Dear Partners, Colleagues and Friends,

Governor Brian Kemp has stated that a ZIP code should not determine a student’s destiny. He is supporting programs and initiatives at GOSA that provide sustainable investments in human capital that are giving students in all parts of Georgia access to better skilled teachers and leaders literacy coaching.

He is supporting new teachers and school leaders through various initiatives and budgets including the Governor’s School Leadership Academy (GSLA) hosted by GOSA. The research is very clear that new teachers need mentoring and coaching so that they will have the tools and confidence to continue teaching. Research is also clear that teachers leave the classroom when there is inadequate leadership at the school and district levels. GSLA focuses on the education continuum by providing training that supports the development and coaching of new teachers and professional development and growth opportunities for teacher leaders, aspiring principals and principals. Read more about the summer kick-offs for all cohorts in this month’s newsletter.

Literacy improvements are also a top priority for Governor Kemp and the Georgia Literacy Coordinating Council, and Georgia is making strides in addressing the challenges associated with low literacy rates. The Council, co-chaired by Matt Jones, Chief of Staff, Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), and I, began in the fall of 2019 with goals for literacy improvements from birth through adult years. This Council is committed to identifying systems, public and private, that can incorporate a “family” approach to literacy improvements. The Council reports to the Children’s Cabinet to satisfy one of its goals for reading literacy improvements. The public-private interchange is creating many opportunities to assist families throughout Georgia. Like poverty, low literacy is a cycle. We know that we must address literacy improvements for children and their parents to break that cycle. For more information about the Council, go to

Growing Readers is an instructionally focused Georgia-grown literacy program that invests in teachers to support effective reading instruction in kindergarten through third grade. Growing Readers was designed through a partnership between GOSA and Georgia’s RESA network and is sustained through financial support from GOSA and GaDOE. Growing Readers is in its sixth year of evaluation and continues to show increased levels of teacher efficacy and student gains in reading in participating schools. To date, Growing Readers has trained and coached 1,760 teachers in 269 schools and 86 districts impacting 54,600 students. Growing Reader specialists serve as literacy coaches to both classroom teachers and other specialists to build sustainable systems of practice and reach more Georgia classrooms. The Governor’s and legislature’s support for this program is paying dividends on students’ futures. 

I appreciate Governor Kemp’s desire for continuous educational and literacy improvements. I thank our legislators and partners for their support for our programs and initiatives. Our economy and our children’s futures will greatly benefit from investments in teachers, educational leaders, and our schools.

In closing, my thoughts are with educators, students and parents who are hoping for schools to remain open and in person during the rise of COVID. I would encourage each Georgian to talk with their healthcare professionals about getting vaccinated. The variant is on the rise and more contagious and deadly than ever. We need everyone vaccinated to get back to normal.

Joy Hawkins
Executive Director

READ MORE: Download this pdf file. FULL NEWSLETTER PDF

     What's Inside:

  • Governor’s School Leadership Academy – 2021-2022 Kick-offs
  • Georgia Association of Education Leaders Announces Partnership with Governor's School Leadership Academy from GOSA
  • Governor’s Honors Program 58th Year
  • Growing Readers Kicks-Off Across the State
  • Georgia Teacher of the Year for 2022 Announced
  • Schools and Libraries Partner to Benefit Students in Georgia
  • CTAE Delivers Georgia’s Future Workforce
  • Great Promise Partnership Joins Forces with Georgia Department of Education
  • Speaking of Jobs… New Georgia Department of Economic Development statistics
  • Georgia Department of Public Health – Ask an Expert Video Series