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We Open Dialogue...  The final EPFP colloquium was held May 14 and featured Dr. Charles Knapp (left), Senator Fran Millar, and Dr. Bonnie Holiday in a discussion about the Governor's Education Reform Commission on which they all serve.  Knapp chairs the Commission.  We Build Capacity... The Class of 2016 was recently welcomed with a reception at Georgia Pacific. Ann Cramer, a Coxe Curry and Associates executive and a former Georgia Partnership Board Chair, provided opening remarks encouraging the Fellows to learn all they can and take that knowledge to work for the betterment of the state's public education system. Course director, Dr. Dana Rickman, looks on. 

2015 Fellows Pat Falotico, Robert Gaines, Amy Foust and Angela Hurtado explain in this short video the impact they feel the program makes, why they chose to participate and why others with an interest in education policy in Georgia should  apply.

Newest "Fellow"

Congratulations to 2015 Class member Amy Fouse and her family on the arrival of daughter Keely Erin Fouse, 7 lbs 11 oz, 21 inches.  All doing well!

Welcome to the Class of 2016!  

Twenty-two new Fellows have been named to Cohort #8 (2008-2016):

Tim Cairl - Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce

Michael 'Mike' Carnathan - Atlanta Regional Commission

Ellyn Cochran - Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS)

Elizabeth 'Liz' Davis - Woodruff Arts Center - Arts for Learning

Asenith Dixon - College Board

Shayna Gaspard - The SEG Group

Danielle K.C. Gray - R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation

Bridgett Johnson - Georgia School Boards Association

Jessica Johnson - The Scholarship Academy, Inc.

Katie Landes - Voices for Georgia's Children

Cynthia  Y. Lester - Georgia Perimeter College

Danielle LeSure - Leadership for Educational Equity

Akia D. Lewis - Georgia Family Connection Partnership

Claire Miller - Oconee County Schools

Kristina A. Morris - The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Sherilyn Narker - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

James Osanyinbi - Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement (GLISI)

Brian L. Pauling - 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Yarbrah Peeples - Georgia College Advising Corps, University of Georgia

M. Catherine 'Cathy' Ramos - The Coca-Cola Company (Ret.)

Niambi Sampson - Junior Achievement of Georgia, Inc.

Nicole Tuttle - Drew Charter School

Fellows in the News!

2015 Class Fellow Angela Hurtado got some good news recently when she and husband David Araya, co-founders of HOPE, Hispanic Organization Promoting Education, were informed HOPE has been named "One of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics' Bright Spots in Hispanic Education" for its leadership, dedication and steadfast commitment to the Hispanic/Latino community. Here is the press release with the details.

Congratulations to 2015 Fellow Tracey-Ann Nelson who is now the new director of the Arkansas Educators Association.  She previously served as the Director, Government Relations and Communications, Georgia Association of Educators.  Good luck, Tracey-Ann!

Program Funders

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!


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Claire Suggs, senior education policy analyst, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, addresses the Fellows during Colloquium 2: School Funding and Finance: Following the Money Stream.


The Class of 2016

Colloquium 2 - November 19, 2015

The November meeting was held at the Department of Education's headquarters so the Fellows could attend Gov. Deal's Education Reform Commission meeting in the afternoon.  This second session of the year concentrated on "School Funding and Finance: Following the Money Stream" and "Toward a Better Understanding of Policymaking."  Guest speakers included Dr. Carolyn Bordeaux, Associate Professor, Director - Center for State and Local Finance, Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies; Claire Suggs, Senior Education Policy Analyst, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute; Stacey Abrams, Georgia House of Representatives Minority Leader; and Margaret Ciccarelli, Director of Legislative Affairs, Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE).

Colloquium 1 - October 15

The Fellows gathered for their first colloquium of their year in the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board room.  First speaker was Mike Alexander, Atlanta Regional Commission, who presented "The Impact of Changing Demographics on Georgia's Education System."  The afternoon session featured Ms. Tomeka Hart, Vice-President of Programs, Southern Education Foundation, who presented "A New Majority - Impacts in the South and Across the Nation."  Before wrapping up for the day, the Fellows discussed "The Five Georgias:  What Policymakers Need to Know."

The Class of 2015

Fellows Pat Falotico, Robert Gaines, Amy Foust and Angela Hurtado explain in this short video the impact they feel the program makes, why they chose to participate and why others with an interest in education policy in Georgia should  apply.

Graduation (May 21)


The 20 graduates, family members and colleagues gathered at the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Thursday, May 21 for the event that honored the Fellows' nine-month study program.


Guest speaker was Shan Cooper, Vice President and General Manager, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.  She challenged the graduates to use their new-found expertise for the betterment of Georgia's education system.  She said the children of our state are counting on them.  (See the left side of the page for a complete list of graduates.)


Fellow Amy Fouse, Houston County ELA III Coordinator and President of the Georgia Association of Curriculum and Instructional Supervisors, was selected by her classmates to deliver remarks about the program and Class of 2015. She told the grads, "What you think you can't change, you just can't change - yet.  Change your perspective by continuing to lead and connect with those around you who may not seem so similar to you.


"Learn to listen and seek commonalities, learn the nuance art of compromise, learn to allow your opinions to evolve as you take into consideration the perspective of others, learn to shift the focus to the students in Georgia, our most priceless natural resource.  You are the one who can change the conversation about policies that shape public education in Georgia. 


"As Mahatma Gandhi said, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'  Students in Georgia deserve and will benefit from your advocacy."


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 has closed. The next open period will be announced in the spring of 2016.

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