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Governor Perdue Applauds First Graduation Coach-Community Coach Forum

Tuesday, September 25, 2007  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Buisness Community Supports Work to Improve the Metro Region’s High School Graduation Rate


ATLANTA- Governor Sonny Perdue addressed high school and middle school graduation coaches and their community coach-partners for the 2007-2008 school year today at the Community Coach and Graduation Coach Forum.  This is the first such meeting in which graduation coaches and community coaches met to share challenges and successes with the at-risk student population and plan for future partnerships to work together to help students succeed in school.

A group of over 100 high school and middle school coaches representing some 15 metro Atlanta school systems gathered in Atlanta in a forum sponsored by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Power Company.

“High school graduation is one of the most critical milestone’s in a child’s life and it takes more than educators to keep students engaged and completing school on time,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “I applaud the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Georgia Power Company for sponsoring the community coach program and today’s forum as a prime example of how the business community is stepping in and making a difference.”

 “The state’s and the metro Atlanta region’s economic vitality to a large degree depends on the quality of our local workforce.  The first step to having that workforce is having students graduate from high school,” said Sam A. Williams, President of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. “We often say that our workforce of tomorrow is in today’s classrooms.  The Metro Atlanta Chamber’s membership understands the importance of Governor Perdue’s high school graduation coach program and our members stepped up to recruit community or business coaches to assist with this effort.”

Last year, Georgia Power Company, an active member of the Metro Atlanta and Georgia Chambers of Commerce, took the lead in promoting the idea of every graduation coach establishing a partnership with a business or community leader – a community coach – to provide resources and links to resources that will assist the at risk student population.  Approximately 350 community coaches are now assisting graduation coaches in the state with some 100 community coaches in place in the metro Atlanta area.