Welcome to InTucker’s “Back to School” issue. It’s hard to imagine writing those words, as it seems like just yesterday another proud and accomplished class of Tucker Tigers walked across the stage having earned their diplomas.
But with a new school year comes a new set of opportunities.
This summer we said, “thank you” to longtime Tucker High Principal James Jackson. After more than a decade of overseeing academic, athletic and extracurricular achievement, Principal Jackson accepted a new opportunity with the DeKalb County School District. I have gotten to know his replacement, Mrs. Tamra Watts, as she stepped into her new role. You’ll get to know her, too, and learn some of her goals for Tucker High School on page four of this newsletter.
Tucker Middle School continues to flourish under the guidance of Dr. Kathy Cunningham. Over the past year, our City staff has gotten to work with the STEM classes at Tucker Middle and I personally got the chance to meet and talk with members of their Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) group.
There is wonderful progress being made at each of our Tucker elementary schools. The strong relationships being forged between the teachers, administrators and PTAs have enriched our students and given them greater opportunity to succeed. The principals of these schools – Mrs. Venessa Bines-Truitt (Brockett), Ms. Rosemary Malone (Idlewood), Dr. Jamie Wilson (Livsey), Mrs. Deborah Satterfield (Midvale) and Mrs. Pamela McCloud (Smoke Rise) – are leading teams of educators as they guide our City’s young people through some of their most important formative years.
I love getting to know folks who are new to Tucker. Recently, I met the Smith family; Jon, Mandy and their three young children ages five, seven and nine. When I asked them why they decided to move to Tucker as opposed to some other part of Metro Atlanta, their answer was simple: the schools. They recognized that even in a system that has had its challenges in recent years, a strong, involved community, combined with dedicated and professional teachers and administrators, can make for excellent local schools. I couldn’t agree more.
It makes sense. If you start your five-year-old in Tucker’s schools, they could go their entire academic careers through elementary, middle then high school on a STEM or IB track. That means they will be as prepared – or likely more prepared – for the rigors of college as any student anywhere in the state of Georgia.
Families from outside of Tucker are realizing this. Businesses from outside of Tucker are realizing this. And they’re moving to call Tucker home. Although the City government doesn’t have any official relationship to the school system, we work closely with school leaders and do everything we can to support our schools in a positive way. In May, my wife Gaye and I were delighted to participate in a Celebration of Reading at Brockett Elementary. While we read to and encouraged a class of first grade students, volunteers from IT firm Wipro handed out 500 backpacks and 1,500 books to students. I like to think that putting books into the hands of kids as they head off for summer break may have them just a little more eager or prepared to return to class for the fall.
I wish continued success for the upcoming year to all of our teachers, administrators, faculty members, bus drivers, students, parents, coaches and mentors. Welcome back to school!