The mission of the Georgia School Boards Association is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by providing leadership, advocacy and services, and by representing the collective resolve of Georgia’s elected boards of education.


GSBA Leading Edge Award

Leading Edge photo with gears

In 2019, GSBA announced its latest award that recognizes innovative and “out of the box,” practices by governance teams and school districts.  The GSBA Leading Edge Award seeks to highlight school districts who are leading the way in ensuring students are competitive in an ever-changing global market.

This unique achievement will recognize innovative design and implementation of projects and programs by local governance teams that are having a significant positive impact on student’s achievement and engagement. The award is open to any school district in Georgia.


The applicants select one of the ___ components of the Georgia Vision for Public Education that aligns to their innovative practice.

  1. Early Learning & Student Success
  2. Teaching & Learning
  3. Teaching & Learning Resources
  4. Human & Organizational Capital
  5. Governance, Leadership & Accountability
  6. Culture, Climate & Organizational Efficacy
  7. Financial Resources
  8. Communications & Messaging


The Award will be rated and scored by the Georgia Association of Curriculum & Instruction Supervisors (GACIS.)  We look forward to honoring the outstanding work of school districts all over Georgia.

Applications for 2021 will be accepted through Friday, October 8 and judged on the criteria below:

  • All applications must include a description of no more than 750 words
  • 4 artifacts via links supporting the description and
  • 4 letters of district and/or community support which describes the impact of the program.
  • NOTE: Returning applicants must submit different innovative practices for this year’s competition.


8th  Communications and Messaging – 8th Component

A district communications plan is in place and contains a clear vision, purpose, goals, research and analysis of the community (internal and external audiences), timelines, communications channels, spokespersons, and information to be communicated.  An aligned Governance Team communications plan is also in place to support the work of the Governance Team.  The Governance Team communications plan includes the following components: identified goals; a designated spokesperson; strategies to ensure a single, unified voice on issues; and procedures for how the Governance Team will communicate with each other and the superintendent.  Both communications plans are aligned to the Governance Team’s Goals outlined in the strategic plan.  In addition, a Governance Team Advocacy Plan includes a process to advocate for public education to the community, legislators, businesses, parents and all vested stakeholders.

The Governance Team has an established brand for visual recognition and marketing. The Governance Teams effectively communicates its vision and goals for the district.  A plan for communicating the positive stories of the district’s identify, impact and purpose is in place.  Advocacy for public education in embedded into the Governance Team’s messaging and storytelling and communicates the Governance Team’s policies, procedures, and the impacts of state law, legislation and the State Governance Team rules.

Performance measures for the objectives and strategies of the district and Governance Team’s Communications Plans have been established and are annually reviewed for effectiveness and alignment to the district strategic plan.  There is clear evidence of effective collaboration among the community leadership (legislators, city councils, county commission, chambers of commerce, etc), the district and the Governance Team.

If you have questions, please email

Please note:

The Leading Edge award and the Governance Team of the Year award are different from the board recognition program (Quality, Distinguished & Exemplary Boards). The board recognition program still exists and will be awarded at the GSBA/GSSA Annual Conference in December.