Deal taps education standouts to serve as advisers

Gov.Nathan Deal

Gov.Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal has created a statewide Education Advisory Board that includes superintendents, principals, teachers and school board members.

“With the members of my Education Advisory Board now in place, I look forward to meeting with them on a quarterly basis to discuss how we can continue to improve educational outcomes for Georgia students,” said Deal. “The Georgians on these panels are leaders in their fields, and they are giving of their time and talents to help our state strive for educational excellence.”

I recognize several names on his list, including teachers who have won some notable awards.  Given all the people on this board, Deal is going to have to hold his meetings in the Dome.

Here is  the list:


Susan Andrews, Superintendent of Muscogee County Schools

Matt Arthur, Superintendent of Rabun County Schools

Dr. Gayland Cooper, Superintendent of Rome City Schools

Dr. Edmond T. “Ed” Heatley, Superintendent of Clayton County Schools

Beauford Hicks, Superintendent of Mitchell County Schools

Dr. Molly Howard, Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools

Sam King, Superintendent of Rockdale County Schools

Dr. Emily Lembeck, Superintendent of Marietta City Schools

Leonard R. McCoy, Superintendent of Colquitt County Schools

Dr. Gordon Pritz, Superintendent of Douglas County Schools

Tim Ragan, Superintendent of Echols County Schools

Paul Shaw, Superintendent of White County Schools

J. Alvin Wilbanks, Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools


Kevin Bales, East Hall Middle School, Hall County Schools

Dr. Laurie Barron, Smokey Road Middle School, Coweta County Schools

Dr. Melinda Dennis, Alternative Learning Center, Wilcox County Schools

Dr. Sheila Kahrs, Haymon-Morris Middle School, Barrow County Schools

Ed Chang, Kipp Strive Academy,  Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. Miki Edwards, Rockdale Career Academy, Rockdale County Schools

Kym Yoriko Eisgruber, Mableton Elementary School, Cobb County  Schools

Kylie Holley, Pataula Charter Academy, Edison, Georgia

Dr. Alan Long, Jefferson County High School, Jefferson County Schools

Dr. Steven Miletto, Centennial High School, Fulton County Schools

Joe Parlier, Katherine B. Sutton Elementary School, Monroe County Schools

Dr. Karen Smits, Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, Cobb County Schools

Wes Taylor, Lowndes County High School, Lowndes County Schools


Tom Appelman, Southeast High School, Whitfield County Schools

Jai-Sun Bolden, Riverdale Middle School, Clayton County Schools

Sara Lynn Bryant, Lake Oconee Academy, Greensboro, Georgia

Jamie K. Frost, Schley County Elementary and Middle Schools, Schley County Schools

Sue Burrell Gibbs, Hawkinsville High School, Pulaski County Schools

Connie Jackson, Griffin Middle School, Cobb County Schools

Christy McGill, Dacula Elementary School, Gwinnett County Schools

Amy Steele, East Lake Elementary, Henry County Schools

Bettina Polite Tate, Sol C. Johnson High School, Chatham County Schools

Elizabeth Rhodes, Retired, Cobb County Schools

Angie Thrivikraman, Museum School of Avondale Estates, Atlanta, Georgia

Kurt Wheeler, Dean Rusk Middle School, Cherokee County Schools

Pam Williams, Appling County High School, Appling County Schools

Rachel Willis, Morningside Elementary, Atlanta Public Schools

School Board members:

Erik Charles, Henry County Board of Education

Ann K. Crow, Forsyth County Board of Education

Mark H. Dixon, Pierce County Board of Education

Scott Flanagan, Social Circle Board of Education

James Fleming, Jefferson County Board of Education

Lara Hodgson, Atlanta Heights Charter School Board

David W. Johnson, Floyd County Board of Education

Dr. James Pope, Carrolton City School Board

Janet Read, Cherokee County School Board

Mike Sleeper, Columbia County Board of Education

Sylvia Vann, Lee County Board of Education

Valarie Wilson, City Schools of Decatur’s Board of Education

Kim Curtis Wright, Bleckley County Board of Education

–From Maureen Downey

33 comments Add your comment

Charter Parent

February 27th, 2011
8:47 pm

A significant change is number of Charter School leaders. Many on this list are at Charter Schools even though the actual word charter is not in some of the school’s names.

I predict a charter schools and their leadership will continue to play a greater role in Georgia. Just wait until the Parent Trigger bill becomes law.

Charter Parent

February 27th, 2011
8:54 pm

Excuse the grammatical errors above. Tough to type on this mobile device.


February 27th, 2011
9:20 pm

Noticeably missing is anyone from DeKalb.

HS Public Teacher

February 27th, 2011
9:38 pm

More money spent and time wasted…. Everyone knows what the republicans in this State want for education. All of the ‘meetings’ and ‘committees’ and such will not change that. The republicans have us marching down this path, regardless.

Heaven help the future generations in Georgia!

HS Public Teacher

February 27th, 2011
9:39 pm

Is the Honorable Governor Deal going to give teachers a 30% pay raise? He gave his staff a 30% pay raise above what Perdue paid!

But, wait a minute – no one even talks about this! Let’s just sweep this little fact under the rug and keep it between you and me…

Chrome Gouda

February 27th, 2011
9:41 pm

Not a single independant school educator. Is the purpose of this advisory group to focus on public schools only?

Atlanta mom

February 27th, 2011
9:49 pm

Way to many people here to be effective.

Cheryl Matthews

February 27th, 2011
9:49 pm

WHO IS SURPISED BY THIS LIST? Nobody should be, you voted the crook in instead of Barnes.
Independent Charter Schools will eat up out taxed dollars and our kids will suffer.

Atlanta mom

February 27th, 2011
9:50 pm

oops, make that “to” a “too”

Private school guy

February 27th, 2011
9:55 pm

Does anyone know if any of the educators are school librarians?


February 27th, 2011
9:59 pm

Interesting how 75% of the people are “management” positions and not the practitioners in the classroom. Will the classroom teachers’ voice really be heard in this panel?


February 27th, 2011
10:00 pm

Not a lot of people from southeast Georgia either…

@Chrome Gouda, why would you want independent school people on the Governor’s task force? The state’s constitutional mandate is for public schools, and surely independent schools wish to remain just that – independent. Or do I misunderstand?

at least

February 27th, 2011
10:26 pm

Maybe we should all quit complaining and at least be thankful he’s put together a panel. We’ll wait and see what will actually come of it, but good lord, let’s be thankful for something!

Chrome Gouda

February 27th, 2011
10:33 pm

@Science Teacher:
I just think that there is much to be gained from having representatives from all aspects of education in the state of Georgia at the table, for open, honest discussion about what works and what doesn’t.

Toto: Exposing naked body scanners...

February 27th, 2011
11:09 pm

I agree Chrome Gouda. Throw in a few home schoolers for good measure.
But really, the solution is easy. Get rid of trouble makers, enforce discipline, teach the Trivium. Only use technology in high school (if at all). Do not mainstream special-ed unless they can keep up with classmates on their own or with help from a parapro. Children with mental health issues should use distance learning from home or a mental health facility. Any special services (speech) should be paid for by the parent and partially reimbursed with a tax deduction. Schools do a mediocre job for many of these specialty services. Teach the three “r’s” K-5 through 3rd. Students must master math facts and phonics/handwriting. Use rote repetition as much as necessary. Focus on these SKILLS first, and the rest of education will be much easier and effective. THESE METHODS ARE INEXPENSIVE AND EFFECTIVE!


February 27th, 2011
11:13 pm

Chrome, good point.

I was looking at several private school websites this weekend. Two in particular had tuitions greater than the average per student expenditures in Georgia, but stated that the tuition didn’t cover the entire cost of a child’s education in their school; the remainder was made up by donations, endowments, etc.

These weren’t Westminister and Pace caliber schools, and while one did accept at-risk children, the other didn’t seem to be equipped for any sort of special needs, but was more of a college-preparatory school.

It’s curious to me that the good private schools cost the same as or more than public schools, per pupil, usually don’t provide transportation, and often require the parents to pay additional costs above tuition, yet people complain that public schools are too expensive. Do you have any comment?

HS Public Teacher

February 28th, 2011
1:25 am

Chrome – There really is not anything that will come out of this of any value. People, if honest, knows what really works and what does not.

1. Honest people in positions of power making decisions in the best interest of education.
2. Allowing good educators in the classroom to make the best decisions for those students in the classroom with them.
3. Supportive parents and administration (supporting the teacher and education).
4. Find more funding for the basics.
5. Lower class sizes.

However, I will bet that this panel “somehow” comes up with “suggestions” that follow the repulican platform….

1. Change all teacher pay to performance based. That is – performace of STUDENTS which the teacher cannot control.
2. Allow for vouchers – so that the wealthy sending their kids to private school will get some tax money.


February 28th, 2011
6:09 am

I didn’t vote for Deal and he hasn’t done anything to make me think I should have done otherwise. But, I feel a bit sorry for him reading these comments – if he doesn’t appoint a board like this, he gets criticized, but if he does, he gets criticized, too. I can see why some leaders would rather act like a dictator…


February 28th, 2011
6:42 am

Not a single teacher from my RESA district. It seems that the majority is made up of metro area teachers.

How many Superintendents and Board members were also RttT districts?


February 28th, 2011
7:09 am

My area of the state is also unrepresented. And why so few real teachers, and only a few from elementary schools? 75% of those named have been out of the classroom for years, if ever.


February 28th, 2011
8:05 am

I wouldn’t worry too much about who is on this advisory board and where the representation comes from. As many people have already stated, nothing is going to happen of any significance other than a whole bunch of people wasting precious time that could be better spent at their schools doing their real jobs. When will these meetings take place? Will it take the teachers out of the classrooms for the meetings. It’s just another lame attempt to make us think that the Governor cares about something besides furthering his own political aspirations.


February 28th, 2011
8:39 am

I’ve participated on panels like this and I hope that Mr. Deal actually listens to the participants. My experience was that the meetings were rigged to leverage support for foregone conclusions.

Dr. John Trotter

February 28th, 2011
9:46 am

A waste of time. A panel that big is a joke. For God so loved the world that He did not send a panel or a committee. I agree with Tony. The Governor and his staff will have already made decisions, and the panel will be orchestrated in a way to “bless” his decisions. But, best of luck in any efforts to improve public education. Hey, I have an idea…no costs and a no-brainer: Restore discipline in the schools. Does the Governor’s Staff or this new-fangled panel have the guts to touch the topic of discipline? I doubt it.


February 28th, 2011
9:56 am

@Private School Guy, I don’t know if any of the educators on the list are librarians or not, but I can tell you that I have never been asked to be on our school improvement committee even though the school was told two years ago by our GAPSS committee that the librarian should be on it. Heck, some of our teachers think that collaborating with me means me using the die cut machine to cut out letters for them.


February 28th, 2011
11:06 am

Only one representative from the APS system. Too bad they didn’t select the Go to Hell woman, she could’ve livened things up.

Georgia Coach

February 28th, 2011
11:54 am

You should be on there John!!!

Lighter Moment

February 28th, 2011
11:58 am

Eraser. You made me LOL !!


February 28th, 2011
12:06 pm

No unions? We are the problem??????? Let’s see: becuase of unions, children are not allowed to work, women are not fired because they get pregnant, we are no longer made to work overtime at will,…….Can I say more??????


February 28th, 2011
3:56 pm

Everyone complains but no one applies! These educators had to apply to be on the panel! It was available to anyone who wanted to participate. No one is going to come looking for you, these teachers weren’t picked out of a jar. They found out about the panel and applied. If you want to be picked, if you want to be involved, then by all means stop complaining and figure out how to get involved. Maybe some here are correct. Maybe it’s a political tool for the gov to “look like they’re doing something.” If so… then I feel for the educators who about to learn about politics. Remember when your passion died? Remember when you became an armchair blogger who actually does nothing but complain? Let’s hope they rise past it. Lets pray someone listens to the concerns we all have.

We're out!

February 28th, 2011
5:05 pm

Made the decision today. putting the youngest one in private school for start of 9th grade. Too late for the one who will be a senior, just suggesting he move out of state and establish residency in a state (or country) that values education… cause it sure is not here in Bubba land! All I cans say is you get what you vote for.

Another Librarian

February 28th, 2011
8:39 pm

@ Batgirl Right on!


February 28th, 2011
9:36 pm

How did one get an application to apply for this group? Did it come to the superintendent? Teachers in my system did not get a chance to apply. I’m guessing one or two select teachers were approached, but they did not apply or did not make it.


March 1st, 2011
8:09 am

I see at least one “outstanding administrator” whose schools do not make AYP. Exactly what are the requirements for nomination?