The Newnan Times-Herald


Coweta County School System’s leadership, achievements lauded

  • By Clay Neely
  • |
  • Sep. 05, 2018 - 11:07 AM

At the Newnan-Coweta Chamber, our members often hear us talk about the six Pillars of Prosperity that define community development here in Coweta County: health care, education, quality of life, housing, retail and business.

Coweta excels in all of these areas, and in the past few years, we’ve frequently noted how very blessed our business community is to be able to tout the many fine achievements of our Coweta County School System.

At the beginning of this school year, we were happy to report to our members that Coweta’s elementary, middle and high school students had outperformed their peers in Georgia on their most recent State Milestone Assessments.

Late last year, Dr. Steve Barker, our superintendent, drew recognition to our community by being named the 2018 Georgia Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia School Superintendents Association. In nominating him, local board members noted his open communication with stakeholders, wide community involvement, strong management style, and conservative financial stewardship.

Over the summer, the Coweta County Board of Education was among only 35 of Georgia’s 180 school boards to receive the “Exemplary School Board” recognition from the Georgia School Boards Association, the highest recognition offered by the group. The honor is designed to showcase best practices in school governance and leadership, and we were pleased to see both our superintendent and our school board acknowledged for their leadership.

The Coweta County School System has received far too many accolades for us to list here, but one that we’re especially proud of in the business community is the Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting from the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts.

These awards for leadership and financial excellence come on the heels of the many academic successes constantly being announced by our award-winning school system. Its other recent successes have included rising high school graduation rates (5 percent higher than the state of Georgia’s), SAT scores that again topped national and state averages in 2017 and East Coweta Middle School being recognized by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement with a Gold Award for greatest student gains.

In light of the ongoing excellence that has become the hallmark of the Coweta County School System, we find it quite perplexing that some individuals in our community would choose to cast aspersions on our school system and its distinguished leaders. Frankly, we wonder precisely which of the Coweta County School System’s many achievements they wish had not occurred. Would they like higher property taxes? Lower SAT scores? Less financial reporting?

Perhaps these individuals simply need to go back to school themselves, and if so, we have a terrific school system to recommend to them.

Candace Boothby

President and CEO, Newnan-Coweta Chamber