Volume 1, Issue 4, Fall 2019 – (CLICK FOR .PDF)

Member Focus Q & A

Lisa Cawthon

Human Resources Coordinator
Franklin County Schools
Read More




Kim Clayton

Director of Personnel and Public Relations
Coffee County Schools.
She currently serves on the board as the At Large
Regional Representative.

28 years ago, I distinctly remember attending my first
GASPA Conference that was held at Unicoi State Park in
Helen, Georgia. I had only been in my role as Director of
Personnel and Public Relations for three months and was still trying to learn my
way. Back in the day, we did not have mentors to explain the processes of what
we were to do and the gentleman whose position I was replacing had retired and
was enjoying life. Looking back, that was probably the best way to learn. But I
could not have done it without my connection to GASPA.

Sitting at the conference, I didn’t know a soul and certainly felt “out of my element”
watching and listening to all of the intelligent, professional, well-dressed men and
women in the room who certainly knew their craft. Those individuals were folks
like Candy Norton, Sid Camp, Mary Jessie and Bobby Stephens. During that
conference they became my friends’ and mentors’ to this day.
Fast forward to the present and I would again say without reservation that I could
not do my job effectively without my connection to GASPA. I am proud to say I
have only missed one conference in my 28 years due to my daughter’s college
graduation, but I still had someone gather all of the handouts for me as to not miss
vital information and updates.

When I think about GASPA, I immediately think of the overwhelming advantage
we have in networking with folks just like us across the state. We all wear many
hats and in this day and time, we are changing them quite frequently. To be able
to talk with someone who lives in your world professionally is priceless. And, just
when you think you have dealt with every possible scenario an incident occurs
and what do you do – call a friend and colleague from GASPA. Yes, I say a friend
as that is another wonderful benefit of our organization. Not only do you have true
professionals that are willing to help but as time goes on, you develop true
friendships that I personally will treasure forever. We are in the “people” business
after all.

I want to close with the best words of advice that were shared with me 28 years
ago by my friend and mentor, Bobby Stephens, who retired from Human
Resources with DeKalb County Schools and continues to work with Metro
RESA. I think of his statement most every day and share this sentiment with our
administrators and my colleagues in HR, “Don’t ever take the personal out of

I look forward to seeing everyone and meeting new friends at our fall conference
in St. Simons!

AASPA Board Notes
Summer, 2019
Kelly Coash-Johnson – Executive Director Thoughts:
I am excited to share that AASPA has surpassed the all-time membership high
with 2,403 members. A big thank you goes out to the AASPA team, AASPA
leadership and of course the AASPA membership committee. When an
association looks at membership, we not only spend time recruiting new
members but are always looking to maintain the retention of our current
members. This is not always an easy job. K12 Human Capital Leaders are always
looking for innovation and new ideas. As AASPA looks to the future know we are
always trying to evolve and bring you the best in professional development,
leadership growth, resources, and support. If you are a current member of
AASPA, consider joining a committee or presenting at any of our upcoming
events or webinars. If you are not a current member, consider joining the
largest group of K12HR talent in the country. We need great leaders and talent
to continue to grow. Read More

Georgia’s P-20 Regional Collaboratives: Silo-free Workspaces
Angie Gant
Director of Program Approval
Ga Professional Standards Commission

Silos exist in nearly all professions. The organizational structure
of the education profession, in particular, lends itself to groups,
and often individuals, who tend to work in isolation, in professional silos. Even
within the same school, classroom teachers often work alone with their
students, away from other teachers. Different schools within the same district
operate in isolation from other schools. Two significant silos that exist in our
profession are Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) and school districts.
Historically, EPPs have assumed responsibility for preparing future teachers,
while school districts take responsibility for inducting those recently prepared
teachers into the profession, placing teachers into service and providing
necessary professional learning. EPPs have provided the bulk of teacher
candidate preparation in relative isolation, away from the schools where their
teacher candidates are placed for field experiences. And vice versa – partner
schools and districts have gone about inducting teachers into service,
detached from the EPPs who prepared those teachers. Read More

51st Annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools
September 2019
Frustration in the Schools
Teachers speak out on pay, funding, and feeling valued
Go to: https://pdkintl.org/

Look for: PDK Poll: Examining the public’s attitudes toward public schools.

2019 PDK Poll Results and Their Meaning to Mindful and Meaningful Education
By Lynn M. Gangone (President and Chief Executive Office of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)

While serving on this year’s (Phi Delta Kappan) PDK Poll Advisory Board, I listened
and collaborated with scores of thought leaders in the education ecosystem. We
determined what approaches to take to quantify, understand, and disseminate the vast
amount of information and data garnered from this extremely worthwhile and useful
poll. We discussed the results and how they could be utilized to advance 21
st century classrooms, its students, and those who lead them.

What is the importance of the PDK Poll?
This year’s PDK Poll was entitled, “Frustration in The Schools: Teachers Speak Out on
Pay, Funding, and Feeling Valued.” The new release is one of several polls PDK has
conducted to examine opinions on public education for more than 50 years. The poll,
according to PDK, is “a steady reflection of U.S. opinion about public
education.” …..Read More


The Shortage You Don’t Hear About…Yet.
by Buddy Costley (Executive Director of GAEL)
About a month ago, I was talking to a teacher who is the mother
of children in high school thinking about college. So I asked the
typical question about her oldest, “What will she study? Will she
be a teacher like her mama?”

“I hope not,” she said, then looked at me sheepishly. “I’m sorry.
I know I shouldn’t say that, but things have gotten crazy. I
want her to be happy.”

She went on to share a litany of things that represented a
common theme we all hear a lot lately: Teaching is getting
tougher. Parental support. Tests. Discipline. Salary. Support.
Blaming and shaming.

I have to admit: the teacher’s words hurt. Badly. Read More

To: AASPA Members

Just a note in case you missed it – We released the August-October 2019 AASPA Perspective Magazine last week. Some articles you won’t want to miss include:

  • Realizing the Value of Classified Staff Through Effective Evaluations
  • How to Investigate Complaints of Discriminatory Harassing Behavior
  • Providing Globally Aware Classrooms in an Increasingly Interconnected World
  • Strong Leadership Matters: Strategies to Recruit & Retain Effective Principals
  • Plus Many More…

In addition to some amazing articles, this issue shares information on the
81st Annual Conference and the nominees for 2019-2020 AASPA
Executive Board positions.

Members can access this issue and all past issues including Best
Practices under the Members Only side of the website. But today you can
see the entire issue here at: https://aaspa.org/wpcontent/uploads/2019/08/August-2019-Perspective-1.pdf

Be sure to let us know if you would like to write for one of our upcoming
Magazines. We love to share your stories and know when we share our
best practices in #K12Talent everyone wins.
Kelly Coash-Johnson

SHBP (State Health Benefit Plan)
SHBP Open Enrollment dates: October 21 to November 8
There will be no rate increase for 2020.
The details may be found here: https://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2019/08/state-health-planraise- rates-year-members/

U.S. Department of Labor
News Release
U.S. Department of Labor
Issues Final Overtime Rule
Read More

Remember – you may join GASPA through GAEL

Fall Conference
November 10-12, 2019 (Mon. – Wed.)
King and Prince Resort
Click here for Conference and Reservation Information