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Meister: 'We are blessed with AMAZING employees at APS'

Atlanta Board of Education District 4 representative Nancy Meister praises the efforts of Atlanta Public Schools teachers and employees at Buckhead schools.

Nancy Meister. Credit: Atlanta Board of Education
Nancy Meister. Credit: Atlanta Board of Education
Editor's Note: In a letter dated Jan. 29, 2014, Atlanta Board of Education member Nancy Meister, who represents APS District 4 that includes most district schools in Buckhead, praised the teachers and employees at those schools for their leadership during last week's Winter Storm Leon.

District 4 Constituents,

It is so fulfilling to represent a community that is so caring, engaged and responsive.The past 24 hours have been trying for our administration, principals, teachers, faculty, staff and bus drivers as they worked to ensure our students were safe, warm and fed.

When I arrived at E Rivers today, the kids were unbelievable, handing out hugs with huge smiles on their faces. The team worked tirelessly to make this "Snowcation" a highlight of their 2013-2014 school year. The Chastain Park neighbors were on it, sending out emails encouraging those that could bring supplies to the school to do so. Granola bars, yogurt, water, cookies, box juice and more arrived in amazing quantity. Horseradish Grill brought a warm meal for the 21 staff members, 3 bus drivers and 7 parents that stayed with the students throughout the night. As I made my way to the cafeteria, I encountered our Jackson PTA leadership who rallied their parents and had "snack bags" and "to go bags" for the students as they got on the buses. They brought blankets and warm loving support to these students and tired employees.

At NAHS, the first teacher I encountered, while exhausted, raved at how well the kids handled this situation. The boys played basketball and soccer in the gym all night, the girls were in the media center and movies were being shown. Can you imagine cooking for, and feeding 403 teenagers (yikes) plus 51 adults? This a very large school and the administration, teachers and staff handled the situation with amazing calm and professionalism. They are all "True Warriors". The last bus rolled out about 2:30 pm. APD and APS officers were present at both schools. We should be so grateful and remember to thank them for the service they provide to us in an emergency, and on a daily basis.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Morris Brandon. I was informed late today that they opened up their main campus doors to community members who got stranded on Howell Mill and West Wesley. It is my understanding the administration was caring for a few students who could not make it home safely and the neighbors in Castlewood came to the rescue with food and water. These are just the schools in District 4 that were impacted yesterday. I can say with complete confidence that the same level of responsiveness would have occurred in any of the cluster schools.

There will be lessons learned from this situation and as a system and Board, we will improve our processes through policy and procedures. Tonight, as I recap my day, I am assured that we can never predict what Mother Nature has in store with 100% accuracy, but I am confident that we are blessed with AMAZING employees at APS, who truly care about the well being of each student and fortunate to have such an AMAZING supportive community.

Nancy

Nancy Meister

ABE District 4


Leigh Anne Trivette February 04, 2014 at 11:34 PM
Thrilled to hear about all the good will extended toward the students. However, the story I got from a NAHS 9th grade student and her mother was that very little food was doled out (carton of milk and 1 french tst stick?). At wits end, the student finally walked off campus and made her way to Taco Bell with a friend. No one stopped her, no one called her mother to report her missing. Perhaps APS/NAHS will install a plan, just as Mayor Reed has promised to do, to correct the mistakes made this time around.
stanley seigler February 06, 2014 at 09:01 AM
RE: 'the story I got...' +++ weel, 'believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.' [ say e.a. poe] +++ feel sure there was much of which to be proud and deserving praise, but ms meister could be laying it on a lil thick to suck up to her constituents

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