Shallowford Falls principal named PTA Principal of the Year



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MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Felicia Angelle, principal of Shallowford Falls Elementary School, is doing what she can to enhance her school's programs — even if it means becoming a human frozen yogurt sundae.

Angelle, who is starting her fifth year as principal at Shallowford Falls, was named Georgia Parent Teacher Association Principal of the Year in June based on her welcoming attitude, collaboration with parents and the community, support of student success and leadership qualities.

"As a principal, it is all about developing and inspiring that cohesive team to do whatever is best for the students," she said.

Angelle said she and Shallowford Falls' PTA are constantly looking for creative ways to engage students while raising money for school programs such as its science, technology, engineering and math program, and its learning commons, which is similar to a collaborative media center.

"We're always trying to find ways to get them excited," she said.

Erica Fokens, Shallowford Falls PTA co-president, said Angelle openly talks with the school's parents that allow the PTA board to work with the school.

"We work together fluidly," she said.

For the past three years, the Shallowford Falls PTA, which has more than 500 members, hosts a Fox Trot Fun Run race in the fall, and Angelle and her assistant principal, Jill Spiva, have rewarded the students with prizes if the school hits its fundraising goals.

Fokens said the PTA pushes for and usually gets 100 percent staff participation.

Last year, students and teachers turned Angelle and Spiva into frozen yogurt sundaes helping the PTA to raise more than $35,000.

"If it's about bringing a smile to the kids' faces and doing and helping them to have a richer learning environment, Ms. Spiva and I are all in about that," Angelle said.

The classes that raised the most money in each grade level added a layer of toppings. The kindergarten students started the party by plopping frozen yogurt onto Angelle and Spiva, and the first grade students added a layer of sprinkles.

To top it off, the teachers added whipped topping with a cherry on top.

The previous year, Angelle and Spiva camped on top of the school for a night helping the PTA to raise about $50,000. Fokens said the funds paid for three iPads per classroom and an iPad cart for the media center.

This year's Fox Trot Fun Run is scheduled for Sept. 23, and the school's PTA wants to raise more than $35,000 for Shallowford Falls' learning commons. Angelle is keeping her plans under wraps for if the school meets the goal.

Angelle said the school's high participation of parents makes a difference.

"Climate and culture are pivotal to have a school of excellence," she said.

Angelle herself was an active parents in Cobb schools. Both her sons graduated from Pope High School, where she and her husband, Patrick Cooper, the CEO of Provectus health care group, volunteered.

"My involvement as a parent influenced me as a leader in recognizing that importance of the parent involvement component," Angelle said.

Another reason for her active involvement with the school's PTA is that since she lives down the road from the school, the parents are her neighbors.

"I'm passionate about my community and my school. It's because I'm a part of it and live right here," Angelle said.

For 2016, the Shallowford Falls PTA also won 11 East Cobb County Council PTA awards including the awards from model PTA, outstanding local unit, best ideas and a visionary award.

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Information from: Marietta Daily Journal, http://mdjonline.com/

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mary Kate McGowan

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