Tuesday, November 28, 2017– State Superintendent Richard Woods visited Garden Hills Elementary to present the school with the Georgia Family Friendly Partnership Award. The 2nd Grade Dual Language Classes kicked off the ceremony by reciting a bilingual poem, which they delivered beautifully! The event was also attended by APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen, who congratulated the children for working hard to be successful. Assistant Superintendent and former GHES Principal Mr. Tommy Usher was in attendance as well, receiving a superhero’s welcome from his former students!
Superintendent Woods remarked that within our state there are only 5 schools that receive this award out of 2,300 schools. He congratulated students, administrators, teachers, parents and the community as well for our collaborative efforts on molding Garden Hills into an environment in which families of all backgrounds are welcome.
He shared with the assembly that part of the process in selecting award recipients involves sending “pretend parents” to the schools under the guise of being potential new families to the school. Mr. Woods said that some of the comments he received from those “pretend parents” included remarks on how well the school has maintained and updated our 80-year-old historic building, and that GHES is indeed “warm and welcoming to ALL families.” They were impressed with the parents who schedule our school tours, spend time with prospective parents, and show them all that GHES has to offer–a special Thank You to our Marketing Team: Jenni Rainwater and Andrew Munro! They mentioned the involvement our community also demonstrates in helping to ensure our students’ success; particularly our partnerships with Atlanta International School (AIS), which houses and provides transportation for our Horizons Program, and our relationship with Passion City Church which supports GHES’ children all year in various ways, including the Back To School backpack donation. Mr. Woods gave thanks to Principal Stacey Abbott and our Parent Liaisons who help to ensure that students are registered each year by going out into the community with registration packets, so that parents feel welcome and can ask questions. He concluded with “We give the award because we know how family-friendly and community-involved you are; the engagement [you create], and the success that you have.”
Thank you to the parents and teachers who were able to attend the ceremony, and to all parents who support the efforts of our teachers and administrators.
We received a beautiful plaque in recognition, as well as a rug declaring our status as a unique Family Friendly School.
In the bottom picture, L-R: Dawn M. Scott from the Georgia Department of Education, APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen, State Superintendent Mr. Richard Woods, GHES Principal Ms. Stacey Abbott, Ms. Paige Pushkin of the Georgia Foundation for Public Education, and Assistant Superintendent Mr. Tommy Usher.