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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

A nod to Atlanta Girls’ School during a final “Oprah”

In this AP photo taken during her big farewell, Oprah Winfrey is flanked by BFF Gayle White and Atlanta's Tyler Perry.

In this AP photo taken during her big farewell, Oprah Winfrey is flanked by BFF Gayle White and Atlanta's Tyler Perry.

A pressing phone call to the Atlanta Girls’ School the other day sent Pinney Allen into the lunchroom.

It thrummed with the energy of her young charges. With breaking news to deliver, Allen, the head of school, needed their attention. She might as well have walked outside to try to still the wind.

She flicked the lights. The din persisted. (The school’s 217 students, in grades 6 through 12, all have much to say.)

Then Allen pulled a magic arrow from her educator’s quiver: Who wants to be on “The Oprah Winfrey Show?” That captured 217 senses of imagination.

Pinney Allen is the Atlanta Girls' School head of school

Pinney Allen is the Atlanta Girls' School head of school

This week, members of the school community will be watching the final episodes of Winfrey’s show, hoping for a glimpse of themselves. Winfrey’s gift of $175,000 in 2008 helped the school meet a $1 million grant challenge (an anonymous benefactor pledged $250,000 if the school could raise $750,000 from other donors, and the Queen of All Media clinched it with a stroke of her checkbook).

As the show was winding down, producers contacted the school for some video to potentially be aired during an education-themed episode scheduled for Tuesday. “Oprah has been so committed to education. Atlanta has been particularly lucky,” said Allen, noting Winfrey’s support of institutions such as Morehouse College and the Ron Clark Academy. “I have tremendous appreciation for people who see the power and potential that education can provide.”

Winfrey’s gift to the Atlanta Girls’ School came at a key moment, as the school was poised to grow but the economy was poised to tank. “A phone call suddenly came and a Federal Express envelope arrived,” Allen said, recalling the last time the telephone prompted her to share joyous news out of Chicago with her girls. “That certainly is a thrilling way to end the afternoon.”

The school has sent invitations but Winfrey hasn’t been by to visit.

Yet.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

6 comments Add your comment

carla roqs

May 23rd, 2011
1:00 pm

okay, someone help me out here please. i thought that the ags lost their accredidation (sp?) years ago. several young ladies transferred to my son’s high school, maybe 7 years ago? from ags due to some issues the school was having. my child is out of college and i am not currently in the atl, love keeping up with the city with the ajc–what have i missed with the atlanta girls school?

Leigh Rob.

May 24th, 2011
4:12 pm

@carla. ALOT. I go there now and it is possibly the BEST choice I’ve ever made. I love this school and I can not think of any issues these two years I’ve been here other than typical and expected drama you get at all schools. The teachers really listen and care and I can actually talk and be listened to unlike my past 3 schools.

becca

May 24th, 2011
9:12 pm

ya like my school buddy said alot has chainged.

carla roqs

May 25th, 2011
8:50 am

that is great to hear, girls. much success!

Lauretta Hannon

May 25th, 2011
12:33 pm

Atlanta Girls’ School has never lost accreditation.

-Lauretta Hannon
Atlanta Girls’ School Director of Communications & PR

carla roqs

May 26th, 2011
7:59 am

that is great Lauretta, thank you. i know for a fact though that many students were lost in…2001, 2002? was it just some type of miscommunication? not being negative at all, i would just like to have correct information (apparently you are the one to give it) and i feel knowledge is power. thanks