By Kimberly Willis Green
Beecher Hills Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) President Antwan McKee was one of six parents from across the state honored with the 2015 Georgia Parent Leadership Award from the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and the Georgia Parent Teacher Association (GA PTA). The parents were recognized at a ceremony during the 2015 Georgia PTA Day at the Capitol March 3.
GaDOE and GA PTA created the award to recognize parents for their outstanding leadership in creating a foundation of support for student achievement and success. Beecher Hills Elementary School Principal Crystal Jones nominated McKee. Under his leadership, Beecher Hills’ PTA built a strong team of parent and school leaders who work together to execute PTA programs and events, and increased male-parent participation. McKee spearheaded multiple parent communication efforts such as re-establishing the homeroom parent mode of communication and creating a PTA Facebook page, which resulted in a higher increase of parent attendance at various parent meetings. He has also helped plan popular school events including a Father-Son Tailgate Cook-Off, Mother-Son Dance, Mother-Daughter Tea and Father-Daughter Dance.
Public school personnel nominate parent leaders each November during Georgia’s Parent Engagement Month. Any caregiver who assumes the responsibility for nurturing and caring for a student’s entire well-being consisting of educational, emotional, spiritual, and physical health is eligible for the honor. Research shows that parent engagement makes a difference in student achievement – no matter the age of the child.
The Georgia Parent Leadership Awards are given each year to six parents representing both Title I schools and Non-Title I schools. While the six state winners for 2015 are from elementary schools, parents from all school levels can be nominated. Winners of the Georgia Parent Leadership Award have opportunities throughout the year to share their story by promoting and assisting parent engagement activities at the state level. For more information about the awards, visit http://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/Pages/Parent-Leadership-Recognition.aspx