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Home Page Photo Caption: We Build Capacity... Dr. Patty Rooks, Georgia Department of Education, addresses the Colloquium 5 (March) topic:  High Performing & Effective Schools: What Do They Look Like? How Do We Create Them?    

NOTE:  Congratulations to current Fellow April Peters-Hawkins who has welcomed little Aidan Hawkins, born March 16, into her family.  Mom and son are doing well.  Congratulations from the Georgia Partnership and your fellow Fellows!!!

Applications for the Class of 2016

We anticipate taking applications for Cohort #8 in late April.  We will make an announcement as soon as details are set.  Thank you for your interest. Let us know if you have questions or would like to be added to our E-mail list. Contact.


The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education is grateful for the funding support of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and Wells Fargo.

What is EPFP?

The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is a national professional development program sponsored by the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) that provides potential leaders with the knowledge and networks to advance the core issues of education policy. Each participating state has autonomy over its program.

It is an initiative of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and is co-sponsored by the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia. The program connects potential educational leaders with one another to build the capacity for our state to raise the bar for student learning and achievement.

The program addresses the need for an education leadership development program in the state to provide potential leaders with the knowledge and networks to advance the core issues of education policy. It serves as a critical resource for individuals, organizations and the state to increase the knowledge about education policy and linkages between policy and practice. Ultimately EPEP seeks to improve the chances of children and youth to succeed.

What is the value of the program?

Let these Fellows tell you themselves!

Congratulations to the Class of 2014-2015!

Twenty-one Fellows representing education, business, civic and government communities have been named for the program's seventh cohort.  Meet them now.

Press release announcing the new class.


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EPFP Fellow Merrill Wilcox makes a point during the discussion on “Turning Around the Lowest Performing Schools in Georgia” during the March colloquium held at KIPP STRIVE Primary School.


The Class of 2015

Colloquium 5 (March 12)


The Fellows gathered at KIPP STRIVE Primary School to look into the subject of High-Performing and Effective Schools: What Do They Look Like? How Do We Create Them?

Speakers included Dr. Will Rumbaugh, Dr. Patty Rooks, Dr. Paulette Richmond and Dr. Joanne Harper, all from the Georgia Department of Education. Dr. Tommy Welch, Principal, Meadowcreek High School, Gwinnett County Schools, added to the discussion.


The Fellows were treated to a school tour and then heard from Mini'imah Shaheed, Founding Principal, KIPP STRIVE Primary, and closed the day with a KIPP STRIVE Teacher/Leader Panel.

Colloquium 4 (February 12)

Dr. Beheruz Sethna, President Emeritus, University of West Georgia, has been taking time from his busy schedule since the beginning of EPFP to share his insights with the Fellows on Education in a Flattening World:  International Comparisons of Teaching and Learning.


Dr. Sethna's enthusiastic presentation is always one of the highlights of the program.  The Fellows asked many questions and engaged in informative conversation with the distinguished educator.


Class members also spent time working on group projects then ended the day viewing and discussing the film 2 Million Minutes as well as Tony Wagner's book, The Global Achievement Gap.


Colloquium 3 (January 15)

This meeting focused on "Critical Linkages to Education:  The Connections and Intersections of Policy Sectors."


Georgia Budget and Policy Institute speakers Claire Suggs and Wes Tharpe began the day with a presentation and discussion on "Tax Policy and Education Funding."  Evan Smith and Christina Perry from Purpose Built Communities followed with "Housing Stability: How Housing Policy Influences Child Outcomes."


The afternoon session had two presentations beginning with Rob Rhodes, Director of Projects, Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, who focused on "Reforming the Juvenile Justice System to Improve Children's Lives."  The day ended with Susan Bertonaschi's presentation and discussion on "The Health and Well-being of Georgia's Children: Increasing Access to Health Care and Improving School Readiness."  Bertonaschi is the Director of Health Promotion, United Way of Greater Atlanta.

Colloquium 2 (November 13, 2014)


Guest speakers throughout the day provided a look at "School Funding and Finance: Following the Money Stream" and "Georgia's Vision for Public Education."


Starting off the colloquium was Dr. Carolyn Bourdeaux, Associate Professor, Associate Director - Fiscal Research Center, Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, who provided "The Big Picture of Georgia's Public Budget."


Mr. Doug Eza, Chief Financial Officer (retired) Oconee County Schools, closed the morning session with "QBE from A to Z: Public School Funding 101."  Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent, Race to the Top Implementation, Georgia Department of Education, and Ms. Clara Keith, Associate Superintendent, Race to the Top Implementation, DOE, provided an inside look at "Race to the Top: Georgia's Education Reform Strategy."

Colloquium 1 (October 16)


The class members gathered for their first formal meeting of the year, "The Demographic Landscape of Georgia."  Leading off the discussion was Mike Carnathan, Atlanta Regional Commission, who provided a wealth of information on just how changing demographics is impacting our public education system.


The afternoon session featured Georgia House of Representatives Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, and Lauren Fralick, GeorgiaLink Public Affairs Group.  Both speakers provided unique insight "Toward a Better Understanding of the Policymaking Process in Georgia."  Closing out the day was a spirited discussion among the Fellows that underlined many of the key presentation points.


Check the Georgia Partnership's Facebook page for photos.


The Class of 2014 

Graduation Underlines Value of Program. Congratulations!

Where did the 9+ months go? That question was asked by the 21 Fellows who formally closed their 2014 EPFP class with a festive graduation ceremony held at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce May 21.

Guest speaker Ann Cramer, a Georgia Partnership former Board chair, joined Partnership President Steve Dolinger and program director Dana Rickman, in praising both the program that continuously increases the education policy expertise in Georgia and the Fellows who enthusiastically and energetically participated in the program.

The class selected Brinkley Serkedakis to provide reflections.  Using the theme "The Power of the Collective" to describe the expertise gained over the year, Brinkley left her classmates with a suggestion, "Now, it's up to us to go harness the power of the collective here in Georgia - and just maybe change our state for the better while we're at it."  Read her presentation here.

Check the Georgia Partnership's Facebook page for graduation event photos.

More About EPFP

The participants in the program,

  • Georgia State Legislature
  • Georgia Department of Education
  • State and local leadership programs
  • Businesses and corporations
  • Education organizations
  • Foundations
  • Non-profit sector
  • Local school districts
  • Media

What are the Requirements?

The Fellows commit nine months and concentrate on three program strands: public policy, leadership, and professional networking. They remain in their full-time positions and use their work environment as the context for examining important leadership and policy issues in Georgia.

What are the Personal Benefits?

The program provides Fellows with a unique personal development laboratory for applying new insights and for cultivating new skills. The participants will hear and discuss education policy with the most respected policy makers in the state and nation. At the end of a year, EPFP Fellows will be better informed, more skillful advocates for sound public policy.

What are the Benefits to Georgia?

With the implementation of the EPFP, the Georgia Partnership, the Andrew Young School of Public Policy, and the Office of the President for Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia cultivate strategic leaders who have the capacity to advocate for and create sound public policy to improve public education. Ultimately, EPFP seeks to improve the chances of children and youth to succeed.

Application Process

The application process for the 2015-2016 class will open in late spring.  It will be announced here.  If you would like to be informed when applications are being accepted drop us an E-mail.

Read the brochure

For More Information

Dr. Dana Rickman, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Policy and Research Director, 404-223-2462.

2014 Educational Policy Fellows, "A unique, great opportunity" Video