Bouie to represent school system in Atlanta

Published 6:55 pm Friday, October 17, 2014

Monday, a Bainbridge woman will attend a meeting in Atlanta with state School Superintendent Dr. John Barge as a member of the 2014-2015 Parent Advisory Council.

Gail Bouie, a West Bainbridge Elementary parent volunteer, was a 2014 Georgia Parent Leadership Award winner, awarded by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Parent Teacher Association.

“If you remember last [school] year, Ms. Bouie was selected as one of our Parent Leadership Award winners and went to the state competition, and that entitled her to be in place to be selected as part of the State School Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council,” said Dr. Fred Rayfield, Decatur County school system superintendent. “This year she’s been named a member of that advisory council, where she will serve for this school year.”

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Bouie was recognized at Thursday evening’s Board of Education meeting by Rayfield; Dr. Cheryl Guy, Decatur County school system Parent Involvement Coordinator; Kathy Varner, DC school system Federal Programs director; and Deborah Brown, West Bainbridge Elementary assistant principal.

The Parent Advisory Council is a group of parents from across the state that meets to discuss education in Georgia. Advisory Council members are particularly focused on how to increase parent and family engagement to ensure student success. Members meet several times throughout the school year with State School Superintendent serving as advisors and acting as ambassadors. They share the information learned with members of their communities, other families, and schools, according to the GaDOE.

“We’re very proud of Ms. Bouie,”Varner said, “and like Dr. Rayfield said, she’s going to be an important member of this team, and she is going to bring information and meet with us and share with us after she meets three times in Atlanta.”

“Even more importantly, she will carry the voice of us, of our school system in South Georgia, to Atlanta, and she is going to be our advocate,” Varner said. “We are very grateful for that. When she goes up for the first time on Oct. 20, it’s going to be an extra special day, because it’s going to be a big kickoff of the November Parent Engagement Month that will be held across the state.”

Parents are nominated to serve on the PAC by their local school district at the beginning of each school year. Members are chosen by a committee of Georgia Department of Education representatives based on the applicant’s response to questions. During the meetings parents provide feedback and input on new policies, projects, and materials that influence and impact students and their families. There are 30 members on the council plus the six Georgia Parent Leadership Award winners who act as honorary council members.