On Tuesday, Dec. 7, Georgia Charter Schools Association recognized top charter school policymakers, school leaders and current and former board members during GCSA’s annual holiday “Celebration of Advocates” held at the Buckhead Club in Atlanta. GCSA presented advocates with “GCSA Champion for Children Awards” and “GCSA Board Recognition Awards” for their longtime support and commitment to children and Georgia’s public charter schools.
This year, GCSA was pleased to honor a bipartisan and accomplished group of elected officials, school leaders and advocates. The 2021 Champion for Children Award winners include:
State Rep. Dave Belton, R-Buckhead for his leadership and advocacy in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, for her strong support and voting record on education legislation in the Georgia Senate.
Tori Jackson-Hines, Executive Director of Resurgence Hall Charter School, for her dedicated and effective advocacy efforts at the school level.
Barry Lollis, CEO of Savannah Classical Academy, for his advocacy at the Georgia Capitol and in the community he serves.
Scott Johnson, State Board of Education Member, for his leadership on the SBOE District Flexibility and Charter Schools Committee.
Tom Lewis, former chairman of the State Charter Schools Commission, for his longtime service to Georgia children through his leadership at the SCSC.
“These award winners are true champions that have made a positive difference in the lives of Georgia’s public school students,” said Tony Roberts. “They have helped ensure that more students in our state have access to excellent educational opportunities and are prepared for a successful future. We’re grateful for the tremendous service they have provided to the state of Georgia and their local communities.”
GCSA also honored three outstanding board members who have served the association faithfully in its efforts to ensure charter schools receive equitable funding and resources. This year’s GCSA Board Service Awards winners include:
Hannah Heck, current chair of GCSA’s Policy and Advocacy Committee and former chairman of the GCSA board, for her commitment to Georgia students and dedication to GCSA.
Mark Peevy, former GCSA board chair and long-serving member who retired from the board in 2021, for his faithful service on the GCSA board and throughout the state’s charter school sector over the course of a decade.
Kinnari Patel-Smyth, President of the KIPP Foundation, for the leadership and educational expertise she provided while serving on GCSA’s Board of Directors and chairing GCSA’s New School Development Committee.
The Georgia Charter Schools Association advocates for, fosters and supports autonomous, high-quality charter public schools throughout Georgia. GCSA believes every child in Georgia should have equal access to a high-quality, transformative public education.