Dr. Steve Barker and Lynn Smith are now Golden Eagles.
Barker, superintendent of the Coweta County School System, and Smith, who is Coweta’s senior state legislator, were recognized at the 2019 Coweta Golden Eagle Dinner, sponsored by the Flint River Council, Boy Scouts of America. The event is held annually.
The Golden Eagle dinner was held March 19 at the Newnan Centre.
Barker’s award was presented by Mark Whitlock, CEO of Central Educational Center. Candace Boothby, president of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, presented the Golden Eagle Award to Smith, who represents District 70 in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Troop 897 Eagle Patrol presented the colors. Speakers included Dennis McEntire, Garnet Reynolds and Thomas Comte, an Eagle Scout from Troop 897. McEntire and Reynolds were co-chairs for the dinner.
Prior to being named superintendent in 2011, Barker served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal at Coweta County elementary, middle and high schools during his 29-year career.
Barker began his teaching career with the Coweta County School System in 1990 at Evans Middle School. He was named assistant principal of Northgate High School in 1998, principal of Canongate Elementary School in 1999 and principal of Smokey Road Middle School in 2001.
Barker served as principal of Newnan High School from 2003-2007 before being named director of administrative services.
During the eight years that Barker has served as superintendent, the school system received an exemplary AdvancED Accreditation Report, opened an 8th Grade College and Career Academy, and developed a learning service delivery model that provides more advanced opportunities for students.
Barker supported distribution of Chromebooks to all students in grades 3-12 and has led the district through multiple facility expansions and renovations while keeping the school system debt-free.
Barker earned his B.A. in education with an emphasis on social studies from Shorter College, his master’s from the University of West Georgia and his doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
In 2018 Barker was named the Georgia Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia School Boards Association and by the Georgia School Superintendents Association. He is a native of Dalton, is married to Karen Jackson Barker and has two children, Cade and Lilli Glen.
Smith is a graduate of the University of Georgia and a former educator and business owner.
First elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1996, she currently serves as chairman for the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee. She championed the Water Stewardship Act, the creation of the Regional Water Plans and revisions to the Brownfield Act. She also serves on the Appropriations, Rules and Reapportionment Committees.
In 2011, along with the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIG), she developed the NR&E Committee Policy Academy to study pressing issues annually. Georgia Trend Magazine named her to the 100 most influential Georgians list from 2011-2016.
Smith serves as chair of the Southern Legislative Conference energy and environment committee and is a board member of the Southern States Energy Board. She is also a member of the National Conference of State Legislators.
Locally, Smith has spearheaded the development of Chattahoochee Bend State Park and secured funding for the development of Central Education Center and new construction
for the West Georgia Technical College Campus in Coweta. She also assisted with grant funding to assist Coweta County in the purchase of the Brown’s Mill Battlefield land and worked to bring the University of West Georgia satellite campus to downtown Newnan.
Before being elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, Smith served with the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, the Newnan Carnegie Library, the Newnan-Coweta Public Library, the Coweta Economic Development partnership, the Shenandoah Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center, the Newnan Junior Service League and the Driftwood Garden Club. She was a board member of the Newnan-Coweta United Way Board and the Newnan Hospital Board.
She continues serving as a member of the Newnan Rotary Club and is a Georgia Master Gardener.
The Smiths attend Central Baptist Church. Smith and her husband Charlie also enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.