Best in class: Gwinnett principal is Georgia Administrator of Year

Mountain Park Elementary School in Gwinnett County has established a relationship with a school in the United Kingdom. Last year, David Young, a counselor at Mountain Park Elementary, contacted the University of Aberdeen in Scotland to establish a connection between school counselors in the U.S. and the U.K. That led to a visit to the U.S. by a counselor from the University of Aberdeen and later the creation of a relationship between the Cults Primary School in Aberdeen and Mountain Park Elementary. As part of this relationship, students will write “pen pal” letters to one another, teachers will compare lesson plans, and video conferencing will be set up between classes in both schools to discuss events such as the American Revolution. In addition, aspiring teachers at the University of Aberdeen will be teleconferencing to watch Young teach 5th graders a classroom guidance lesson, followed by a brief question and answer session.

Dr. Dion Jones, the principal of Roberts Elementary School in Gwinnett County, was named the 2015 Georgia Administrator of the Year by the Georgia School Counselor Association (GSCA). The award is presented to an administrator who supports, promotes, and improves existing school counseling services and implements new counseling services. “It is an honor to be recognized for doing something you love every day,” Jones said. “At Roberts, I work with two great counselors in Stacey Miller and Rachael Fogelman and together we strive to provide optimum support for our students every day.”

• The College of Continuing and Professional Education at Kennesaw State University won a record-setting 11 marketing awards from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. The College earned one gold award, two silver awards, and eight bronze awards in categories ranging from 3-D virtual tours, direct-mailed pieces, print publications and email marketing. The college won three awards from UPCEA in 2014. “The recognition from UPCEA is a testament to our dedication to provide a quality experience for our students,” Barbara S. Calhoun, dean, said. “From the marketing to registration to programs, we are committed to providing outstanding service from when they first learn about us and all the way to graduation.”

• Three Gwinnett County Public Schools students have been appointed to serve on the State Superintendent of Schools Student Advisory Council. Ngozi Ugboh, (Collins Hill High School), How’Ron Nesbitt, (Jones Middle School), and Theodora Alese, (Five Forks Middle School) are among about 50 high school students from across the state who discuss how decisions made at the state level affect students throughout Georgia. Members meet two times throughout the school year with state Superintendent Richard Woods and are advisers who act as liaisons between the Department of Education and the students of Georgia.

• A 2015 Golden Radish Award will be given to the Fayette County Public School System’s School Nutrition Department for featuring Georgia-grown items on its menus. Georgia’s Golden Radish Award recognizes school districts for all aspects of farm-to-school — from local food procurement to hosting taste tests to gardening with students. Gold, silver and bronze radishes are awarded to school systems with varying levels of farm-to-school programs. Fayette’s award is at the bronze level. Awards will be given at the Golden Radish Award Ceremony on October 7 at the State Capitol in Atlanta. Fayette is among 39 school systems in the state that will receive an award, which is presented by the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Public Health, and Georgia Organics.

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