Gordon State Gathers Region's Superintendents for Education Dialogue

Gordon State Gathers Region's Superintendents for Education Dialogue

President Kirk A. Nooks met virtually Friday to link leaders in higher education with regional K-12 school systems in an effort equip and educate during Gordon State College’s Superintendents’ Roundtable.

The Roundtable coincides with Gordon’s five-year strategic plan, Building the Power of WE!, which strives to convene and nurture partnerships to build an education ecosystem approach with K-12 partners focused on increasing the regional college rate.

“While the industry can talk about soft skills, we believe we have milestones, curriculum and experiences at Gordon State College that give our students The Highlander EDGE so they can represent the very best not only that Gordon has to offer, but what this community and region has to offer,” Nooks said. “We cannot allow our talent to leave this area without giving them an opportunity to plug in, give back and leave a legacy. That is why we believe Gordon is so special. Without you as our partners, there is no way we could accomplish this.”

The Highlander EDGE are noted qualities that set Gordon graduates apart: Engaged Innovators, Dedicated Scholars, Gifted Communicators and Ethical Leaders.

Nooks shared highlights in GSC’s first two years of the strategic plan and went on to share specific data with the superintendents within Gordon’s 14-county primary service region, along with partners in its Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA), which included Butts, Clayton, Coweta, Crawford, Fayette, Henry, Lamar, Macon-Bibb, Meriwether, Monroe, Newton, Pike, Spalding, Talbot and Upson counties.

Superintendents in the roundtable included Dr. Todd Simpson of Butts; Dr. Morcease J. Beasley of Clayton; Dr. Evan Horton of Coweta; Brent Lowe of Crawford; Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis and Melissa Morse of Henry; Dr. Jute Wilson of Lamar; Dr. Curtis Jones of Macon-Bibb; Assistant Superintendent Sheila Wilson of Meriwether; Dr. Samantha Fuhrey of Newton; Dr. Mike Duncan of Pike. The college will host an additional session to include Sam Sweat representing Dr. Jonathan S. Patterson of Fayette, Dr. Mike Hickman of Monroe, Jim Smith of Spalding and Dr. Larry Derico of Upson.

Gordon finance major Michael Zuniga, a graduate of Jackson High School, welcomed the distinguished group on behalf of Nooks’ newly established Presidential Fellows.  

Nooks along with the area superintendents examined student-success data detailed for the overall region and each superintendent received data for their specific school district.

The leaders reviewed 2019 data placing Gordon State College the as number two school in the 15 surrounding counties for first time freshman to University System of Georgia institutions, as reported from The University of Georgia Carl Vincent Institute.

Beasley, along with others, commended Nooks for sharing the information and the desire for the leaders to convene. “If all college presidents took this type of action to collaborate, Georgia would be in a different place,” he said. “Equity would be achieved sooner than later. I commend your efforts.”

Furhey, the 2020 Georgia Superintendent of the Year and national finalist for Superintendent of the Year, echoed her support for Gordon, “The tuition helps students who believe post-secondary education is out of their reach. The affordability of Gordon State College really makes post-secondary education possible for so many students.”