BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. (September 25, 2023) – The Georgia Department of Education
recognizes Emerson Elementary School, Euharlee Elementary School, and Hamilton Crossing
Elementary School as Literacy Leaders!
A total of 155 schools from across the state met the qualifications to be recognized in
achievement and/or outstanding growth categories. Seventy schools were granted achievement
awards after Georgia Milestones scores showed 90% or more of their third grade students were
reading at grade level or above.
Eighty-four schools in the growth category, including EES, EHES, and HCES, showed a 15% or
higher increase in the number of third graders reading at grade level or above from 2021-22 to
Congratulations EES Teachers April Lanham and Janna Scheff. They noted 20% growth and
attribute their literacy success to the three big ideas of Professional Learning Communities –
learning, collaboration, and results.
“I was thrilled when I got the phone call from State School Superintendent Richard Woods’
office letting me know that we received this recognition,” said EES Principal Paige Bennett. “It
is not every day that you get a phone call like that. I was happy to share the news with my third
grade teachers and staff members to let them know that their hard work is being recognized. Our
third grade team focused on Tier 1 instruction and setting the expectation high for all students.
They exposed all students to grade level text every day during Tier 1 instruction. They were
purposeful and intentional when creating groups for Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction, always using
the data to drive those decisions. I am very proud of these teachers and students!”

EHES Teachers Amanda Brackett, Jennifer Williams, and Tina Abrams also saw 20% growth
from 2021-22 to 2022-23.
“We are very excited to receive word that Euharlee Elementary is being recognized as a Literacy
Leader for growth,” said EHES Principal Jim Bishop. “Our third grade team jumped from 56%
at or above grade level in 2021-22 to 76% at or above grade level in 2022-23. The team
attributed several practices to this amazing improvement. The reading teachers collaborated
frequently to plan instruction and review assessment results to address the needs of students.
They also implemented close reading strategies, focused vocabulary instruction, and conferenced
with students on a regular basis. Their new goal is to be recognized for outstanding achievement
by having 90% of students reading at or above grade level.”
HCES and its team of four teachers and one reading specialist, including Erin James, Emily
Pittman, Penny Roberts, Regina Boudreaux, and Michelle Scileppi, record 19.9% growth and
proudly accept the Literacy Leader Award.
“I am so excited and proud that our teachers and students are being recognized at the state level
for their hard work,” said HCES Principal Lynn Robertson. “Our reading specialist has provided
coaching and professional development to our teachers to support classroom instruction. We
have a process in place that ensures that all students get what they need to achieve success. The
data is showing that the process is working.”
On October 16, 2023, State Superintendent Richard Woods will be visiting the Bartow County
School System to present the Literacy Leaders Award and acknowledge the work teachers are
doing to equip students with the important lifelong skills of reading and writing.
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