ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Leaders from across the state visited Dougherty County to steal the secret to success. The Georgia Partnership for excellence in Education bus tour stopped at International Studies Charter School.
The school has received the honor of being named a National Blue Ribbon School, a Title One school and recognized by the Governor's office for Achievement, but the biggest measure of success is the students.
As high school teacher Broderick McGrady observed students and teachers at International Studies Charter Elementary school, he admits, he was a little jealous.
He said, "I feel envy, a little bit, because I wish we had these resources available, but I'm also optimistic that I can find new strategies to help me with my teaching based on what I can find on this trip, at least I hope so."
McGrady is a teacher in Clayton County, a school system that recently lost its accreditation. "The children still need to be educated," he said, "so that's the key thing. That's my key motivation. Children have to be educated, despite what's happening in the system."
And that's why this group was in Dougherty County Wednesday, to give the students and leaders here a pat on the back, while taking back some of their success strategies.
Stephen Dolinger, president of the Partnership said, "The real reason is to take two bus loads of business, government, educational leaders from across the state to schools really making a difference so they can find out what the secret is, take that back to their counties across Georgia and hope they can make a difference there, too."
Superintendent Sally Whatley said the fact that the school was selected is indicative of the systems efforts to provide all teachers with the resources they need for students to receive a quality education. "It's just a real honor," said Dr. Whatley. "It's an honor for our entire school system."
And it's given Mr. McGrady some tools to take back to his classroom. He said, "I'm trying to find ways to engage my students using some of those same resources." Learning the best resource in the classroom, is often a teacher who cares.
This isn't the tours only stop in South Georgia. They've already visited Houston and Schley Counties. Today they also visited Funston Elementary and Thursday they will visit schools in Thomas and Lowndes Counties.