College of Education Faculty and Students Meet with Legislators at the Georgia State Capitol
Georgia Southern’s College of Education (COE) was represented under the Gold Dome on February 21 at the annual PAGE Day on Capitol Hill. Faculty members Karin Fisher and Rachael Smith attended with three undergraduate teacher candidates: Autumn Mitchell, Kaylee Stokes, and Kaitlyn Hayes. This is COE’s second year attending the event, sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, and the Georgia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
The event aims to bring Georgia educators to Atlanta to connect with policymakers and advocate for educators and students. This year, attendees heard from State School Superintendent Richard Woods, House Education Chair Chris Erwin (R-Homer), and Senate Education & Youth Committee member Sonya Halpern (D-Atlanta). Attendees were also invited to engage in advocacy and direct dialogue with legislators.
In addition to meeting Superintendent Woods, the COE group met with Representative Butch Parrish (R – Swainsboro), representative for Statesboro’s House District 158. They also met with Ron Stephens (R – Savannah), representative for Richmond Hill’s House District 164.
Before they left the Capitol, the COE group stopped by the governor’s office. The governor was not in, but the students were honored to receive an invitation from Operations Manager Brett Smith to come back for an official meeting with Governor Kemp in the future. Fisher says, “Brett Smith’s mother is a teacher, and he seemed to respect our profession and our candidate’s enthusiasm to meet Governor Kemp.”
With a membership of more than 93,000 educators, administrators and school support personnel, PAGE is Georgia’s largest association for educators.