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GGC students participate in leadership conference

Four students from Georgia Gwinnett College participated in the Women's Leadership in Public Service Institute this week.

Ashley Allen, Whitney Baugh, Lisa Calloway and Shannon Foster were among 41 women from 13 colleges and universities throughout the state who applied and were accepted to participate in the institute.

The 2010 Women's Leadership in Public Service Institute was in session Tuesday through today at the Lodge at Talullah Falls. The residential conference teaches college women about politics and policy making to inspire them to get involved in leadership roles in public service.

During the six-day program, students had the opportunity to meet and interact with women who work in a variety of public service roles, including politics and government, nonprofits and community organizing, and lobbying and activism. Participants learned about women's political participation, discussed their ideas about leadership and politics, and participated in interactive activities to develop their own leadership skills.

The residential nature of the program and its relaxed environment allowed students to engage with community and political leaders through informal discussion as well as formalized presentations and workshops. Participants were also able to get to know other students from across the state who share similar interests.

The workshop is nonpartisan and strives to inspire and education future women leaders, not promote any particular policies.

Brookwood teacher named Educator of Distinction

Mary Alice Wood, a teacher from Brookwood High, has been named by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation as one of four Educators of Distinction from Georgia for the 2009-10 school year.

The award recognizes outstanding teachers dedicated to providing education with an enhanced purpose. Wood was nominated for the award by recent Brookwood graduate Shivani Goel, who was named a Coca-Cola Scholar this year.

"The Coca-Cola Educator of Distinction Award represents the heartfelt dedication of the educators who win it. These teachers help shape the future of America by encouraging its future leaders," said Mark Davis, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. "The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is committed to education, and the Educators of Distinction program is our way of saying thank you and congratulations to these teachers."

Each Educator of Distinction receives a certificate from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation inscribed with a personal dedication written by the 2010 Coca-Cola Scholar who nominated them. Each year, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation chooses 253 outstanding high school seniors to receive college scholarships of either $20,000 or $10,000. Once named a Scholar, the students then designate the teacher, coach, principal or counselor that inspired and encouraged them most as their Educator of Distinction.

2010 marks the 11th year the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has presented the Educator of Distinction Award to outstanding teachers The award is made possible from a grant provided by the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.