Campus News Society & Culture

UGA College of Education program honors educators, education doctoral students

Philip D. Lanoue (left) recieves the Johnnye V. Cox Award from Sally J. Zepeda

Athens, Ga. – Two outstanding Georgia educational leaders—Philip D. Lanoue and Jack Parish—were recognized for their service to the field at the University of Georgia College of Education’s educational administration and policy program’s annual awards luncheon April 19. Also at the program, four doctoral students received scholarships and a fifth was recognized for his scholarly work.

Parish, the associate dean for outreach and engagement in the college, received the nationally recognized Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council for Educational Administration. The award recognizes school administrators who have made significant contributions to the improvement of administrator preparation efforts. UCEA is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children.

Parish, who joined the UGA faculty in 2008, was recognized for his contributions to the preparation of educational leaders as a lecturer in the educational administration and policy program after a 30-year career in K-12 education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant personnel director, assistant superintendent and superintendent, mostly in Henry County. He began his career as a teacher at Riverdale High School in Clayton County.

Parish has been involved in a number of activities, assignments and tasks at UGA that have provided service to students, colleagues, the field of educational leadership and graduate education. He was named director of the Early Career Principal Residency Program in 2010. He served as the executive director of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.

Lanoue, superintendent of the Clarke County School District, received the Johnnye V. Cox Award from the UGA department of lifelong education, administration and policy. Lanoue, who has led the school district since 2009, was recognized for his contributions to educational supervision and leadership, and consistently bringing schools and districts to higher levels of academic achievement.

“During the past two years, the Clarke County School District under the leadership of Dr. Lanoue has been leading a learning revolution in the realm of leadership evaluation,” said UGA College of Education professor Sally J. Zepeda. “Dr. Lanoue’s work is revolutionary as our state struggles with finding an evaluation system that can accurately reflect the real work of the principal and purposefully link their work to school improvement.”

Under Lanoue’s leadership, the Clarke County School District has been honored as a Title I Distinguished District for being Georgia’s top large district for closing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students. In addition, all elementary schools, as well as Hilsman Middle and Clarke Middle, made 2011 Adequate Yearly Progress, the state’s measure of achievement under No Child Left Behind. Both Cedar Shoals High School and Clarke Central High School are Advanced Placement Honor Schools for the state of Georgia. And the 2011 graduation rate increased to 70.8 percent, an increase of 7.5 percent since 2009.

The Johnnye V. Cox award was named for the late retired College of Education professor who joined the UGA faculty in 1946 and developed the college’s program of supervision. She was considered one of the pre-eminent early national trailblazers of the field.

Scholarships and recognitions
Jennifer Cole, of Athens, an instructional coach at Winterville Elementary School in Clarke County, received the Ray E. Bruce Academic Support Award, which provides a $1,500 scholarship for a graduate student enrolled in the educational administration and policy program.
Cole works closely with teachers and administrators to plan and implement professional learning linked directly to teachers’ needs. This led her to explore the relationship between data about teachers’ performance and their professional learning. She presented findings from this project at the NCSS annual conference in Washington, D.C., and has presented other work at numerous local, state and national conferences.

Heena Patel, of Bethlehem, and Brad Bowling, of Athens, both received David J. Mullen Scholarships. The $1,500 nonrenewable scholarship provides assistance to doctoral candidates preparing for a public school position in the educational administration and policy program.

Patel’s dissertation focuses on the charter school phenomenon occurring in Georgia. The purpose of her study is to investigate and identify the factors why many conversion charter schools revert back to traditional public school models. It also explores what the consequences may be when conversion charter schools “unconvert.” The intent of her study is to help Georgia policymakers clarify why the charter option is rarely sustainable for many public schools.

Bowling, a veteran educator of 11 years, currently serves as an assistant principal at W.R. Coile Middle School in Athens and is pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership at UGA. Bowling has worked with students with disabilities and created innovative programs and pedagogies in partnership with the community in an effort to provide young people with the skills, instruction and determination to live independently. He encourages youth to refrain from drugs and gang violence, and to help their community as servant leaders in the face of poverty.

Rejer A. Finklin received the Carroll Wade McGuffey Scholarship. This $1,500 scholarship supports students whose studies include research into school organizations’ impact on teacher behavior, pupil behavior and/or pupil learning. Finklin began her career in education as a secondary social studies teacher in Washington, Ga. During this time, she became interested in school leadership and the role it plays in recruiting and retaining teachers-specifically, how effective school leadership can alleviate teacher isolation and attrition rates for minority teachers in rural schools. As part of her doctoral studies, Finklin has examined the role of the principalship in the shaping of school culture. Her dissertation will focus on the professional and social experiences of teachers of color who opt to leave rural teaching assignments for suburban and urban assignments.

Kendall Deas, of Atlanta, a doctoral candidate originally from Sumter, S.C., received the Faculty Scholar Award for his exhibition of outstanding citizenship and academic progress.
At UGA, Deas has had papers accepted for presentation at several national and international conferences sponsored by the Education Law Association, National Education Finance Conference and the American Society for Public Administration. This spring, he was one of two national finalists for the Ann Plato Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship at Trinity College sponsored by the national Consortium for Faculty Diversity at Liberal Arts Colleges.