GAINESVILLE - It was a big day in 'Smartville' Friday, the nickname for Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy, a charter elementary school in Gainesville. Students and faculty met Georgia's top educator who brought them a special, coveted award.
State School Superintendent John Barge came to congratulate everyone and present the Georgia Family-friendly Partnership School Award.
"There are over 2,000 schools in Georgia," Barge said. "You're one of four out of 2,000 that received this award. Give yourself a big round of applause."
Shiloh Middle School in Gwinnett County, St. Simons Elementary in Glynn County and Woodstock Elementary School in Cherokee County were the other three winners.
Barge met with teachers, Principal Matt Maynor and his staff, and held a round- table discussion with parents, school board members, and Gainesville School Superintendent Merrianne Dyer. Then he met the students of Enota in the gym and awarded a plaque and a huge red banner proclaiming Enota as a '2013 Georgia Family-Friendly Partnership School.'
The annual awards recognize K-12 Title I schools for commitment to fostering welcoming environments that encourage families to become active partners in improving student achievement and success.
The State Department of Education department began the program 2010 to assist schools, families and communities to work together to boost parent involvement in every school in Georgia.
The award recognizes schools that have gone above and beyond to create an environment where families and community members feel comfortable and can help play an important role in supporting their school's student success, and Dr. Barge said Enota passed with flying colors.
"It was very exciting to have him here and to celebrate such a great award for our parents, our community, students and staff," Dr. Maynor said. "It's definitely about getting involvement from everyone and having an open school where everyone feels comfortable and that they're part of our team and part of our school."
Barge also mentioned his pending gubernatorial campaign and said a big plank in his platform in his race for governor is education funding, adding that public school systems are underfunded, some are going bankrupt,and it's time to stop the sharp education cuts.
"We have to realize that state revenues have been up every year for the past three years and we're building up a nice reserve fund that could restore some of the cuts," Barge said.