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Education tour stops in Statesboro

Mattie Lively visited by community leaders from across Georgia

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Business, government and education leaders from across the state were at Mattie Lively Wednesday morning as part of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education's annual bus trip across the state.
    The program is designed to not only celebrate excellence among schools throughout the state, but also give leaders an opportunity to see what successful schools are doing to possibly copy or modify them to suit their needs.
    Kevin Judy, principal at Mattie Lively, said it was an honor for the school to be selected and credited the dedication of the teachers for the success the school has achieved.
    "This school really has a family atmosphere," Judy said. "The teachers want the best for their students as much as their own children."
    Mattie Lively was one of 16 selected from among more than 100 schools nominated, according to Bill Maddox, communications director for GPEE.
    According to information given to the participants on the tour, "Mattie Lively's reputation as a school of excellence is reflected in its growing list of recognitions including 2005 Bronze Medal School for highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards," as well as being a Title I Distinguished School with four consecutive years of making Annual Yearly Progress.
    Dr. Stephen Dolinger, president of GPEE, said in addition to the ideas that leaders get from the tour, the connections developed often continue for years.
    "The relationships can go on for a long time as different schools try to replicate what a school is doing. They'll have a dialogue for several years."
    Wanda Barrs, chairperson of the state board of education, said there isn't a minute of wasted time on the bus tour.
    "Every minute you're either learning about what the schools are doing or you're talking to the teachers and principals or you're on the bus discussing ideas that you've heard," she said.
    This was the second leg of the bus tour, which visited Thomson, Augusta, Statesboro, Savannah, Richmond Hill, Dublin and Eastman over three days. Earlier this year, the tour stopped in Jackson, Decatur, Roswell, Marietta and other cities in the northern part of Georgia.
    Judy said that while Mattie Lively was being recognized, it was actually an accomplishment for all of Bulloch County schools.
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