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UGA College of Education honors four alumni

Nicole Pfleger

Athens, Ga. – Four University of Georgia graduates were recognized for their career achievements and community leadership with 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards from the College of Education at its first annual Donor Appreciation and Alumni Awards Dinner held recently at the UGA Hotel and Conference Center at the Georgia Center.

Crystal Apple Awards

Nicole Pfleger, professional school counselor at Nickajack Elementary School in Smyrna, and Vicki Tarleton, mathematics department head at Columbia County’s Grovetown High School, received 2012 Crystal Apple Awards, which are presented to alumni in K-12 education who have made a significant impact on student, school and school district performance.

The American School Counselor Association named Pfleger (B.S.Ed. ’05), of Marietta, the 2012 National School Counselor of the Year. She led her school’s efforts to become designated as a Recognized ASCA Model Program in 2011. She was the 2009-2010 Cobb County School District’s Elementary Counselor of the Year.

“Ms. Pfleger’s unique actions have a direct impact on her peers, students and the entire school climate,” said Carolyn Glaze, homeless education tutor for Cobb County Schools. “Her actions help students who might flounder to flourish academically, socially and emotionally in school and motivate all of us who work in education to strive for success.”

Tarleton (M.Ed. ’00), of Evans, was a finalist for the 2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year. She was also Columbia County Teacher of the Year for 2010-2011 and Grovetown High Teacher of the Year for 2009-2010.

“Ms. Tarleton has the ability to make students believe they can achieve their goals and strives to make Grovetown High School the best it can be in every area,” said Penny Jackson, principal of Grovetown High School.

Professional Achievement Award

William Schofield, superintendent of the Hall County School District, received the 2012 Professional Achievement Award, an honor presented to alumni in the midpoint of their careers who have demonstrated significant achievements in their fields.

Schofield (B.S. Ed. ’86, M. Ed ’92, Ed.S. ’94), of Gainesville, received the 2008 Leader of the Year Award from the Georgia Association of Gifted Children and the 2008 Ball State Administrator Award from the National Association of Gifted Children.

“Through the power of his vision, energy and commitment to excellence, Will Schofield is leading his school system in the development of rigorous programming options that not only meet the needs of the county’s most able students, but are changing the culture of the school system as a whole,” said Sally Krisel, director of Innovative and Advanced Programs for Hall County Schools and part-time UGA College of Education faculty member.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Bruce Bracken, a school psychologist and professor at William & Mary, was recognized with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding success and significant impact in his field.

Bracken (M.A. ’77, Ph.D. ‘79), of Williamsburg, Va., is a charter fellow of the American Education Research Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Assessment Psychology and the American Psychological Association’s Divisions 16 and 53. He received Division 16’s Senior Scientist Award in 2008. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Assessment Psychology.

The Bracken Basic Concept Scale and the Bracken School Readiness Assessment are two of the widely used assessment tools he has developed for educators and psychologists.

He has received almost $6 million from the Jacob K. Javits Foundation to fund his research.

“Dr. Bracken’s research has clearly contributed to what we now know about the early intellectual, conceptual and social development of children, including most significantly, gifted children,” said George W. Hynd, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the College of Charleston and UGA Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus.

For more information on the awards or to submit a candidate for 2013, see

For a video celebration of the 2012 College of Education Alumni Award winners, see