WOODSTOCK — Georgia’s school superintendent visited Woodstock Elementary on Friday to present the school with one of four Family-Friendly Partnership Awards given out statewide each year.
State Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge said in presenting the award he was impressed by what he saw.
“I am amazed at what you guys have done and are doing. No wonder that you have the results that you have, and you’re recognized in more ways than this; it’s just a feather in your cap,” Barge said. “Soliciting and encouraging the involvement of parents and community members is one reason you are where you are. Your kids are awesome, your science lab is amazing. I felt like I was on a field trip with Ms. Frizzle.”
Barge presented Principal Kim Montalbano with a plaque and special welcome mat to commemorate the award.
He said Woodstock Elementary went “above and beyond,” and the state Board of Education “knows how important family and community engagement are” for student success.
Many members of the community were at Woodstock Elementary for the presentation to share in the excitement of the school’s award, including Woodstock Fire Chief Dave Soumas, local historian and Cherokee Tribune columnist Juanita Hughes, Deputy School Superintendent Brian Hightower, School Board Chair Janet Read and other community stakeholders.
Read thanked the administration, faculty and staff of Woodstock Elementary for their great work at the school.
“From a school board perspective, I just wanted to say that this school exemplifies where teachers are still working collaboratively, even though there weren’t as many instructional days, they were still getting the job done,” Read said. “Just to see collaboratively everyone that works together and is still giving 110 percent to the job … it’s really making a difference to the kids.”
Winning schools were selected based on student and parent engagement, staff friendliness, community partnerships, easy-to-use websites, clear signage, comfortable waiting areas and other factors.
Some parts of the selection process included unannounced visits to the school, interviews with students, parents and staff, and anonymous calls from the Georgia DoE staff as “parents” to gauge customer service.
When Woodstock Elementary was announced as a winner in May, Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo said that the award reflected the school district’s priorities.
“In the Cherokee County School District, fostering positive and productive relationships with parents, volunteers, business partners and other supporters has been a Major System Priority for 15 years, and this honor recognizes how our organization lives up to that mission,” Petruzielo said. “Woodstock Elementary School, as a Title I school, is not without challenges, but its staff consistently rises above obstacles to create an environment of academic achievement and of family.”