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Superintendent Barge Presents Fountain Award to Athens Teacher

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, or Keisha Ford-Jenrette, (404) 657-2949
April 23, 2013 – State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge last week presented the Fountain Award to Elizabeth Upchurch, a teacher at Chase Street Elementary in Athens. The Fountain Award is named after Monty Fountain, a teacher and coach who helped Dr. Barge and countless others write a better story for themselves. This award was created to recognize teachers who have had a tremendous impact on the education and lives of others.
Dr. Barge surprised Ms. Upchurch with the Fountain Award at an assembly congratulating Chase Street Elementary for winning the 2012 National Blue Ribbon School award.
Ms. Upchurch teaches fourth and fifth grade in the Gifted Education Program. She was a physical science teacher at Clarke Central High School and was nominated by her former student Rachel Kulikoff, a sophomore at the University of Chicago.

In her application, Miss Kulikoff said, “It is unquestionable that Mrs. Upchurch has inspired me—to become a better student. More importantly, she encouraged and inspired me to grow into a better person, to give back to my community, and to care about the world that we live in: our natural habitat, but also the people with whom we share the world. Ms. Upchurch showed me through example what it means to care, and instilled in me the will to do the same. What more can we ask from teachers?”

“Ms. Upchurch epitomizes what the Fountain Award is all about,” said Superintendent Barge. “In reading her application it was very obvious why she would be nominated by a former student, because she encouraged that student and helped her become a better person. I thank Ms. Upchurch for her service as a teacher and as a mentor to numerous students.”
The Fountain Award is sponsored by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, a non-partisan, non-profit policy and research organization whose mission it is to improve student achievement in our state. (  
Nominating a Teacher
The Georgia Department of Education will select one teacher each quarter for this award. Nominate an educator by emailing Keisha Ford-Jenrette at