Georgia business leaders tour state schools - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia business leaders tour state schools

September 22, 2003

Dougherty County- Lamar Reese students are toe-tapping and shaking things up.

Just to show off its first year as a fine arts school in front of business and education leaders from across the state.

"We just look at learning from a whole different stand point," said Dr. Valerie Thomas, principal at Lamar Reese. "That the traditional way of teaching school is old hat. We're trying to bring in something new to help them do better."

The group, including Secretary of State Cathy Cox, is traveling around Georgia to get a better look at successful school programs.

"We have seen the cream of the crop," Cox said. "Teachers working in tough situations, working with students and really turning them into real diamonds and jewels of students."

There may be plenty to brag about in state schools, but there are plenty of problems too. School systems are getting less money from the state and teachers are facing another year without raises. The goal of this sight-seeing event is to show Georgia businesses how they can help. Things they can do to keep talent inside the school house doors.

"To do the best we can for our students, it's got to be a partnership between our community, between the businesses, between our families and our schools," Cox said.

Governor Sonny Perdue is encouraging businesses to team-up with schools and support their programs. Programs that let saxophone playing assistant principals teach students how to hit the highest notes.

posted at 10:32 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com