Coweta County School System honors leaders, past and present
From Special Reports
Education leaders – past and present – were honored with by the Coweta County Board of Education at its June meeting, when members established the Dr. Robert Lee Award and recognized excellence among employees.
The first Dr. Robert Lee Award, honoring the memory of the former Coweta County Superintendent of Schools who passed away on April 24 of this year, was presented to Associate Superintendent Jerry Davis. Lee’s widow, Ruth, and son Greg were on hand to receive a special plaque marking the occasion.
“Dr. Lee led our school system for a generation, and served our community during some very difficult and momentous periods of history,” Barker said, noting that Lee led schools not only through the merging of the Coweta County and Newnan boards of education in 1969, but also through desegregation.
“Dr. Lee was the first Superintendent hired by the Coweta County Board of Education to carry out those very large and difficult tasks,” Barker said. “He was extraordinarily successful. Dr. Lee described the task of integration as ‘a just cause,’ and went about it with the conviction that ‘you can’t have a nation with second class citizens.’ He credited the people of Coweta County with the success of those tasks.”
Speaking about his many accomplishments in his 20 years as superintendent, Barker said Lee:
• Led a system-wide upgrading of our schools and educational facilities
• Reorganized the grade structure into today’s K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 programs, and began the school system’s kindergarten, middle school and junior high school programs.
• Established the school system’s first special education program and expansion of the county’s programs for gifted students.
• Established the school system’s business partner programs.
• Brought women in administrative positions for the first time in the community.
• Led the system its first surges of community growth, and began the building program to keep up with that growth that provided all corners of our community with excellent elementary, middle and high schools
“Dr. Lee led our system well, with great professionalism and personal decency,” Barker said. “It is a testimony to his character that he ...remained a beloved and respected member of our community for over 40 years.”
The Dr. Robert Lee Award will be presented annually to the faculty or staff member or administrator within the Coweta County School System who best exemplifies leadership, vision and bravery, Barker said.
“Leader of the Year” awards are presented each year to the principal, assistant principal and district leader who continuously exemplify the Coweta County School System’s mission, vision and beliefs; maintain a high level of professionalism at all times; maintain honesty and integrity in all areas of responsibilities; display exemplary interpersonal skills in communicating with teachers, students, parents and community members; demonstrate a superior ability to foster excellence in leadership and contribute to the continuous improvement of the district; and utilize innovative research techniques, such as action research, to inform practices and enhance the quality of instruction.
Winners – as voted by their peers – were Newnan High School’s Doug Moore, principal; East Coweta High School’s Evan Horton, assistant principal; and Curriculum Director Karen Barker, district leader.
In addition, a special award was presented to Personnel Director Vince Bass on behalf of the Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators, which honored outstanding achievement in the field of human resources.
GASPA recognized Bass and his department for maintaining 100 percent of CCSS paraprofessionals as highly qualified personnel, and 99.17 percent of the system’s certified educators as highly qualified.