Georgia schools Superintendent Dr. John Barge made a surprise visit to Heard-Mixon Elementary to honor it as one of the state’s top schools.
The Georgia Board of Education named Heard-Mixon a Georgia School of Excellence last year, and Barge and some members of his staff flew in by helicopter Friday morning to personally recognize the school’s students, faculty and staff for their achievement.
Barge spoke to the student body in the school’s gymnasium to congratulate them on their scholastic gains. He centered his speech on the children’s future and said success is not dependent on where one comes but rather what one does with opportunities laid out before him or her.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or who your parents are….none of that matters,” he said. “Each and every one of you has the opportunity to take what your teachers are giving you and learn and make decisions for yourself.”
Barge told the students he grew up poor and went to work at an early age to help support his family.
He then encouraged teachers to remember the children in their classrooms are the keys to tomorrow.
“Just realize that one of these students could be the next state superintendent or a president or a senator,” Barge said. “You’re not just impacting that students; you’re impacting everyone that they come in contact with.”
As part of the honor, Barge also presented principal Lee Peck with a trophy. Georgia Natural Gas presented the school a $1,000 check, and United Healthcare promised teachers a day of free massages.
The School of Excellence award is given each year to one school in each of Georgia’s congressional districts that shows significant academic achievement.
Heard-Mixon was one of 26 schools in the state picked last year to receive the honor.