President Obama Recognizes UWG Alumna

Friday, May 3, 2013

UWG alumna Dr. Laurie Barron ‘99, was recently recognized in the White House Rose Garden ceremony by President Barack Obama for being named the National Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife National Middle School Principal of the Year. Barron, who serves as principal of Smokey Road Middle School in Coweta County School System, was also privileged to meet one-on-one with the president in the Oval Office in addition to attending various inaugural events.

“This year has afforded me some incredible opportunities,” said Barron. “From learning and sharing with colleagues from across the country to meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill to attending the Inauguration and an inaugural ball in Washington, D.C., I have had some incredible experiences.”

Barron was most recently awarded the UWG Achievement Award for the College of Education, an award presented to graduates who have brought credit to UWG or the Alumni Association through career achievement in education. Under her leadership, Smokey Road Middle School has also been recognized at the state and national level.

“None of the recognitions our school has received would have been possible without the Smokey Road faculty, staff and students who made this honor possible,” said Barron. “Our board of education and central office staff who have always supported our innovations to improve student achievement, our business partners and community who are so generous to our students, my colleagues across the county, state and nation who have inspired me to grow and learn, and my family who often sacrifices so much to allow me to do what I love each day.

“I will always remember that our faculty and staff’s respect for and belief in students, drive for excellence, passion for teaching and desire to serve others is what has allowed me to enjoy this prestigious honor, and I am honored to represent our school, county, state, and nation in sharing and advocating for the best in public education. By far, the best part of this honor is that others throughout our state and nation have been able to see the high quality of education and high caliber of teaching in the Coweta County School System that is represented by Smokey Road Middle School. I will never take for granted what this honor means and the role so many played in making it possible. I am truly grateful,” added Barron.

Barron earned her master’s degree in administration and supervision from UWG and her specialist and doctorate degrees from the University of Sarasota. Currently, she is an active member of the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals and the Georgia and National Associations of Secondary School Principals. She also serves on the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Partnership Council.

She won her national title from a pool of middle school principals nominated from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Schools.