Outstanding Partners in Education recognized at Fayette Chamber breakfast

Attending the Partners in Education Breakfast were (L-R) Joel Norris, Rotary Club of Peachtree City; Outstanding Partner Winner Peggy Thomas, Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services; Susan Sassic, Huntington Learning Center; Bonnie Hancock, Oak Grove Elementary, Winning School Partner; Natalie Sanders, Mathnasium; Dr. Jeff Bearden, school superintendent; Virginia Gibbs, Chamber president and CEO. Photo/Special.

The Fayette Chamber’s annual Partners in Education Recognition Breakfast was held last week as educators and community business leaders gathered to celebrate outstanding efforts by the business community to help Fayette County public schools.

The Partners in Ed program, a joint effort of the Fayette Chamber and the Fayette County Board of Education, pairs the resources of community-minded businesses with schools that can use the resources to provide enhanced educational experiences for students.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Tony Wagner, a best-selling author and educational consultant from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Wagner commended the work of the school system for the progress being made to adapt to 21st century challenges. He shared the results of his extensive research on characteristics of successful teachers in the modern culture and suggested that creating a culture of innovation is the key to preparing our students for future careers.

Dr. Wagner also spoke at a town hall meeting at Starr’s Mill High School. A link to the video of the evening is available by emailing Connie@FayetteChamber.org.

The 2012 Outstanding Partner Award was given to two local businesses for their contributions to the school system.

Play It Again Sports was recognized for their support of Spring Hill Elementary School with playground equipment, sponsoring their annual 5K and providing discounts and incentives to school families.

Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services was the second award winner for their support of J.C. Booth Middle School through creating a day camp to help ease the transition of sixth-graders into middle school, financial support, and many hours of time and effort spent to help the school in various ways.

The Outstanding School Partner Award was presented to Oak Grove Elementary.

Two Fayette County High School students were also recognized as winners of the chamber’s first Jr. Entrepreneur Competition. The students were challenged to dream big and create a business that would be successful in the future. They constructed a business plan and worked with teachers and coaches to create both written and oral presentations for the judges.

The winners were Amanda McLeroy for Baking in Flower, a flower shop including a garden and bakery and Nisa Floyd for Undine Botanicals, an environmentally friendly hair care product company.

The distinguished panel of judges included Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi, dean of the College of Business, Clayton State University; Dr. Bill Lightfoot, dean of the College of Business, Brenau University; Alisa Kirk, area director of the Small Business Development Center at Clayton State University; Heather Chaney, program coordinator of the Small Business Development Center; Jan Krzykwa, marketing manager of TCIS-The Complete Insurance Source; Doug Bates, president of CMIT Solutions; and Dr. Suzanne Erickson, associate dean of the College of Business and Mass Communications at Brenau University.

The Fayette Chamber would like to thank the Rotary Club of Peachtree City for being the Presenting Sponsor of the breakfast, as well as Huntington Learning Center; Delta Community Credit Union; Kiwanis Club-Fayetteville; NCR; Piedmont Fayette Hospital and all the other sponsors who made the event possible.

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