Business, community leaders play principal for a day - North Atlanta Business Post
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Updated Nov 14 @ 1:05PM
 

Business, community leaders play principal for a day

Annual event brings together education and business

Tina Gable reads a book with Midway Elementary School Principal Jan Munroe.
Brian Richey listens to Lambert High School Principal Gary Davison.
Peggie Morrow shadows North Forsyth Middle School Principal Todd McClelland.
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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A select group of business and community leaders went back to school recently, and this time they played principal.

Forsyth County Schools’ annual Principal for a Day event, held in partnership with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, was held over the past few weeks. It gave the surrogate principals a chance to experience the county’s schools through a new mindset and understand school leaders more.

“The men and women who run the schools in this county work very hard and have challenging jobs,” Forsyth Superintendent Jeff Bearden said. “They do it professionally, with a servant leadership motto and are there for the kids every day.”

The stand-ins enjoyed partaking in various parts of the school day including the Pledge of Allegiance, sitting in on meetings and interacting with the students.

Incoming Sheriff Ron Freeman participated this year at Silver City Elementary School.

“As a parent, citizen, adjunct professor and your incoming sheriff, I thought I had a good grasp on the level of educational competence in Forsyth County Schools,” Freeman said. “(Principal) Paige (Andrews) and the staff of Silver City Elementary surpassed all my expectations. Days like these make you realize that Forsyth is truly a special place and our children still have a bright future, in part because of the engagement of our school staff with our community.”

Tina Gable with Automation Direct was the “principal” at Midway Elementary School. She received a few hundred cards to welcome her. In one card she was asked for a longer recess. In another, a student asked to bring a pet to school for a day. But the majority wrote about how much they love their school and teachers.

“It was incredible. I enjoyed watching the staff greet the children upon arrival for their day, working to ‘earn’ an early morning smile from each student. And they do this each and every day,” Gable said. “I was excited and enjoyed the energy and joy of the students.”

She toured the raised gardening beds where students learn about and see vegetables grow into something the students hope to eat in the cafeteria.

“They are so excited about this and engaged to the project,” Gable said. “I imagined how excited I could have been about eating broccoli at the age of 8.”

Jeff Neal with Siemens was the “principal” at South Forsyth High School where he was most impressed with the quality of education the students are exposed to.

“Many of the presentations and topics for which I had the opportunity to see and discuss with the students are subjects I did not gain exposure to until college,” Neal said. “This is quite an advantage for these students. I believe we in the business community can support the students by regularly meeting with students to give real-life examples that will support the topics for which they are currently learning.”

Bearden said the best school systems are usually backed by the local business community.

“We have outstanding schools and there are many reasons for that,” Bearden said. “We have great kids, parents, teachers and leadership. We have a community that sets the bar very high. And for those of us who work in the school system, we’re OK with those expectations, because we know we’ll get the resources and support we need to take care of the kids. That’s why we’re able to deliver in this community.”

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