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Marietta school chief bests local nominees
Lembeck will represent Ga. in national competition
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Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield congratulates Emily Lembeck, superintendent of Marietta City Schools, on being named the Georgia Superintendent of the Year on Friday in Atlanta. Schofield was one of four finalists for the award. - photo by DALLAS DUNCAN

Award nominees

Chris Erwin, Banks County
Superintendent since: 2003
Years in education: 27
City of residence: Homer
Key accomplishments: All schools made Adequate Yearly Progress for 2011; decreased dropout rates; 2006 Governor's Cup for SAT scores exceeding the state average

Buster Evans, Forsyth County
Superintendent since: 2008
Years in education: 27
City of residence: Cumming
Key accomplishments: Second IE-squared district in Georgia; established a virtual academy and "bring your own technology" programs in classrooms

Emily Lembeck, Marietta City
Superintendent since: 2005
Years in education: 20
City of residence: Marietta
Key accomplishments: Implemented International Baccalaureate programs for all grade levels; one of Georgia's first all-charter districts; Title I Distinguished District award; created Marietta Reads incentive program and the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics

Will Schofield, Hall County
Superintendent since: 2005
Years in education: 25
City of residence: Gainesville
Key accomplishments: Created eight charter schools and several programs of choice; provides access to a rigorous curriculum for all students; steady increase in test scores

 

ATLANTA — Northeast Georgia had three in the race for Georgia Superintendent of the Year out of four finalists, but Marietta City Schools Superintendent Emily Lembeck nabbed the award Friday.

Will Schofield of Hall County, Chris Erwin of Banks County and Buster Evans of Forsyth County were finalists along with Lembeck.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the joint Georgia School Boards Association and Georgia School Superintendents Association conference at the Waverly Hotel.

"I think it's fantastic. Emily has done a great job in Marietta City and will serve as an incredible ambassador to education in the state of Georgia," Schofield said. "There's no sadness (for not winning). It's just an honor to even have been recognized as a finalist."

Herb Garrett, executive director of the superintendents association, said more than 20 nominations were received. Colleagues or fellow board members could nominate superintendents.

He said though there's no "bonus points" for doing so, all four finalists this year were nominated by their local boards of education.

"Over half of those nominations came from boards or board chairs," Sam King, president of the superintendents association and Rockdale County superintendent told attendees.

"I offer particular congratulations to those who were nominated by their boards. What a celebration of teamwork on behalf of children when boards and superintendents work closely together."

Nominees must fill out online applications that will be evaluated to select finalists, Garrett said.

"I feel blessed to be considered a finalist," Erwin said. "I'm real proud of our graduation rate, I'm proud of student achievement. For me to watch and see these students succeed, that's the key. My favorite part of being superintendent, no doubt it's just seeing the light bulb go on when students learn something."

This was Evans' second time nominated for the award.

"I'm so fortunate to work with so many professionals both at the school office and the school levels," he said. "It's just a real privilege and honor to represent our system."

Garrett said this was Lembeck's third nomination for the award. She will represent Georgia in the national competition next year.

"I'm just overwhelmed and honored by this announcement," Lembeck said as she accepted the award. "I feel fortunate for being recognized among these finalists. I know them well, I admire the work they do and the difference they make in their school communities. ...

"We're moving forward at a time of unprecedented challenges and change and we're doing so knowing the future of our state and nation is dependent upon us working together, all of us, to educate all of our students to higher levels than ever before."

 

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