Georgia school ‘restart’ working groups appointed

Georgia’s top state and education leaders have formed working groups to plan for reopening schools in the fall. The K-12 “restart” working groups will address six topics: food, distance learning, internet access and computers, mental health, supplemental learning and facilities and busing.

Georgia’s top state and education leaders have formed working groups to plan for reopening schools in the fall.

The 72 members appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp and state school Superintendent Richard Woods include several current and past teachers of the year, rural and suburban metro Atlanta school superintendents (Coweta and Fayette counties), public health officials, education organization leaders and state agencies.

The K-12 “restart” working groups will address six topics: food, distance learning, internet access and computers, mental health, supplemental learning and facilities and busing.

The state has 180 school districts that will make their own decisions about whether and how to reopen their school buildings absent some kind of mandate from Kemp.

Woods’ office said the working groups will provide “expertise and perspective” for them with insight from public health officials.


School Meals

· Dr. Linette Dodson, GaDOE School Nutrition Director (Chair)

· Paige Holland, GaDOE School Nutrition Program Manager

· Alyssia Wright, Executive Director – Food & Nutrition Operations, Fulton County Schools

· Courtney Hart, Director of School Nutrition, Hart County Schools

· Kim Kiker, Director of School Nutrition, Calhoun City Schools

· Keshia Williams, Director of School Nutrition, Coweta County Schools

· Tessany Lockhart, Georgia School Nutrition Association

· Kathy Kuzava, Georgia Food Industry Association

· Misty Friedman, Georgia Department of Agriculture

· Kyle Waide, Atlanta Community Food Bank

Distance Learning/Professional Learning

· Dr. Caitlin Dooley, GaDOE Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning (Chair)

· Dr. Keith Osburn, GaDOE Associate Superintendent for Georgia Virtual Learning

· Dr. Zelphine Smith-Dixon, GaDOE Director of Special Education Services and Supports

· Mike Duncan, Superintendent, Pike County Schools

· Dr. Karen Barker, Professional Learning Facilitator, Coweta County Schools

· Melanie Harwell, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Calhoun City Schools

· Dr. April Aldridge, Assistant Superintendent for K-5 Curriculum, Decatur County Schools

· Nic Carroll, Director of Digital Learning, Columbia County Schools

· Tracey Pendley, 2020 & 2021 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Atlanta Public Schools

· Allison Townsend, 2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Fulton County Schools

· Casey Bethel, 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Douglas County Schools

· Karen Hallacy, President of Georgia PTA

· Laura Evans, Director of Education, Georgia Public Broadcasting

· Buddy Costley, Executive Director, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders

· Deborah White, Executive Director, Georgia Association of Curriculum & Instructional Supervisors

Connectivity and Devices

· Jannine Miller, Office of the Governor (Chair)

· Chris Shealy, GaDOE Director of Technology Services

· Michele Taylor, Superintendent, Calhoun City Schools

· Tim Cochran, Superintendent, Decatur County Schools

· Dr. Jason Branch, Superintendent, Oconee County Schools

· Jim Farmer, Chief Technology Officer, Fayette County Schools

· Diane Jacobi, Georgia PTA

· Joy Hawkins, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Student Achievements

· Representative of the Georgia Telecommunications Association

· Representative of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs

Mental Health and Wellness

· Ashley Harris, GaDOE Director of Whole Child Supports & Strategic Partnerships (Chair)

· Cheryl Benefield, GaDOE Program Manager for Safe & Supportive Schools

· Beverly Stewart, Director of Student Support Services, Bibb County Schools

· Dallas LeDuff, Director of Student Services, Oconee County Schools

· Dr. Kenya Gilmore, Director of Project Aware, Muscogee County Schools

· Chelsea Montgomery, Executive Director of Counseling, Psychological & Social Work Services, Fulton County Schools

· Dr. Deborah Williams, Assistant Superintendent, Columbia County Schools

· Evan Horton, Incoming Superintendent, Coweta County Schools

· Dawn Stastny, President Elect of Georgia PTA

· Erica Fener Sitkoff, Executive Director, Voices for Georgia’s Children

· Dante McKay, Director of the Office of Children, Young Adults, & Families, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

· Teresa Hearn, Regional Wraparound Coordinator, Pioneer RESA

· Leslie Myles, Communities in Schools of Georgia

Supplemental Learning

· Shaun Owen, GaDOE Deputy Superintendent of Federal Programs (Chair)

· Deidre Smith, GaDOE Program Manager for 21st Century Community Learning Centers

· Lori Rodgers, Assistant Superintendent of District Effectiveness and Federal Programs, Bibb County Schools

· Amy Barger, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, Fulton County Schools

· Katrina Cook, Director of Special Education, Hart County Schools

· Michele Sherman, Assistant Superintendent, Columbia County Schools

· Ernie Lee, 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools

· Lauren Holcomb, Executive Director, State Charter Schools Commission

· Katie Landes, Director, Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network

· Emily Carter, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

· Dr. Randell Trammell, President & CEO, YMCA of Georgia

· Dr. Kenneth Zeff, Executive Director, Learn4Life

Facilities, Transportation, and Equipment

· Dr. Garry McGiboney, GaDOE Deputy Superintendent for School Safety & Climate (Chair)

· Pat Schofill, GaDOE Director of Facilities Services and Pupil Transportation

· Paul Hildreth, Emergency Operations, Fulton County Schools

· Dr. Jody Barrow, Superintendent, Fayette County Schools

· Sam Kitchens, Executive Director of Capital Programs, Bibb County Schools

· James Odom, Director of Plant Services, Muscogee County Schools

· Chris Latimer, Comptroller, Coweta County Schools

· David Seagraves, Director of Operations, Hart County Schools

· Cliff Sanders, Director of Facilities Maintenance and Operations, Columbia County Schools

· Sara Kroening, Chief Nursing Officer, Georgia Department of Public Health

· Bert Brantley, Georgia Department of Economic Development

· Representative of the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS)

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