MONROE, Ga. — The Walton County Board of Education has been recognized by the Georgia School Boards Association as an Exemplary School Board for the fourth time since 2015.

This year, only 55 of the 180 school boards in Georgia were recognized as “Exemplary” at the annual GSBA conference.

“I congratulate our board members for achieving the state’s highest level of board governance and recognition,” Superintendent Nathan Franklin said.

“The exemplary leadership of our board members is evident in the amount of time and energy they put into planning and training in order to reach this level of achievement. Their dedication to doing what is best for our students is unwavering and I am truly grateful for their continued commitment to pursuing excellence.”

The Georgia Board of Education developed state standards for governance that formed the foundation for GSBA’s tiered awards and recognition program. The program provides additional ways for school boards to increase their effectiveness.

Exemplary status is the highest level of distinction and requires boards to meet several criteria, such as providing evidence of a system strategic plan, demonstrating accreditation compliance and exceeding the minimum training requirements. Each year, since the inception of GSBA’s awards and recognition program, the Walton County Board of Education has received the highest level of recognition possible.

“I am extremely honored to be part of such an outstanding group who always strives to do the best we can for the students, parents and staff of the Walton County School District,” Board Chairman Tom Gibson said.

“Our continued achievement of the highest level of recognition awarded by GSBA shows that our Board is completely focused on providing the children of Walton County with the best education opportunities around.”

The GSBA Governance Team Recognition Program was developed by Georgia superintendents and board members based on the state board of education’s standards for effective governance to recognize exemplary leadership. In 1998, GSBA was one of the first school board associations in the nation to develop a program of standards for local boards of education.