Staff Photo: Frank Reddy
Mill Creek Principal Jim Markham talks Tuesday morning during the Mill Creek Cluster Education Foundation's community breakfast, as part of American Education Week. Pictured beside Markham is Rep. Rob Woodall, who was presented with an award for his support of public education.
HOSCHTON -- To honor the community's biggest partners in education and those who have made a positive impact on the lives of young people, the Mill Creek Cluster Education Foundation hosted a community breakfast Tuesday morning.
It was part of the district's American Education Week celebration.
Among those honored for their support of K-12 studies was Mill Creek High School's own Jim Markham, a longtime administrator at the school who plans to retire in December.
"(Markham's) support has helped us to begin this tradition of a community breakfast," said Steve Agee, president of the Mill Creek Cluster Education Foundation. "In addition, his hard work reveals a love, commitment and dedication to Mill Creek High School and the community he serves."
For his service, Agee presented Markham with the annual Partner in Education Award.
The event also gave a platform for those who have been on the receiving end of the organization's generosity.
Former recipients like Karen Ona of Duncan Creek Elementary and Laura DeVoie of Osborne Middle talked about how much the foundation has helped them in their teaching endeavors, which includes applying for and receiving grant money for innovative programs.
During the past year, the foundation has raised more than $16,000 for school-related grants. Since its founding, the organization has raised more than $100,000 total.
Mill Creek High School student Clinton Davis gave the invocation to start the morning.
Others at Tuesday's breakfast and ceremony included Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, Sen. Renee Unterman and Rep. Rob Woodall. Markham gave Woodall a commemorative trophy for his contribution to the education community.
Mill Creek High School Student Spencer Sackett delivered an inspirational message about the importance of public school. "My education will not stop here," Sackett said. "School is an essential foundation in my life."
Leading the audience in the pledge of allegiance were Natalie Corbett, Clarissa Garcia, Kristian Reid, Gabrielle Rice, Ambree Robinson and Caleb Williams, followed by a musical piece by the Mill Creek Cluster Chorus.
Principal Ed Shaddix is also hosting a North Gwinnett community breakfast Thursday morning at North Gwinnett High School.
In addition to community breakfast gatherings, Gwinnett County Public Schools is holding the annual Principal for a Day program to celebrate American Education Week. During the weeklong event, community members shadow leaders at most schools in the district in order to better understand the jobs of the educational leaders.
The National Education Association was one of the creators and original sponsors of American Education Week.