Two parents of students attending Barrow County Schools have been nominated for the Georgia Parent Leadership Award.
Created by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Parent Teacher Association, the award recognizes parents across Georgia who use their various skills and talents to strengthen schools and positively impact the lives of children.
When the call for nominations came during November, which was Parent Engagement Month in the state of Georgia, two of Barrow County’s parent leaders were nominated for the award, Margie Sorrells, a grandparent at Bethlehem Elementary School, and Judy Howell from Auburn Elementary School.
According to Bethlehem Elementary School principal Marisa Grant, Sorrells, a grandparent to two Barrow County students, volunteers weekly in the media center, plans and facilitates science projects and provides transportation for students. She mentors a local family providing clothing, school supplies and items for the home, treating them as if they are her own.
“She nurtures students academically, develops their character, and exemplifies The Leader in Me traits that we model at Bethlehem Elementary. She guides young families with parenting skills and school expectations. When Ms. Sorrells’ soft spoken voice is heard, each of us listens for the decibels of guidance and love," Grant said in a news release.
Howell is involved in her child’s education, as well as the education of others at Auburn Elementary. She is an active member of the PTO, a Girl Scout leader and a volunteer for almost every opportunity available to benefit the children at Auburn Elementary either directly or indirectly. Howell is especially concerned about the physical well-being of the students, many of whom receive free or reduced lunch. She runs school food drives, helps stock the school food pantry and volunteers to pick up food from local stores for the Food 2 Kids program to be distributed at the school. Auburn Elementary School principal Shawn Williams said, “Any and everything we ask, Mrs. Howell is eager and willing to answer the call. She is the epitome of a parent leader in our school.”
Winners of the Georgia Parent Leadership Award will be honored during a reception on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.
In October, Stephanie Smith, parent of a Bethlehem Elementary student, was nominated and appointed to the State School Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Committee. According to her nominating principal, Smith is a model parent, reading to classrooms, serving on committees and assisting with parent activities and school initiatives, and seeking to make a difference while working toward earning her education degree. She and 36 other committee members meet with John Barge, state school superintendent, to discuss ways to increase parent and family engagement at school and to ensure students’ success.
For more information about how to become involved in your child’s school, visit your school’s website, speak with a member of the school staff or contact Sherri Perry, Barrow County School System Title I Family Engagement Specialist, at 770-867-4527 or email@example.com.