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OCS launches first annual parent academy program

Oconee County Schools has launched its first annual parent academy program. Developed by the Georgia School Boards Association, VILLA (Volunteer Instructional Leadership Learning Academy) provides parents an opportunity to learn more about public schools in their local communities.  


“The Board of Education is very pleased to offer this experience, and we appreciate these 22 parent leaders for their commitment to our school system and community,” said Board Chair Tom Odom. “The citizens of Oconee County have a long-standing track record of being supportive of their schools and that is certainly evident with such strong participation and interest with our first annual VILLA program.”


The free, six-session program focuses on an overview of the school system, Board governance, teaching and learning, operations, human resources, business services, and communications. Participants will also engage in a field trip experience to several schools in OCS. The sessions are scheduled from Jan.-Mar. 2019.


“Strong parent involvement is one of the hallmarks of our school system, and we appreciate the time and feedback these individuals are providing our district,” said Superintendent Jason L. Branch. “We look forward to this first annual parent outreach program that provides a unique way for our community to be involved in its schools.”


Each principal selected two parents who have emerged as leaders within their respective school communities. The full list of participants is below:


Deanne Rosso, Oconee County Primary

Natalie Sams, Oconee County Primary

Alex Pershka, Colham Ferry Elementary

Brandy Hale, Colham Ferry Elementary

Paige Hayes, Dove Creek Elementary

Kim Heath, Dove Creek Elementary

Katie Collins, High Shoals Elementary

Jennifer Koberger, High Shoals Elementary

Tiffany Carter, Malcom Bride Elementary

Kate Morgan, Malcom Bride Elementary

Katie Castleberry, Oconee County Elementary

Kate Gelsthorpe, Oconee County Elementary

Madonna Poole, Rocky Branch Elementary

Monica Wesolowski, Rocky Branch Elementary

Beatrice Howard, Malcom Bridge Middle

Tammy Rumpf, Malcom Bridge Middle

Rebecca Bishop, Oconee County Middle

Robin Mayo, Oconee County Middle

Leigh Morris, North Oconee High

Heather Kincaid, North Oconee High

Amie Dunford, Oconee County High

Joanne Frantz, Oconee County High