Jefferson City Schools receives recognition, award for innovation

The Jefferson City Schools Board of Education and Superintendent John Jackson were named as a finalist for the Georgia School Boards Association 2019 Governance Team of the Year Award and the recipient of the Leading Edge Award at the GSBA’s annual conference in Atlanta.

The Leading Edge Award is the newest award honored by GSBA that recognizes school boards for local, innovative leadership and “out of the box” practices that encompass the Teaching and Learning component of the Georgia Vision Project. Of Georgia’s 181 school districts, 26 districts were named Leading Edge.

Jefferson City Schools qualified for the Leading Edge Award for their unique teaching and learning facility called the BioSTEAM Outdoor Learning Center, which uses science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics to increase environmental literacy.

The BioSTEAM Center includes 177-acres of wetlands and bottomland hardwood forest along the Middle Oconee River. The property serves as an educational field trip site for all Jefferson City Schools and includes a mobile classroom called the BioBus, which is a mobile lab and lecture space for students.

The BioSTEAM Center and Jefferson City School System acknowledge the one-of-a-kind property by sharing their space with the community. The center often hosts class and community events where people can explore trails and enjoy the beauty of Jackson County’s freshwater wetlands. Other programs include university and governmental partnerships and workshops for educators.

Along with the Leading Edge Award, the JCS was recognized as a finalist for the Governance Team of the Year Award, which is presented to a Georgia public school district board of education and superintendent that has demonstrated a commitment to “maximizing student achievement and enhancing trust and support for public education in their community.”

The Jefferson City School District was among nine finalist chosen after a rigorous application process and visitation by an interview and review team. This year marks the second year of the award and the second year Jefferson City Schools have been named a finalist. 

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