Mentor Program

Kickstart your leadership journey with an experienced mentor.

Our Services

The GSBA Mentor Program is a valuable resource designed to support and empower new school board members. New board members connect with an experienced mentor who provides guidance, insights, and a wealth of knowledge to help them navigate the complexities of their roles. By fostering relationships and sharing expertise, the program facilitates professional growth, collaboration, and effective leadership. Join the GSBA Mentor Program to accelerate the learning process and make a positive impact on your local school district.

GSBA Mentor Program

Key Benefits

Helpful Advice, Answers, and Guidance from an Experienced Mentor

Expert Guidance

New school board members receive valuable advice, insights, and guidance, shortening the learning curve and helping them address their responsibilities with confidence.

Professional Growth

Through mentorship, participants develop leadership skills, expand networks, and acquire knowledge, contributing to their effectiveness in serving their local school districts.

Enhanced Leadership

The Mentor Program helps new board members fast-track leadership development, providing practical strategies for enhancing collaboration, communication, and leadership.
Whole Board Governance Training

Training Requirements

As mandated by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), newly elected local board of education members must complete a minimum of 15 hours of training within one year of assuming office.

New Board Member Required Training – 9 hours

Five hours of this requirement must be training provided by the Finance and Budget Office of the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE).

Local District Orientation – 3 hours

One hour dedicated to district finance.

Whole Board Governance Training –3 hours

Three hours of annual whole-board governance training, including superintendent.
Trudy Sowar

Trudy Sowar

Mentor Program Director

Mentor Program Director

Trudy Sowar boasts over 30 years of experience in Georgia’s public education system, earning recognition and accolades for her dedicated service. She served as the Director of Risk Management Services and Director of Superintendent Search Services at the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) from January 2008 to July 2017. Before joining GSBA, Ms. Sowar retired from her education career in December 2007, capping off eight years as the Superintendent of the Paulding County School District.

Ms. Sowar’s remarkable career includes serving as the President of the Georgia School Superintendents’ Association and being a part of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders. She was also actively involved in the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators. Notably, in 2006, Ms. Sowar received the Bill Barr Leadership Award, a prestigious honor named after Dr. Bill Barr, the inaugural executive director of the Georgia School Superintendents’ Association. This award recognizes outstanding superintendents who excel in mentoring, teaching, and leading others to achieve excellence in public education.

Currently, Ms. Sowar serves as the Chair of the Carroll County EMC Foundation Board, where she has continued to share her wealth of experience and expertise for three years. Her influential leadership has left an enduring impact on the education landscape in Georgia.

Get In Touch

Expert guidance, professional growth, and helpful leadership strategies.  Connect with the GSBA Mentor Program to hit the ground running and kickstart your leadership journey with an experienced mentor​ today!

GSBA Mentor Program

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