Governor Brian Kemp visits the Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy STEM lab classroom with teacher Lisa Williams.
NOTE: Please see the gallery of more photos from today's visit online here.
The Cherokee County School District today welcomed Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp for a visit to Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy!
During the visit, the Governor and First Lady toured classrooms and participated in a roundtable discussion on education issues with Cherokee County School Board Members and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, school and PTA leaders, and local elected officials including Cherokee County Commission Chairman Harry Johnston and Ball Ground Mayor Rick Roberts.
“It’s awesome to see our kids back in the classroom,” Governor Kemp said after touring second-grade classrooms, where students were studying State government, and the school’s STEM lab classroom. He spoke about the value of early STEM learning, which he believes will “pay dividends not only for this area, but for our state,” as Georgia’s workforce success depends on high-quality public schools.
During his remarks, Governor Kemp praised CCSD’s leaders, teachers, PTA and parents for their work to open classrooms last school year in-person and on time and to do so again this school year. “I want to thank you all for being resilient and not wavering … and you had a great year because of that.”
Governor Kemp also spoke about his efforts to support public education, including the Teacher Pipeline legislation and his commitment to teacher raises. He noted that his daughter, Jarrett, who this week began her first year as a classroom teacher, will not let him forget the remaining $2,000 in his promised $5,000 raise to teachers, which he will propose be fulfilled in the next legislative session.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower welcomed the Governor and First Lady and in his remarks thanking them both for their advocacy, noting Mrs. Kemp’s work to raise awareness of how human trafficking endangers Georgia’s children.
“We appreciate the stance of the Governor” on public education, Dr. Hightower said, noting his efforts to raise teacher salaries and reduce the pandemic austerity cuts to State education funding. “We especially thank you for being a champion of local control.”
School Board Chair Kyla Cromer echoed that appreciation for local control, and School Board member Mike Chapman, whose wife is a teacher, thanked the Governor for his attention to teacher salaries.
A press conference concluded the Governor's visit to Ball Ground ES STEM Academy.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, welcomes Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, left, and First Lady Marty Kemp, center, to Ball Ground ES STEM Academy on Aug. 6.