The Union Recorder

September 12, 2013

GaDOE officials tour local school, meet educators

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder


Midway Elementary School Principal Antonio Ingram was proud to show off the hard work of his teachers and student’s successes Thursday to Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) officials, including State Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

The visit to Midway Thursday morning was a stop along Barge’s three-day tour as he traveled to 15 school districts across the state, including Burke, Glascock, Hancock, Jenkins, Jefferson, Screven, Twiggs, Warren and Wilkinson counties. The state officials were greeted by Ingram, Baldwin County School Superintendent Geneva Braziel and Baldwin County Board of Education Chair John Jackson, District 4.

“I want to make sure I visit all 180 school districts in the state,” Barge said before touring the school. “I’ve been to some rural areas, and there’s some amazing things that are going on. They are getting some really good results, especially when it’s been a difficult time for schools and public education in general budget wise. I’m visiting to encourage and see what the particular issues and needs are.”

The group dropped in a few classrooms as teachers continued academic instruction, and spoke with individual youth about their studies.

“The tour was really good. We saw some really engaged teachers and engaged students. They have solid classroom procedures,” Barge said of Midway before heading to Hancock Central Middle School. “They should be proud in Baldwin; their elementary students are getting the emphasis in science and social studies they need.”

Along the tour, Ingram highlighted how teachers use various effective teaching styles to help students learn the content.

“I’m very thankful for their visit; I appreciate the time well spent. I truly see that Dr. Barge has a heart for education, these children and educational achievements,” Ingram said. “The main thing I wanted to show him was the differentiated instruction and the many ways we use differentiated instruction. Our teachers work hard with their children.”

Barge makes the three-day travel to various school districts every month. The current round of visits will conclude Friday after stopping by Greene, McDuffie, Morgan and Taliaferro counties.

“To hear students verbalize the level of vocabulary they’re at is amazing. I heard one kindergarten student say that if you take two trapezoids and put them together you get a hexagon; that’s not language I was using when I was in kindergarten. It’s evident teachers are teaching the Common Core standards,” Braziel said after Thursday’s tour. “We’re always excited to show off the great things in our classrooms. So often people don’t get to see the level of expertise teachers display. We’re appreciative of our teachers and students for the work they do on a daily basis.”

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