ATLANTA- Calvine Rollins, a 23-year veteran of Georgia's public schools and currently a counselor at Bainbridge High School in Decatur County, was recently sworn in as the 26th president of the 43,000-member Georgia Association of Educators (GAE).
"This is a critical time for our public schools and our 1.2 million children who depend on them for a quality education," said Rollins. "This is the time for Georgia to be providing resources to our public schools rather than eliminating them. One of those critical resources is our dedicated teachers. I hope to work with our current and newly-elected decision makers to find ways to keep our teachers in the classrooms where they are greatly needed. At a time when our children are steadily making progress with our new curricula and standards, these reductions in funding and personnel only serve as roadblocks to that progress. And the last things we need to place in front of our children are roadblocks."
As GAE president, Rollins says she will work to ensure that her organization continues to advocate for great public schools, engaged, highly-qualified teachers, and the funding and resources our schools need to do their jobs of providing a quality education for our children. "GAE exists for our public schools, which will continue to be the foundation of our democracy. They are not going away even though there are those in decision-making positions whose actions would have you believe they wish they would. But I look forward to working with those who realize the important role our public schools play."
Before election to the GAE presidency, Rollins served on the GAE's Board of Directors as vice president (2004-2006, 2006-2008). She also served on the association's Credential and Elections Committee (1997-1999, 2000-2003), and on the National Education Association's (NEA) Elections Committee. She will take a two-year leave of absence from Decatur County Schools to serve as GAE president. Before becoming a counselor in Decatur County, Rollins worked as a middle grades/exceptional education teacher. She succeeds Jeff Hubbard from Clayton County.
Rollins also has been very active in her local association - the Decatur County Association of Educators (DCAE). In addition to serving as its president from 2000 to 2010, she has been DCAE's membership chairperson (she doubled membership in Decatur County), vice-president, secretary, grievance chairperson, and legislative contact person for the 2nd Congressional District. During her tenure as DCAE president, her accomplishments included spearheading the effort to save jobs, increase awareness of the importance of educating our youth, and advocating for adequate funding for education.
In addition to Rollins, GAE members elected Sid Chapman, a teacher from Clayton County as vice president, and Charlotte Booker, a technology teacher from Rockdale County, as the organization's secretary-treasurer. All were sworn into their new positions during the recent NEA convention held in New Orleans.
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