The first annual “State of Middle Georgia Schools Symposium,” a forum for superintendents to spread the good news of what’s happening locally, will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in the Magnolia Ballroom at Georgia College’s Student Activities Center.
The panel discussion will allow educators to share encouraging news, discuss national trends impacting their communities and pinpoint ways their districts prepare students for success after graduation.
“This will be about the positive things, the achievements in different districts,” said John Harrison, associate dean of the John H. Lounsbury College of Education.
“They’re doing some really innovative things in every county, but I think that gets drowned out by other discussion,” Harrison said. “We need a forum, where they can come forward and talk about some of the amazing things that are happening regionally.”
As an example, Harrison pointed to one innovative initiative in Putnam County, where high school students are preparing for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone license test. Resourceful tools like these show promise for the future, he said.
Putnam Superintendent Eric Arena will attend the symposium, along with other county superintendents: Dr. Noris Price from Baldwin, Dr. Mike Newton from Jasper, Dr. Aaron Geter from Wilkinson and Dr. Donna Hinton from Washington. The moderator will be Dr. Hayward Cordy, director of Oconee R.E.S.A. (Regional Education Service Agency).
In coming years, other area superintendents will be invited on a rotating basis. That way, Harrison said, the community will get a wide range of perspectives, as well as engaging conversation about the direction of regional education.
The public and students are invited at no cost. The symposium will last an hour and 15 minutes, and there will be refreshments. Members of the audience can write questions for the panel on cards available at the door.
“Sometimes you only hear the bad news, and that’s why the symposium’s really important,” Harrison said. “It’s time we started talking about the positive things happening here. When we sit down and talk about what’s occurring in the districts, you’ll see – there’s hope.”