NORTH FORSYTH -- One volunteer at an elementary school in north Forsyth was recently recognized with the 2016 Georgia Parent Leadership Award.
Sherry Chadwick from Chestatee Elementary School was honored by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for her “outstanding leadership in creating a foundation of support for student achievement and success.”
Along with five other parents, she received her award during the 2016 Georgia Family Engagement Conference in Athens.
“Parental and family involvement is absolutely crucial to the academic, social and emotional success of Georgia’s children,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “The positive impact of an involved parent, someone who takes a leadership role in supporting their child’s school and their academic progress, does not stop with one child.
“It affects the climate of the entire school. We absolutely could not do our work as educators without involved parent leaders like the ones being recognized with this award.”
Parents are nominated each November during Georgia’s Parent Engagement Month by public school personnel. Any caregiver who assumes responsibility for “sustaining and nurturing a student’s educational, emotional, spiritual and physical health” is eligible for the honor.
In her recommendation letter, Chestatee Principal Polly Tennies wrote that Chadwick is an officer with the school’s PTA and plans events where “families can connect with the school.”
According to the letter, “The activities strengthen family bonds and are designed to promote family fun and engagement. She sees the value of spending time together to build stronger connections.”
The school’s fall festival, Tennies noted, had a record attendance. It featured games, crafts and a family dinner. Chadwick also connected with nearby North Forsyth High School to promote volunteerism within the elementary school.
“This past year, Chestatee Elementary earned recognition as one of five Title-I Schools awarded the Family Friendly School Partnership Award in the state of Georgia,” she said. “Without a parent such as Sherry, this award would not have happened.”
Chadwick also participates on the Local School Council and Title-I Advisory Board.
“Our parent participation has grown by leaps and bounds because she looks to get others involved in key roles,” Tennies said.
The Georgia Parent Leadership Awards are given each year to up to six parents. They may represent both Title-I and Non-Title-I schools and may be nominated from any school level.
This year, the winning parents represent four elementary and two high schools.
Winners become one-year honorary members of State Superintendent Woods’s Parent Advisory Council, where they will have opportunities throughout the year to share their story by promoting and assisting parent engagement activities at the state level.