Journal pays homage to a super Super
by Katy Ruth Camp
krcamp@mdjonline.com
January 29, 2012 12:58 AM | 33647 views | 2 2 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Marietta Daily Journal General Manager Otis Brumby III gives this year’s Cobb County Citizen of the Year Award to Dr. Emily Lembeck, superintendent of Marietta City Schools, at Saturday's Chamber dinner. <br> Photo by Todd Hull
From left, Marietta Daily Journal General Manager Otis Brumby III gives this year’s Cobb County Citizen of the Year Award to Dr. Emily Lembeck, superintendent of Marietta City Schools, at Saturday's Chamber dinner.
Photo by Todd Hull
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GALLERIA – This year has been one for the awards shelf for Marietta City School Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck as she was chosen as the 2012 Marietta Daily Journal Citizen of the Year during Saturday night’s Cobb Chamber 70th Annual Dinner — just over one month after being selected the State Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association.

“I am just so overwhelmed,” Lembeck said, after receiving the surprise award Saturday night. “I am just so fortunate to be in a place and county where so many ask for so little. I have a focused board, great staff, teachers, and support of my husband, Harry. This is a very special county and I am so honored to be receiving an award for work I truly love doing.”

Saturday night marked the 49th year the MDJ has presented its Citizen of the Year award. Former Lockheed CEO Dick Pulver was the first to receive the surprise award in 1963.

MDJ General Manager Otis Brumby III presented the award to Lembeck. Lembeck can count herself among other community leaders and legends such as Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, former Speaker of the House and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, and former Cobb Chairman and Georgia’s current Attorney General Sam Olens as one of the 49 distinguished award recipients of the past.

“Dr. Lembeck has great intellect, passion and vision. Her leadership for the Marietta School System has been outstanding,” Olens said.

Last year’s winner was former Pebblebrook High School Performing Arts Director and current Earl Smith Strand Theatre Executive Director Earl Reece.

Lembeck is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and first joined the Marietta School System in 1991 as a Westside Elementary School teacher. She moved up the ranks, as principal of Dunleath Elementary and Marietta Middle, then served as assistant superintendent for four years before taking over as superintendent in 2005.

Brumby said Lembeck has “faced the challenges of educating 8,000 students head-on. She is not one for excuses and isn’t afraid to try something new.”

Under her leadership, Marietta City School System was one of the first charter school systems in the state when she applied for the status in 2008. She has also expanded the prestigious International Baccalaureate program from high school to the middle and elementary school levels in an effort to compete with the county’s private schools. Today, Marietta is one of only a few systems in the U.S. that offers a kindergarten through 12th-grade IB education.

The system has also seen its test scores rise for all students under her leadership, and literacy and dropout rates have also improved.

“(Lembeck) has shown that hard work, demanding excellence and a good sense of humor can lead to exceptional results,” Brumby said. “She has shown strong leadership and the ability to balance the sometimes conflicting needs of students, parents, board members and taxpayers.”
Comments
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Good Point
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January 30, 2012
Good Point West Cobber - however, even though I do not reside in the Marietta City School District - I am very impressed with Emily Lembeck. Aside from doing an outstanding job with her district - I see her at several charity events throughout the year. She and her husband support the entire Cobb County area. I see their names as not only financial contributors but active supporters of various charities and events throughout our area. Thank you, Dr. Lembeck, for your contributions to our community.
WestCobber
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January 30, 2012
Just a question maybe someone can answer - Why are citizens of the year chosen because of their jobs? I thought this orignilly started out as an award to just ordinary citizens who went above and beyond the requirements of their jobs, ie, volunteers. From what I have read, she received this award for doing the job she gets paid to do. Just an observation from an ordinary citizen
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