argued that teacher tenure is a vested property right and that due process is a civil right that could not be waived by charter systems and charter schools. The court disagreed. Day appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, and it has denied the Writ of Certiorari, in other words, the court has refused to hear her case. Therefore, the original decision of the local school board to nonrenew Day’s contract was reinstated. THE UPSHOT FOR EDUCATORS AND CHARTERS

PAGE is disappointed with this legal decision. Its implications are widespread given the large number of charter systems and charter schools in Georgia. It is important for educators in those systems or schools to understand that tenure is waived unless the charter affirmatively incorporates the Fair Dismissal Act or the local school board initiates policies to allow for employee fair dismissal. Appropriately, tenure does not prevent school districts from dismissing poorly performing employees, but it does protect employees who may be unfairly treated. In the wake of the Day decision, PAGE hopes that charter school districts will amend their charter contracts to affirmatively add tenure protections for their valued employees. n

The ruling was not favorable to tenured teachers employed in charter systems or charter schools.

[1] Day v. Floyd County Board of Education, 333 Ga. App. 144 (2015)


Professional Learning

PAGE Assistant Principal and Teacher Leadership Academy, 2015-2017 The PAGE Assistant Principal and Teacher Leadership Academy is a two-year experience whereby assistant principals and teachers collaborate to develop

engagement-focused schools. Leaders in these schools strive to know students well and design rigorous, relevant work for students and staff.

For information about Assistant Principal and Teacher Leadership Academy, please contact Ricky Clemmons at 770-826-0161 or

2 1





March/April 2016

‘As we embarked on this journey in the Assistant Principal Teacher Leadership Academy, I had many questions: What will we learn? How will this help us? Is there something wrong with our school? So much uncertainty! I am proud to say that the academy is a wonderful experience thus far. In Burke County, we are already implementing many useful strategies, such as design qualities for increasing engagement. I can’t wait to learn more to continue to improve my district’


— Richard Washington, Burke County Middle School 8 7

‘APTLA is truly changing my vision and expectations within my classroom, school and county. It is refreshing to be with others who understand exactly what I’m going through and where I’m coming from. It is awesome to learn from educators around the state and to take what we learn back to our school system to make positive changes.’ — Katie Taylor, 2nd Grade Teacher, Burke County

1. (l-r) Ricky Clemmons from PAGE and Carrollton ES Assistant Principal Montrell McClendon with Melanie Harwell from Calhoun ES and Jessica Trimble from Calhoun PS. 2. Felecia Lovett (left) and Colisa Latimore from Blakeney ES (Burke). 3. (l-r) Lindsey Montgomery , Brad Burel and Sarah Bright from Cartersville MS.

4. Schlechty Center Senior Associate Annie Wimbish coaches leaders on their various roles. 5. North Columbus ES Assistant Principal Aetavia Williams (left) and Melanie Gouine (Muscogee). 6. Brooks County MS Assistant Principal Derrick Jenkins (foreground) and Waynesboro PS Assistant Principal Merla Jones (Burke).

7. (l-r) Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe HS Assistant Principal Chance Nix, teacher Amanda Campbell, Assistant Principal Kristy Montieth, and teachers Rhonda Eaves and Jason Lyles (Catoosa). 8. (l-r) Kelly Voss from Lowndes MS with Matt Rice and Brock Holley from Calhoun HS.

Photos by Meg Thornton March/April 2016



teach 21st-century learners


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

Technology in the Classroom:

Badges, A Means to Teacher Professional Growth and Certificate Renewal By Dr. Thomas R. Koballa Jr.


Georgia Southern University’s Dr. Thomas Koballa Jr. is dean of the College of Education.


eacher professional development is often the key to school improvement, and school improvement rarely occurs in the absence of teacher professional development. Changes presented in the Georgia Professional Standards Commission’s Certificate Renewal Requirements (505-2-3.6), set to become effective July 1, 2017, highlight a recalibration of teacher professional development, while pushing school leaders to optimize the effectiveness of teacher professional development. By what means can educators meet the new requirements and document completion of professional learning segments? Digital badging may be an answer. Think Scout merit badges — with each badge signifying the acquisition of a new set of skills or understandings. Now think about badges, not on a Scout’s sash, but as digital images linked to a collection of information, called metadata, that provides details about what was learned and actual evidence that the learner has demonstrated new skills and understandings. As Kevin Carey explained, digital badges operate much like when you take a photo with a smartphone [1]. Most people focus on the image alone. But, associated with the digital image is a wealth of data, including the date and time the photo was taken, the file size, image resolution and more. If a GPS receiver is installed in the phone, coordinates — latitude and longitude — of where the photo was taken are also part of the data file. Digital badges function in much the same manner. By positioning your cursor over a badge and clicking, you can gain access to metadata about the badge. Thanks to Mozilla’s Open Badges project, common protocols were

established for the kinds of data accessed when clicking on a badge. Metadata typically includes the issuing institution and date issued, perhaps an expiration date, the rubric or standards used for assessing competence and the artifacts that provide evidence of learner accomplishment. The set of common protocols also enable anyone — universities, businesses, schools and individuals — to issue badges. BADGES FACILITATE CERTIFICATE RENEWAL

Over the past year, faculty in the College of Education at Georgia Southern University, in partnership with the First District RESA, several south Georgia school systems, eCOM of Scotland and the university’s Center for Academic Technology Support have initiated an open badging project targeting the professional development needs of Georgia teachers consistent with the new certificate renewal requirements. The project provides opportunities for teacher learning across the 10 Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards of the Georgia Teacher Keys Effectiveness System. The project was developed because College of Education faculty and administrators sought to provide opportunities for teacher professional development across the 10 TAPS. Conversations with teachers and guidance from an advisory board composed of school leaders, teachers and system-level curriculum coordinators and administrators prompted the decision to develop instructional modules informed by the following principles: •  Modules should be suitable for induction teachers as well as veteran teachers. •  Modules should emphasize the recalibration of March/April 2016

Think Scout merit badges — with each badge signifying the acquisition of specific skills or understandings. Now think about badges, not on a Scout’s sash, but as digital images linked to details about what was learned and providing evidence of comprehension.

teaching practices relative to TAPS rather than changing teaching practices. •  Modules should facilitate competency-based learning and allow for use by an individual learner or professional learning communities. •  Modules will be most instructive when they support the expectations of teaching and learning in public schools. •  Modules should include vignettes of practice, as well as opportunities for reflection and for the demonstration of appropriate practice through job-embedded performance. •  Use of the modules should enhance school/university partnerships that promote high-quality teaching and learning. •  Completion of modules should be formally recognized (i.e., certificate, badge, etc.) and may lead to the awarding of university graduate credit. These guiding principles and our growing understanding of open badging, via eCOM consultants, led to our focus on badging. TAPS MODULES UNDERWAY

We plan to develop three to five modules for each of the 10 TAPS. Each module will take about 10 to 12 hours to complete. Badges are earned by demonstrating competence through jobembedded performances tied to skills and understandings associated with the standards. Presently, we are field testing modules within Standard 4: Differentiated Instruction and Standard 8: Academically Challenging Learning Environments. According to project advisory board members, assessors’ ratings of teachers’ TAPS performances in their school systems were the lowest for these standards. Modules support a progression of learning, emphasizing the construction of knowledge, the execution of optimal practice and the development of leadership skills and strategies. The images above show this progression for Standard 4, with the “puzzle piece” indicating that differentiated instruction is but one aspect of teaching, integrally linked to others. The graphics also reveal our two-tiered badging approach: Educators who complete all five badges for Standard 4 will earn a MegaBadge for Differentiated Instruction, signiMarch/April 2016

fying a broad range of learning relative to the standard. The inclusion of leadership as the focus for at least one badge for each standard supports Georgia’s new tiered certification system. Leadership badges, which build on the knowledge and skills acquired through other badges, provide advanced professional development opportunities for teachers who seek to become leaders of their peers. The intended audience for the modules is teachers who want to improve their own practice and their students’ learning. All teachers may benefit from engaging with the modules, especially induction-level teachers — those in their first three years of teaching or those working in a new field — who desire opportunities to learn and demonstrate improvement of their practice. MODULES HAVE CONSISTENT FLOW

Teacher engagement with each module is facilitated by a four-step model of instruction and by an instructor with expertise in the standard: •  First, a short video highlights a challenge encountered by teachers and provides context for learning. •  In the second step, the module’s core elements are introduced — jobembedded performance tasks and rubrics for assessing competence. The learner’s knowledge and skills relative to the module’s learning objectives are also diagnosed in this step. •  The badge instructor’s diagnostic appraisal customizes a menu of instructional activities in the model’s third step. •  In the final step, the learner is asked to produce evidence of competence in his or her own school context when engaging in performance tasks introduced in Step 2.

A consistent pattern of activities across all modules helps learners know what to expect and should expedite their completion of multiple modules. An instructor’s favorable assessment results in a badge signifying the learner’s strengthened educational identity. It can be displayed on a school website or on LinkedIn or Facebook, for example. The metadata accompanying a badge can help school leaders document the outcomes of professional development, showing accomplishments and learning pathways at a level of specificity not possibly revealed through diplomas, course grades, certificates or Professional Learning Units. Badges are not just the latest educational fad: They demonstrate a shared understanding of accomplished outcomes [2]. Through badges, teachers can gain access to personalized professional development experiences that target the skills and knowledge they want and need to be more effective classroom leaders. Badges can also encourage the formation of communities of teachers around shared areas of expertise and interest, and they provide a means for school systems to document and validate teachers’ professional development, ranging from granular skills to learning portfolios. When contemplating your next professional development experience, consider n earning a badge. REFERENCES

Carey, K. (2015). “The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere.” New York: Riverhead Books. Ferdig, R. & Pytash, K. (2014). “There’s a Badge For That.” Tech & Learning. Retrieved Dec. 22, 2015, from news/0002/theres-a-badge-for-that/63725. PAGE ONE  27

Woodruff Arts Center Educator Conference

June 7–9, 2016

Celebrating Tradition & Transformation in the Arts

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2011 National HS Principal of the Year

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For over a century, Georgia Southwestern State University has been providing quality education to classroom teachers and school administrators throughout the Southeast. This remains true today as more and more leading educators earn their graduate degrees each semester from GSW. Southwestern’s commitment to quality and affordability is reflected in the School of Education’s rank as a “Top 5 Best Value” in Georgia by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

SCHOOL of EDUCATION 12/4/2015 8:31:28 AM

March/April 2016

Foundation News Chamblee Wins PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades

State Champion: DeKalb County’s Chamblee Middle School, coached by John Donegan, Cathy Hirsch and Margaret Mitchell 2nd Place: Gwinnett County’s Five Forks Middle School, coached by Dennis Turnham and Angela Howell 3rd Place: Muscogee County’s Aaron Cohn Middle School, coached by Tracy Greenfield, Lisa Seegar and Rosie Cox

the Collegiate Middle Level Association. The academic bowl features teams of students fielding questions on subjects ranging from Georgia history to mathematics, science, literature and the performing arts. Teams compete against the clock

to answer toss-up and bonus questions. The program inspires students to excel academically and develops team spirit. View a video report of the 2016 PAGE Academic Bowl Championship at n and click on “The Buzz.”

Photos by Danielle Fields


eKalb County’s Chamblee Middle School, coached by John Donegan, Cathy Hirsch and Margaret Mitchell, took top honors at the 2016 PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades State Championship. The day began with 24 semifinalist teams from across the state competing in a roundrobin competition. In the afternoon, the eight winning teams competed in a single-elimination session. The competition, held in January at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, was sponsored by PAGE, the PAGE Foundation, the Chick-fil-A Foundation and GCSU. It was hosted by

2016 PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades State Champion Chamblee Middle School team members and their coach were joined by presenters: (front row, l-r) co-captain Nevin Aresh, Shanru Xu, co-captain Foster Cowan and Gunter Schroeder; and (back row, l-r) PAGE Foundation President John Varner, coach John Donegan, Ashley Veazey, Sam Grant, Carson Ankeny, Logan Durisch, Ethan Shi and PAGE Foundation trustee and The Telegraph Editorial Page Editor Charles Richardson. Not pictured: coaches Cathy Hirsch and Margaret Mitchell.

4th Place: Columbia County’s Evans Middle School, coached by Ashley Bowles and Kathy Noyce 5th Place: North Gwinnett Middle School, coached by Scott Johnson and Greg Dick 6th Place: Columbia County’s Stallings Island Middle School, coached by Deborah Hundt 7th Place: South Forsyth Middle School, coached by Elizabeth Rushton 8th Place: Catoosa County’s Heritage Middle School, coached by Pam O’Keefe, Denie Pursley and Billie Carlock

March/April 2016

Celebrating the victory! PAGE ONE  29

Foundation News

Your Support Enabled PAGE Foundation to Serve 2,000+ Students and Educators in 2015 The PAGE Foundation served more than 2,000 deserving Georgia students and professional educators in 2015 thanks to the generous support of loyal donors. Our “work” seems more like a calling, thanks to the young people we encounter and the selfless, remarkable educators who commit much of their lives to the education of Georgia students. Whether it is the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades, the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon, the PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program or PAGE Foundation Scholarships, the foundation and PAGE provide the means and the platform for hardworking students and educators to demonstrate what is good in our schools. We are privileged to know these young people and educators, and we are grateful beyond words for donors who make our work possible. At 30 years of age, the foundation is also excited to see how students we helped in the past are now, as adults, investing their time and resources to help others. Chick-fil-A Foundation President Rodney Bullard was an Academic Bowl for Middle Grades student in the program’s sixth year of operation. Today, he oversees the charitable giving of Chick-fil-A, which recognizes the importance of education. YKK Corporation of America Chairman, President and CEO Alex Gregory, who was Putnam County’s 1966 STAR Student, says his life was changed by the STAR program, and today he changes lives for the better through mentoring. It is exciting to envision what the students we serve today will do with their lives and the investments they will make in subsequent generations. Thank you for your generous support of the PAGE Foundation. John Varner, President, PAGE Foundation


March/April 2016

2015 PAGE Foundation Donors The PAGE Foundation gratefully acknowledges the generous support of its growing list of donors. The charitable gifts of these remarkable individuals, foundations, organizations and corporations make possible the work we do to help Georgia students and the dedicated professional educators who serve them. LEADERSHIP GIFTS

Virgil Ted Theus, PC

Mrs. Michelle Crawford

Mrs. Lucy H. Molinaro

Professional Association of Georgia Educators

Wells Fargo

Mrs. Joanna Culbreth

Mr. and Mrs. John Monk

Wilkinson and Magruder, LLP

Ms. Heather Dobson

Mrs. Juliana Naleway

Woodruff Arts Center

Mr. I. Stewart Duggan

Mr. Galen Oelkers

YKK Corporation of America

Mr. David Dunham

Mr. Gilbert Parrish

Chick-fil-A Foundation VALIC Georgia Chamber of Commerce AT&T Georgia The Coca-Cola Company Georgia Power Georgia-Pacific Price Gilbert, Jr. Charitable Foundation CORPORATIONS/FIRMS Adams, Hemingway & Wilson, LLP Atlanta Beverage Company Atlantic Capital Cauthorn Nohr & Owen Citizens Trust Bank

Mrs. Janet M. Duval

Mr. Clay Pilgrim


Ms. Elizabeth Eakes

Dr. Noris Price

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Floam

Mrs. Carol F. Pruett

Alonzo L. McDonald Trust

Mrs. Angela Garrett

Ms. Ananda Rakhit

Board of Regents, University System of Georgia

Mr. and Mrs. Paul A. Gilker

Mr. Lee Raudonis

Dr. Barbara H. Golden

Dr. Diane H. Ray

Dr. Janet M. Goodloe

Mrs. Tandy D. Ray

Mr. and Mrs. Williams Hay

Mr. David W. Reynolds

Frances Wood Wilson Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Judy V. Henry

Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Rhodes

Dr. James R. Hines, Jr.

Mr. Charles E. Richardson

Georgia College & State University

Mrs. Jo Hodges

Ms. Cynthia H. Rivers

Dr. T. I. Hodges

General Stewart Rodeheaver

Clark Atlanta University The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement

Dr. Sheryl Holmes

Mrs. Bertie H. Schmidt

Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education

Mr. and Mrs. Preston D. Howard

Mrs. Peggy A. Schwing Mr. Lamar Scott

CornerCap Investment Counsel

Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce

Mr. and Mrs. James T. Howell Mr. and Mrs. Anthony R. James

Dr. Franklin Shumake

Cox Enterprises

Indian Hills Country Club, Inc.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jemo

Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey Simmons, Jr.

Daniel S. Digby & Associates, LLC

Mary Lane Morrison Foundation

Dr. and Mrs. J. Felix Johnston, Jr.

Mrs. Veronica Sims

Daniel, Hadden & Alford, PC

Middle Georgia State College Foundation

Ms. Margaret Hylton Jones

Dr. E. Steven Smith

Mr. James G. Jordan

Ms. Kathleen R. Smith

Technical College System of Georgia

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Kitchens

Mr. Robert Stephens

Ms. Evelyn T. Knight

Dr. Ann Stucke

Georgia EMC


Mr. Richard K. Little

Mrs. Carol A. Taylor

Georgia Transmission Corporation

Dr. J. David Allen

Dr. Thomas Lockamy

Dr. Michele Taylor

Gourmet Services, Inc.

Mrs. Patricia A. Allen

Mr. Steve Lusk

Mr. and Mrs. John Teasley

The Jordan Firm

Mr. Joseph R. Bankoff

Dr. Allene Magill

Mr. Don Thornhill

K.S.W. Enterprises, Inc.

Mr. Tyler A. Bennett

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Malone

Dr. and Mrs. Philip Todaro

The Law Offices of Alex Susor, PC

Mr. Ben Boswell, Jr.

Mrs. Sandra G. Manson

Ms. Beverly J. Treadaway

Lockheed Martin

Dr. Jesse E. Bradley

Ms. Jeanine Marlow

Mr. and Mrs. John Varner, III

Lowe and Schoolar, PC

Mrs. Amy G. Brock

Mrs. Joanne F. Martin

Dr. Martha L. Venn

Myron F. Steves and Company

Ms. Ann S. Brumbaugh

Mr. Peter F. Martin

Mr. H. Jay Walker, III

Northern Trust

Mr. James E. Butler

Mrs. Anna F. McClannahan

Mrs. Marta Walker

Oglethorpe Power

Mr. and Mrs. J. Cannon Carr

Mrs. Diane McClearen

Ms. Sandra L. Westerfield

Orr, Brown & Billips, LLP

Mr. Tim L. Chason

Ms. Lynn M. McClintock

Mr. Tom B. Wight

The Pendleton Group, LLC

Mrs. Margaret Ciccarelli

Mr. Robert McCullers

Mr. Tom Wommack

Prior, Daniel & Wiltshire, LLC

Mr. Ricky Clemmons

Dr. Jane C. McKinzey

Ms. Bertha Wood

R L Brown & Associates, Inc.

Ms. Amy Cook

Mr. Randy Meincke

Ms. Linda L. Woods

Stephen Green Properties

Mr. Paul “Bud” Copeland

Mr. Charles Menzel

Ms. Gayle U. Wooten

United Distributors, Inc.

Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Cramer

Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Mills

Concessions International, LLC Copeland Insurance Services, Inc.

Dowdy & Whittaker, CPA Gas South, LLC GE

March/April 2016


Proposed Amendments to PAGE Bylaws At its November 2015 meeting, the PAGE Board of Directors recommended that the PAGE bylaws be amended to delete the term “SPAGE” because our student members are now referred to as PAGE members. The revisions also seek to clarify positions that fall under the professional category of membership and to modernize language used for college and university students to reflect practicums and other field experiences. The proposed bylaw amendments will be published online so that members may vote on them during the online business meeting in May.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA EDUCATORS LEGAL DEFENSE INC. CONSOLIDATING STATEMENTS OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2015 UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS REVENUES, GAINS AND OTHER SUPPORT PAGE CONTRIBUTION FOR LEGAL DEFENSE CLAIMS.................................................... $1,300,000 PAGE CONTRIBUTION FOR LEGAL DEFENSE RESERVE FUND......................................... $619,907 INTEREST INCOME..................................................................................................................... $2,195 TOTAL................................................................................................................................... $1,922,102 EXPENSES LEGAL EXPENSES................................................................................................................ $1,128,884 LICENSE RENEWAL....................................................................................................................... $500 TOTAL EXPENSES................................................................................................................ $1,129,384 INCREASE (DECREASE) IN UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS................................................ $792,718 BEGINNING UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS...................................................................... (-$129,848) ENDING UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS.............................................................................. $662,870 PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA EDUCATORS LEGAL DEFENSE INC. BALANCE SHEET JUNE 30, 2015 ASSETS CASH, CASH EQUIVALENTS, SHORT-TERM INVESTMENTS AND DOI RESERVE FUND.................................................................................................................... $1,778,729 TOTAL ASSETS..................................................................................................................... $1,778,729 LIABILITIES & EQUITY LEGAL CLAIMS PAYABLE........................................................................................................ $102,711 LEGAL CLAIMS LOSS RESERVE............................................................................................. $966,148 TAXES PAYABLE........................................................................................................................ $47,000 TOTAL LIABLITIES................................................................................................................ $1,115,859 UNRESTRICED NET ASSETS.................................................................................................. $662,870 TOTAL LIABLITIES AND NET ASSETS............................................................................... $1,778,729

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 Martin 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 ©2016.

March/April 2016

Valdosta State University Department of Early Childhood & Special Education O N L I N E - O N LY P R O G R A M S • Master of Education Degree in Early Childhood Education • Master of Arts in Special Education – General Curriculum • Master of Arts in Special Education – Adapted Curriculum • Education Specialist Degree in Special Education For more information:

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

WE MAKE GREAT TEACHERS. YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Mercer University’s Tift College of Education prepares students to serve as teachers and school leaders in the schools of the state of Georgia, the nation and around the world. We believe that the most effective teachers, educational leaders and school counselors are transforming educators—men and women who grow and change throughout their careers while sparking transformation within their students. Great teachers change lives.

Learn more about Mercer University’s graduate degree and advanced certification programs offered in Metro Atlanta, Macon and online.



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