McRae: Connect schools with community

Published 8:33 pm Friday, October 22, 2010

McRae|Brennan Leathers

Educator John McRae said he is running for the Decatur County Board of Education because he believes his perspective from having worked in schools would enhance the board.

McRae is a former teacher and principal who is currently an early childhood education instructor at the Bainbridge College Early County Site.

If elected to the Board of Education, McRae said he would seek to increase the amount of information the board shares with the public, in an effort to strengthen the school system’s community relations.

Email newsletter signup

Examples of information McRae believes is not being distributed includes schools’ Adequate Yearly Progress—a measurement associated with the No Child Left Behind Act—testing scores and graduation rates. His belief is that if the school system has a problem, the community should be made aware of it and invited to help work with educators to solve the problem.

McRae said he would also work to find a solution to end the furlough days Decatur County schools have taken during the last two years to make up for cuts to the State of Georgia’s education budget.

“I think it’s wrong to base the [school system’s] budget on teachers giving up six days of work,” McRae said. “If they are not given the opportunity to plan, they will not be able to do as good of a job.”

McRae said he believes it’s vitally important to support teachers, especially those at schools that are not making AYP.

“We need to be asking teachers what we need to do to help them,” McRae said. “What can other organizations like the Chamber of Commerce need to be doing to improve the learning environment? It takes a community to educate.”

McRae began his teaching career in 1971 and first became a principal in 1979, at an elementary school in Valdosta, Ga. He served as the principal of John Johnson Elementary School in Bainbridge from 1998 to his retirement in 2005. He was named a Georgia High Performing Principal in 2006.

He serves on the council for the Georgia Partnership for Education for Excellence in Education, which holds quarterly meetings in Atlanta. He is the volunteer executive director for the Georgia Teacher of the Year Association, which promotes the recognition of outstanding teachers at the local and state level. He is also involved with the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a partnership to tackle difficult social problems at their root causes.

This John McRae is not the same person as Dr. Jon McRae, the Bainbridge dentist who serves on the Development Authority.