Board of Education honored as GSBA Governance Team of the Year finalist

press release from Walton County Board of Education

Walton County Board of Education Governance Board: Contributed photo from left: Vice-Chair Coleman Landers, David Breedlove, Superintendent Nathan Franklin, Karen Brown, Chair Diane Turner, Simoan Capers Baker, Tom Gibson (Not Pictured: John Jessup)

(Monroe, Ga.) — The Walton County Board of Education and Superintendent Nathan Franklin have been honored as a finalist for the Georgia School Boards Association’s (GSBA) Governance Team of the Year Award. This prestigious award honors Georgia’s top board/superintendent teams that best demonstrate a commitment to maximizing student achievement and enhancing trust and support for public education in their community.

“The Walton County Board of Education is honored to be named a finalist for the GSBA Governance Team of the Year and be recognized amongst the highest performing governance teams in Georgia,” said Board Chair Diane Turner. “Through this process, we have been able to showcase Walton County’s success and the hard work of our district leaders, administrators, teachers, support staff and students. We appreciate the support of our staff, students, parents and community partners who continue to help us pursue excellence.”

This award honors public school district boards of education and superintendents who have achieved all-around success in their district. The three award categories are: small (1-3,000 students), medium (3,001-10,000 students) and large (10,000+ students). WCSD was honored as a finalist for large-size systems along with Cherokee County Schools, Coweta County Schools, Effingham County Schools and Henry County Schools. To be eligible for the award, school districts must have a 2019 CCRPI score of 75.9 or higher. Fifty-five systems in the state were eligible to apply for Governance Team of the Year and 10 of those were named finalists across the three award categories. 

“It is a true honor to serve alongside the Walton County Board of Education and our staff who continually make education their top priority and understand the significance of student success, said Superintendent Nathan Franklin. “This recognition truly exemplifies the exceptional work happening in our schools each and every day and I congratulate our team on achieving this well-deserved honor.” 

The rigorous application process included a detailed submission of the school district’s work as it aligns with the seven components of the Georgia Vision Project plus an additional component on communications and messaging. The team’s work and application was also vetted through an impartial review team before being judged by a panel of national public education experts. 

“This award has set the bar for what high functioning school boards and superintendents should look like. Each year these governance teams showcase best practices and set an example for others to strive towards. We appreciate the hard work each of these finalists have showcased.” said Bryan Preston, GSBA President and Vice Chair of the Coffee County Board of Education.

All Governance Team of the Year finalists were recognized at the GSBA/GSSA Annual Conference on December 1, 2021.

The Walton County School District serves around 14,300 students in 15 schools including nine elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools. The mission of the Walton County School District is to ensure that each student acquires the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve personal success and enrich the community. The district values students as individuals with unique intellectual, physical, social and emotional needs. For more information, please visit

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