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07.26.2013

40 Under 40 Feature: Laurie Barron (BSED ’96)

Today’s featured 40 Under 40 honoree is Laurie Barron (BSED ’96), principal of Smokey Road Middle School in Newnan, Ga.

Barron graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1996 and went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of West Georgia in 1999, and a Doctor of Education from University of Sarasota in 2003. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, a distinction held by only one percent of teachers in the U.S., and an adjunct professor at Mercer University.

Since taking over as principal at Smokey Road in 2004, Barron has raised the bar for the school’s academic standards. Smokey Road has not only seen an improvement in test scores, but also a decline in disciplinary problems.

According to Coweta County Schools Assistant Superintendent Marc Guy, Barron “has been a dynamic, innovative and extremely successful school leader. [She] has helped teachers do great things for student success in [the] school and the school system.”

Barron’s hard work has not gone unnoticed, either. In 2011, Smokey Road was named one of only five Breakthrough Schools by the MetLife Foundation NAASP and Georgia Breakout Middle School by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. It was also named a Georgia Governor's Office of Student Achievement Silver Award Winner for Greatest Gains for Achievement.

Due to her hard work and the support of a talented staff, the alumna was named the State of Georgia Middle School Principal of the Year and the MetLife NASSP National Middle School Principal of the Year for 2012-2013. She is a member of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s Digital Learning Task Force and numerous other professional organizations.

“My experiences at UGA prepared me not only for a successful career, but for what it means to be a well-rounded, productive citizen who gives back to the community,” said Barron. She cited organizations such as Blue Key, Mortar Board, Kappa Delta Epsilon and UGA at Oxford as being influential in her personal growth.

In her free time, Barron enjoys hiking, snow skiing, traveling, reading and UGA football. And, according to Guy, who nominated Barron for this honor, she creates some of the best tailgate dishes on Saturdays in Athens!

Congratulations and best wishes for continued success, Laurie. I fully expect to try one of your tailgate recipes in the near future!

Update: Laurie Barron has relocated to Montana, where the alumna has been named the Evergreen School District superintendent.

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03.31.2015

Provost Pamela Whitten fosters gender equity

In her blog, "Written by Whitten," Provost Pamela Whitten explains the Women's Leadership Initiative, which was recently launched by President Jere Morehead (JD '80) and the provost. 

The Women’s Leadership Initiative began earlier this month, and I am grateful for the support of the 10-member planning committee that includes administrators, faculty and staff from across campus. We have plenty of work to do as we address issues such as recruitment and hiring, career development, work-life balance and leadership development.

Gender inequities certainly aren’t unique to UGA or to higher education. A recent McKinsey and Company report found that in the private sector, women hold 52 percent of entry-level positions but only 22 percent of middle management positions and 14 percent of senior management positions.

In addition to being the right thing to do, creating a campus environment that enables everyone to achieve their full potential also makes good business sense. A growing body of research suggests that organizations whose leadership is more balanced between men and women outperform those who are less diverse. They also do a better job of recruiting and retaining talented workers and are more likely to make better business decisions because they consider a wider array of viewpoints.

Continue reading on "Written by Whitten."

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03.30.2015

Registration now open for 2015 UGA Day Tour

The University of Georgia is once again hitting the road to bring the Bulldog spirit to alumni, friends and fans around the Southeast.

From April to July, UGA coaches and administrators will travel to seven cities, sharing their insights into UGA’s upcoming athletic seasons and the latest news from campus. Attendees will also learn more about local UGA Alumni Association chapters and how to become involved.

Each stop on the UGA Day Tour will bring delight to UGA fans of all ages – you won’t want to miss out on the action.

Please click on the city nearest to you for more information and registration. 

The first 300 registrants in each city will have an opportunity to have a photo made with Coaches Mark Richt and Mark Fox. 

If you are interested in serving as a sponsor for UGA Day, please click here for more information.

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03.27.2015

Alumnae Work to Save our Hearing

Athens, a town where music flourishes, is packed with venues and sold-out shows. However, two of Athens’ biggest music-goers, alumnae Katie Carmody (BSED ’08) and Caroline DeCelles (BSED ’08, MED ’10), realized that most people were unaware of the long-term, damaging effects concerts can have on hearing.

Inspired by their undergraduate studies in music business and communication sciences and disorders and by their passion for music, the two graduates started We’re hEAR for You, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for hearing conservation. We’re hEAR for You supplies free earbuds in music venues all over Athens as well as communities across the nation.

Earbuds provided by We're hEAR for You

In an interview with the Red & Black, Carmody and DeCelles shared their passion for hearing protection.

“We’re trying to break the stigma of hearing protection. People think that hearing protection will decrease the quality of a show, but it actually filters out damaging frequencies. We’re hEAR for You focuses on education. Once people understand the science on why they need to protect their hearing, they are so much more likely to use hearing protection,” said Carmody.

We’re hEAR for You has established chapters in Atlanta, Nashville, Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins, but the group’s largest chapter is in the Classic City.

Locally, the organization’s major effort is to supply music venues, bars and other music related operations in the Athens area, such as Nuci's Space, with free ear buds and hearing protection resources. The public takes full advantage of the earbuds which have to be restocked quite frequently.

DeCelles and Carmody are in collaboration with the UGA Huge Hodges School of Music and strongly encourage students to get involved in advocating hearing protection. The organization takes part in the annual International Hearing Awareness Day on campus as well.

As the organization continues to grow, they work with musicians nationwide to promote hearing conservation. Currently, We’re hEAR for You has 25 bands that carry their earbuds on tour. Carmody operates as a liaison with these artists and makes sure the bands stay stocked. The organization even coordinates with music festivals to provide the earbuds to fellow music lovers.


 

Alumnae Katie Carmody (BSED ’08) and Caroline DeCelles (BSED ’08, MED ’10) at AthenFest 2014

 

Visit We’re hEAR for You at their website to partner with them or learn more about their cause.

This was originally published in the Red and Black

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