On Wednesday, August 16, 2017, Sagamore Hills Elementary School hosted educators, parents, and district leaders in a joy-filled celebration of their professional development partnership with Mercer University’s Tift College of Education.

Following brief words of welcome by Principal Julie M. Taylor, Tift College Associate Dean Dr. Kelly Reffitt defined partnerships with professional development schools (PDS) such as Sagamore Hills as those that “support professional and student learning through the use of an inquiry-based approach to teaching.”

“PDS partnerships have a four-fold mission,” Reffitt continued, “of preparation of new teachers, faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and enhanced student achievement.”

Added Superintendent Green: “This partnership is an exceptional model of the collaborative, connective power that can exist between and institution of higher education and a K-12 school.”

As the ceremony concluded with ample applause and the presentation of an official PDS banner, guests enjoyed cake, refreshments, and the opportunity to reflect upon the multi-faceted impact of this partnership.

“I love seeing all the student leaders here,” observed Sagamore Hills parent and PTA President Weatherly Polinski. “My daughter Kate, a second grader here, absolutely loves her Mercer student teacher,” she beamed. “I wish every teacher and every student could benefit from a partnership such as this.”