Rick Waggoner honored as top Georgia Middle School Educator of 2007
st_1005 on 12/10/2007

Arnall Middle School Principal Rick Waggoner has been honored as the Outstanding Middle School Educator of the Year for 2007 by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL).

Waggoner � a 36-year educator � has served as Arnall�s principal since 2005. He was chosen by his peers in GAEL�s Georgia Association of Middle School Principals for the state-wide honor. He was honored at this year�s GAEL conference in Savannah and at a recent Georgia state Board of Education meeting.

The GAEL award for Waggoner is actually the third such honor for Coweta County in recent years. Lee Middle School principal Bob Heaberlin was GAEL�s 2006 Outstanding Middle School Educator, and Evans Middle School Principal Jerry Davis � now the county school system�s Associate Superintendent � was GAEL�s 2004 Outstanding Middle School Educator.

Heaberlin � who serves as GAEL�s 2007 President � said that the GAEL Outstanding Educator is selected by the total peer membership at GAEL, and is awarded on the basis of a nominee�s effectiveness as a principal, leadership, and involvement in professional organizations.

�Rick�s honor here was based on several years of leadership and a whole career of great work,� said Heaberlin. �It was based on his academic leadership at Arnall, where he and his teachers have done a great job. Rick has been a true leader, and always has the best interest of the students and school at heart.�

Heaberlin said Waggonor�s award and the two previous GAEL awards also reflects well on the strength of Coweta County�s middle school program and the strong sense of competition and partnership between Coweta�s six middle schools.

��I hate to admit it, but I sometimes steal some great ideas from Rick to use at Lee,� joked Heaberlin. �He�s a great asset to our school system.�

Each year, GAEL not only recognizes a top middle school educator, but top educational leaders among elementary and high school leaders, superintendents and other educational professionals, who are honored for a record of service for the profession of educational leadership that is considered exemplary.

Superintendent Blake Bass, left, stands with Arnall Middle School principal Dr. Rick Waggoner, second from left, as Waggoner is honored before the state Board of Education for being named the Outstanding Middle School Educator of the Year for 2007 by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL). Beside Waggoner, to the right, are state Board of Education member Dr. Mary Sue Pollys and state Chief Deputy Superintendent of Schools Stuart Bennett.