On Monday, March 13, 2017, at the annual Georgia Association for Gifted Children (GAGC) Convention in Athens, GA, the Hall County School District (HCSD) was honored with the GAGC Margaret Bynum Award. Dr. Meg Hines and Dr. Bonnie Cramond of the University of Georgia nominated Hall County Schools for their innovative programming, impact on Georgia, and commitment to rigor for all. Over twenty HCSD teachers and leaders accepted the award on behalf of Hall County Schools.
The GAGC Bynum Award is named for Margaret Bynum, Georgia’ first full-time consultant for gifted education, and the first person to hold a state position supporting gifted education in ANY state.
The GAGC Bynum Award is presented to an organization or individual for outstanding contribution to gifted education in the state of Georgia. Dr. Sally Krisel, Director of Innovative and Advanced Programs, stated: “We are so honored that our DISTRICT has been recognized by GAGC with the Bynum Award, noting Hall County Schools’ impact the field across the state, which means far more than had any individual from Hall County been named. The recognition of our district says to us that we are successfully creating a broad-based, consistent culture that inspires excellence. And that is much more powerful and long lasting than individual contribution. We could not be prouder of our entire team. Students, parents, community members, Board members, teachers, administrators, para-pros, classified staff – the honor belongs to all of them!”
Eleven years ago, Will Schofield became Superintendent of Hall County Schools. He brought Dr. Sally Krisel, Dr. Eloise Barron, and a host of other innovative leaders who combined expertise with imagination.
The Hall County approach involves looking at children through a proficiency view, to find their extraordinary, and often hidden, abilities and to nurture the strengths of students from all backgrounds.
Hall County Schools has placed equal emphasis on competence and rigor — ensuring that all students achieve basic levels of academic competence and ensuring every student the right to achieve as much as he or she is capable. The district has contributed to the development and approval of 12 charter petitions that resulted in 29 specialized programs of choice for Hall County Schools, all of which focus on high-end learning opportunities and pedagogy once thought to be the exclusive domain of gifted education as a means of improving engagement and achievement for all students.
Georgia Association for Gifted Children website: http://www.gagc.org
Margaret Bynum biographical information: http://www.gagc.org/page-1826475