Local school systems are an important factor when choosing where to purchase a home. I have a strong education background and worked for Gwinnett County Public Schools for almost 10 years prior to starting IBA Mountain Homes here in the Big Canoe Community. When we moved to Big Canoe about 5 years ago the kids were only 2 and 3 years old so we had some time to choose where they would go to to school. Big Canoe is in two different counties, Pickens and Dawson. If you live in Dawson County you may choose between Pickens or Dawson Schools. If you are in Pickens, you may only attend Pickens schools. After consulting with several public school parents in Big Canoe the general consensus was Pickens. So off we went to Tate Elementary School, and what a wonderful choice we made!
Leading this school is our Principal, Dr. Deb Longshore. The thing that impresses me most about Dr. Longshore is that she knows every child that attends Tate ES, and more often than not she greets parents and children during the morning drop-off. Deb Longshore’s professional career includes 20+ years of teaching experience as a regular education teacher and as a gifted program teacher. She served as assistant principal at Tate before being named principal in January 2005. Leveraging her education and experience, Dr. Longshore has specialized in collaborating with the faculty and staff of Tate to implement organizational change and to maximize learning opportunities for every student. She holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree in early childhood education from North Georgia College, a Specialist’s degree in early childhood education from Georgia College, and a Doctoral degree from the University of Georgia in educational leadership.
Tate Elementary School est. 1915 was constructed from the local marble that put Pickens County, Georgia on the map. It is currently the only operational public school constructed of marble. The same marble was used for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. With only 325 students and class sizes ranging from 13-26 students I felt a million miles away from the metro schools. Over 70% of the staff hold advanced degrees in education. A strong sense of community involvement through organized events such as the Tate Fall Festival brings families together in a safe and friendly environment.
As a parent, I want my children to be well-educated, but I also want them to learn the value and importance of being part of a community. Last week, I was walking down the halls of the school with my son, and many of the teachers and children called out to say hello. I didn’t know all their names, but my son did, and he waved back and said hello. It dawned on me that I was feeling a little nostalgic. The wood floors have been polished from the feet of generations of children. There are no mobile classrooms. Teachers know the children and the parents by name and many of those same teachers attended Tate Elementary School when they were youngsters.
Tate Elementary School has positively affected all my senses from the impressive structure that makes you stand up straight with pride upon entering, to the wafting potpourri of glue, paint, sharpened pencils, and the crumbly stuff the janitors throw down when someone gets sick. The school resounds with educational productivity to the point where I think you can even hear brain cells dividing. Many large windows not only let in the light but also open the minds of children that just need a few moments to take what I like to call a mental vacation to expand their creativity. In my final words I can honestly say I am very proud of where my children go to school and highly suggest it to all my clients.
See the brochure for Tate Elementary below (in PDF):
Karin Elliott March 19th, 2009
Posted In: Schools