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Educators: business partners will see return on investment
by Christine Fonville
August 20, 2014 12:19 PM | 1056 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Henry County Superintendent Rodney Bowler and Locust Grove’s Strong Rock Christian School CEO Pat Stuart said last week there is a direct correlation between current trends in education and the success of the business community.

They spoke during a panel discussion at the Henry Council for Quality Growth’s annual education summit at Eagle’s Landing Country Club, covering a variety of topics including partnerships, career readiness and school system goals.

Bowler, who said that the county school system is continuing to embark on a more personalized learning standard for each student this school year, said college and career readiness as well as community partnerships involving local businesses are important aspects of the system’s mission.

“We want to ensure success for each student by identifying their individual needs and working hard to put enough varied programs in place that will be best suited for all types of students,” he said. “Our goal of making sure every student graduates college- and career-ready is helped by our dual enrollment program, our new Academy for Advanced Studies and our partnerships.”

More than 350 businesses throughout the county have partnered with schools to support education through mentoring, tutoring, reading, recognizing achievements, helping with special events and serving on the advisory board, Bowler said.

The return on these investments, he said, is a better community.

“We are preparing our students to return on these investments by business partners in Henry County and the more we can do to encourage businesses to participate in schools, the better we’ll all be as a community,” Bowler said. “Through the time, energy and talent we ask from our partners, we encourage and help education and successful students and community members.”

Similarly, at Strong Rock Christian, students focus on academics, fine arts, and athletics to prepare them to become productive citizens, Stuart said.

The school, which started in 2007 with 330 students and now serves 770 students, offers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade classes on its 160-acre campus. “We’re a Christian school but we’re not affiliated with a particular church and students from different denominations attend,” Stuart said. “We’ve had rapid growth since we’ve started and we’re preparing for the addition of new facilities and programs to enhance learning for our students.”

Stuart said much of the school’s focus for the 2014-15 year will be not only on getting its students college- and career-ready, but preparing them socially as well.

“Two of our new positions this year include a director of Christian life and a director of discipleship,” he said. “We want to focus on academics but also provide a good foundation and grounding for our students as well.”

Also on the panel were Clayton State University President Tim Hynes and Randall Peters, president of Southern Crescent Technical College, which recently opened an $8 million, 35,000-square-foot Henry County Center in McDonough.

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