Published Saturday, December 01, 2012

Newnan Times-Herald wins GSBA award for education coverage

By W. WINSTON SKINNER

winston@newnan.com

The Newnan Times-Herald was honored Friday with the Beacon Award from the Georgia School Boards Association.

The award resulted from a nomination by the Coweta County Board of Education for work principally by Rebecca Leftwich, the newspaper’s education editor. Leftwich and her husband, Gary, were guests at the awards luncheon at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta.

GSBA and the Georgia School Superintendents Association both presented awards after the meal. The Leftwiches sat with members of the Coweta board, Coweta Superintendent Steve Barker and Dean Jackson, the school system’s public information officer.

Valarie Wilson, GSBA president, presented the glass trophy to Leftwich. “It is important to recognize those who recognize the hard work that we do,” Wilson said.

Judy Sims, chair of the awards committee, spoke of the importance of “the opportunity to receive accurate news about our schools.”

Other Beacon Awards for print media went to Gail Williamson of the Swainsboro Forest-Blade, nominated by the Emmanuel County Board of Education; Bill Hobbs of the Lake Oconee News, nominated by the Greene County board; Jim Healy and Jason Wermers of the Statesboro Herald, nominated by the Bulloch County board; Vaishali Patel of the Milledgeville Union Recorder, nominated by the Baldwin County board.

Awards for electronic media went to Gradick Communications, Carrollton City board; Danny Blizzard, WMNZ, Macon County board; Dean Dyer, WRWH, White County board; and Donna Lowry, WXIA-TV, Fulton County board.

Wilson said the awards luncheon – which also recognized Georgia Teacher of the Year Lauren Eckman and named Chris Erwin of Banks County as Superintendent of the Year – was reflective of her goal to honor “our heroes and sheroes.”

Comcast was the corporate sponsor for the luncheon. Andy Macke the company’s vice president for government and community affairs, said, “We’re very proud to be part of an event where we’re celebrating those who are doing good things in education.”

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