Georgia Board of Education Chair Mike Royal received the Champion for Children Award during the GCSA Holiday Celebration of Advocates. The special celebration was held on Dec. 13 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center.
During the ceremony, GCSA President and CEO Tony Roberts said Royal has continually put Georgia’s children first during his tenure on the State Board of Education.
“Mike is a true champion for Georgia’s children. What we love about him is that he believes children should have choices in education,” said Roberts during the special event.
Royal thanked the Georgia Charter Schools Association, charter school advocates and school leaders for the honor and for their contribution to improving education in Georgia.
“Thank you for this recognition…It’s all about creating opportunities for children in the state of Georgia,” said Royal. “I can tell you unequivocally that because of the efforts of so many people in this room, in creating those opportunities for kids to break the cycle of poverty, our 180 traditional school districts are better because of you. We would not have 178 of our 180 school districts in our state under contract based on student achievement if it weren’t for your efforts. Rising tides lifts all ships.”
When Royal began serving on the Georgia Board of Education, Georgia’s graduation rate was 69 percent. In 2017, the rate rose to nearly 82 percent. Royal is stepping down as chair of the Georgia Board of Education but plans to continue to serving as a member of the governing body.
During the December 13 ceremony, GCSA also recognized the four top advocates for charter schools in Georgia: Melissa Yancey, Angela Lassetter, Kristan Adams and Winsonikkia Martin. These advocates have the highest participation in the Phone2Action program that GCSA utilizes to mobilize support for charter schools.