The Hall County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday evening to name its future elementary school on Ramsey Road, Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary School.
Sandra Deal, the former first lady of the state of Georgia, worked as a teacher within the Hall County school District for over 15 years, serving at Tadmore Elementary, North Hall High School, and North Hall Middle School. She dedicated her life and career to supporting education for children across Georgia.
After Monday's vote, Schofield said school board members proposed the idea shortly after Deal's death in August.
“You can look at history of this board in the last 17 years, we don’t name buildings after people, but this was a rare exception,” Schofield said. “She so stood out amongst our peers as a champion of this community, of the next generation, of education and literacy that it’s a proud day that we can name a future elementary school after Sandra Dunagan Deal.”
The new school will be on Ramsey Road just off of Ga. 365 and is set to open in the fall of 2024. It will replace Riverbend and White Sulphur elementary schools, which are both being phased out of elementary service. Schofield said being able to name the school after Deal was an emotional moment for him.
"First of all, I've watched what Sandra has done for our state and for our community but they were also our next-door neighbors and I've said it a number of times, they're the best neighbors we ever had," Schofield said. "She and Nathan were both always looking out for their fellow man, they looked out for the least of these our brethren and I just have the ultimate respect for Sandra Dunagan Deal."
Deal's husband, the former Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, said in a press release that the memorial is fitting to his late wife's life as a teacher and as the state's first lady who was committed to literacy and learning.
“Our family appreciates the honor the Hall County Board of Education has bestowed on Sandra by naming this new elementary school after her.” Deal said.
Board Chair Craig Herrington said Deal had a distinguished career in local education.
“As Georgia’s First Lady, she continued to advocate for children’s literacy. It is appropriate that we honor and recognize Mrs. Deal’s dedication to the children of Hall County and Georgia. It is my privilege to announce that Hall County School’s newest elementary school will be named “Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary,” Herrington said.