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Dougherty County Board of Education earns top GSBA Status Designation


BoardATLANTA, Ga. - The Dougherty County Board of Education has been named an “Exemplary” board by the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) at the organization’s Annual Conference in Atlanta.

The Exemplary status is the GSBA’s highest designation for school boards.

The recognition program is designed to showcase best practices in school governance and leadership. GSBA recognizes good school board governance to foster educational community cultures in order to advance student learning and achievement.

“This recognition is evidence that this board is committed to doing what’s best for the students of Dougherty County and that we are focused on those best practices that will help us to remain a high-functioning governance team. I want to express my sincere appreciation to my fellow board members for their continued collaboration and commitment.” Board Chair Dr. Dean Phinazee said. 

This board has played a critical role in helping the district navigate a response to COVID-19, and helped the district amass its largest-ever general fund reserve all while rolling back property tax rates four of the last five years. Board members have also worked with Superintendent Kenneth Dyer to oversee the academic improvement of students within the district, with the district’s four-year high school graduation rate reaching 87.1% — an all-time district high and above the state average. Under their leadership, the district is focusing on early literacy rates, and partnerships with area businesses and organizations have led to new opportunities for students in the form of internships and apprenticeship programs.

DCSS Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said that the designation recognizes the hard work being done by board members on behalf of the employees, students and families of Dougherty County. 

“This designation confirms what many of us already knew, the DCBOE is indeed an exemplary board,” Dyer said. “Our board strikes a delicate balance between support and accountability, while also challenging district leadership to disrupt the status quo and embrace innovation.”

The GSBA Governance Team Recognition Program was developed by Georgia superintendents and board members based on the state board of education’s standards for effective governance to recognize exemplary leadership.

The three-tiered program looks at various aspects of how school boards govern to ensure that the boards remain effective, efficient and accountable to the constituents they serve. Boards can apply to become either a Quality, Distinguished or Exemplary board, through GSBA’s recognition process.

In 1998, the Georgia School Boards Association was one of the first school board associations in the nation to develop a program of standards for local boards of education.