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Governor Perdue Speaks at Middle School Graduation Coach Training

Friday, July 27, 2007  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774



MACON – Governor Sonny Perdue gave the keynote speech today at the first ever Middle School Graduation Coach Training at the Macon Centreplex. He spoke to 450 Middle School Graduation Coaches.

“Can you imagine, at age 12, not having a single adult in your life that you can trust?” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “That’s a reality so many of Georgia’s children face. A coach is someone a child can trust and who will know their strengths, fears and spirit. They will call the students by their names and help them realize their potential.”

The coaches are being trained by Communities in Schools through a contract from the Georgia Department of Education.

The Middle School Graduation Coach program was developed as a result of the success of the High School Graduation program.  The purpose of the initiative is to:

  • Complement the work of the high school graduation coaches;
  • Begin career exploration with students at an earlier age;
  • Inform parents and students regarding the impact of middle school grades on high school placement and achievement;
  • Provide students with guidance in selecting high school courses;
  • Connect with high school graduation coaches during the transition to high school; and
  • Provide students with tutoring and extra academic assistance as needed to pass the eighth grade gateway tests.


High school graduation coaches started work during the 2006-2007 school year. In just one year, Georgia high school graduation coaches have identified 40,250 high school students who are credit deficient and not on schedule to graduate with their class.  Almost 65 percent of the seniors identified graduated, which is higher than the graduation rate for all students in 2002. Of the more than 16,000 students that were credit deficient, nearly 80 percent made progress toward catching up to their peers.  The high school coaches also:

  • Helped more than 37,700 students develop an individual graduation plan (Peach State Pathways Plan);
  • Matched students with more than 3,120 community mentors in place to work with students; and
  • Organized 2,344 community partnerships.