The 2011 Student Forum focused on the development and direction of education in Georgia linked to the state's award of federal Race to the Top competitive grant monies. The topics of federalism, charter schools and vouchers and teacher evaluation systems were addressed via small group problem-solving sessions followed by recommendations and discussion with the rest of the attendees. PAC, hosted Dr. John D. Barge, state school superintendent, facilitated discussions and shared his perspective and expertise.
Students in attendance included (Lassiter) Skye Rubel, Danielle Pitrone, Ally Stone, Michaela Desrosiers, Kayleigh Davis, Sarah Westwood, Shayne Mabry, Ryan Rones, Lauren Leach, Grace Reinke, Shannon Dopson, Lance Arnold, (Campbell) Suraj Bhat, Mallory Frost, Morgan Lehr, Blake Hoover, Safia Siddiqui, Bezawit Moges, (Kell) Kelsea Shriver, Nicholas Barker, Mariah Simmons, Taylor Garren, Kelsey Mericka, (Wheeler) Daniel Blanchard, Jacob Moxley, Melanie Parham, Ziran Wang, Conrad Rybka, (Walton) Jonathan Ebigioye, Cameron Harvey, Jessica Machado and Arjun Sahgal.
Barbara and Yardy Williams, longtime Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre supporters, will serve as the event's Honorary Chairs. Karen and John Spiegel are the gala co-chairs, joined by host committee chairs Melanie Boltax and Travis Reed. Entertainment for the evening will be The Beach Boys.
The Overture Gala, a benefit for the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Foundation, funds the Centre's endowment and educational initiative, ARTSBRIDGE. The evening will feature a 6 p.m. cocktail reception in the Grand Lobby of the Centre's John A. Williams Theatre; dinner featuring a menu created by the Centre's Executive Chef M.G. Farris beginning at 7 p.m. in the Kessel D. Stelling, Jr. Ballroom; and an V.I.P. seating for the 8:30 p.m. concert by The Beach Boys in the John A. Williams Theatre. A dance party in the ballroom will follow the concert. Sponsors to date are Wilmington Trust, Gas South and ProCore Solutions.
Ticket packages start at $1,000 per couple, which includes cocktail reception, dinner, VIP concert seats and the post-concert dance party. Call (770) 916-2801 for more information.
Sally Litchfield is a longtime Marietta resident. She formerly practiced law in Marietta and now stays home to raise her two children. Send Sally news at sallylit@ bellsouth.net. Call Sally at (770) 425-7122.