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Superintendent Richard Woods and Georgia PTA announce 2015 Georgia Parent Leadership Awards

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, or Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 656-5594,

Nate Schult, Parent Engagement Program Manager, Phone: (404) 463-1956, 

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and the Georgia Parent Teacher Association (GA PTA) are recognizing six parents from across the state with the 2015 Georgia Parent Leadership Award.

The award was created by GaDOE and GA PTA to recognize parents for their outstanding leadership in creating a foundation of support for student achievement and success. Research shows that parent engagement makes a difference in student achievement - no matter the age of the child.

“From kindergarten to graduation, we know that active family engagement does absolutely contribute towards the academic success of individual students as well as the entire school,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “This is why I applaud these parents for their continuous involvement in their child’s education and their contributions to their entire school community.”

Rita Erves, Georgia PTA President, added, “It is an undisputed fact that academic achievement increases for children who are the product of parents engaged in their lives,” said. “I applaud the efforts of the 2015 Georgia Parent Leadership Award recipients. These parents recognize that there is absolutely nothing that can replace the meaningful interaction with their children.”

The parents will receive the honor during a ceremony on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 during the 2015 Georgia PTA Day at the Capitol event.

The winners are:

•           Crystal Eplin, W.C. Britt Elementary School, Gwinnett County Schools

•           Melinda Gittleman, Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, Marietta City Schools

•           Antwan McKee, Beecher Hills Elementary School, Atlanta Public Schools

•           Lori Rowe, G.O. Bailey Primary Schools, Tift County Schools

•           Towana Walker-Miller, Mamie Lou Gross Elementary School, Camden County Schools

•           Tyesha Whitley, Shuman Elementary School, Savannah Chatham County Schools

Parent leaders are nominated each November during Georgia’s Parent Engagement Month by public school personnel. Any caregiver who assumes the responsibility for nurturing and caring for a student’s entire well-being consisting of educational, emotional, spiritual, and physical health is eligible for the honor.

The Georgia Parent Leadership Awards are given each year to six parents representing both Title I schools and Non-Title I schools. While the six state winners for 2015 are from elementary schools, parents from all school levels can be nominated.

Winners of the Georgia Parent Leadership Award have opportunities throughout the year to share their story by promoting and assisting parent engagement activities at the state level.

More Information

Please see the following link for more information about the Georgia Parent Leadership Awards:​