At this point, it’s hard to imagine life without social media. It’s also hard to imagine social media without the ever-present articles about how social media is destroying community. But Smyrna has several Facebook groups that are not only challenging this concept but are actively (and rapidly!) changing our community for the better.
This is the first of several Smyrna Parent articles which will highlight these groups.
Wave of Excellence (WE) was founded a little over a year and a half ago. To introduce the group, I thought it best to share some info directly from the group page:
Wave of Excellence is a dynamic group of parents of Smyrna public school children who share ideas, information, and solutions to achieve academic excellence. We work to complement the City of Smyrna, Smyrna Education Foundation and PTA groups to accomplish these goals.
Our focus is Campbell High School and its feeder schools:
Teasley, Argyle, King Springs, Belmont, Green Acres, Smyrna, Nickajack, Norton Park, International Academy of Smyrna, Griffin Middle and Campbell Middle.
This page will:
1. Encourage unprecedented idea sharing among parents zoned as Campbell High feeder schools.
2. Solidify a new reputation and change the conversation about our schools.
3. Formulate and implement real solutions that involve our entire community.
The concept took shape when Dr. Jaha Howard, a local pediatric dentist, noticed a trend while talking with families in his office. These families would talk about their love for Smyrna, but those comments would almost always be followed by questions about the state of the local public schools. As he listened to this narrative repeat itself, he realized that many parents were repeating the same dated and often incorrect information about Smyrna schools — and that the more recent, positive information coming out of the schools wasn’t reaching the very parents who needed to hear it the most. He recognized the need for prospective parents to talk to parents, educators and administrators who are already actively involved in the Smyrna public school system. So he founded the Wave of Excellence page and then worked alongside passionate parents like Michelle Murphy and Maggie Shannon to accomplish this goal.
WE members share information about their children’s schools; promote success stories, achievements, events and volunteer opportunities; and ask hard questions of each other and the schools. The group is solution-based so when concerns are raised, the group’s leadership challenges members to identify solutions.
WE takes this movement from social media into the community by working closely with the Smyrna Vision Committee and the Smyrna Education Foundation. Individuals are encouraged to join their school’s PTAs and individual school committees. While the facebook group is an excellent way to share information and photos across all the area schools, it should also be used as a forum to discover how we can get involved in real and practical change.
If you are in the process of deciding where your children will be attending school, first join the group to see for yourself what is happening to public education in Smyrna — it’s an incredibly exciting time for our schools! Next, make an appointment to visit your neighborhood elementary school (and many are currently scheduling sneak peaks for the fall). You can also use the WE page to learn more about upcoming events and activities at your assigned school so you can attend one of those as well.
There have already been tangible changes as a result of this groundswell of active parents who are demanding excellence, and there is no doubt that there’s more to come.
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