NORTH FULTON, Ga. – For those who have followed Katie Reeves’ 15-year tenure on the Fulton School Board – characterized by passionate pleas and a laser focus on issues facing her community – being named a “trailblazer” aptly sums up her time on the board.
At the 41st annual Chairman’s Gala April 26, Reeves was surprised with the Pioneer Award from the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, presented by Sen. Brandon Beach, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer. The award recognizes an elected official who has blazed trails for the good of the community.
And, in a moment likely rare for her, Reeves was left without words.
“Those who know me know that I rarely have nothing to say, but the honor of this award leaves me speechless,” Reeves said. “I am so humbled by this and appreciative of the recognition. I love my work as a school board member and feel honored to be the voice of thousands in our school system and community.”
Reeves was first elected to the Fulton School Board in 1999, and immediately began shaking up a board more used to nods of assent and high sense of deference to school officials. She challenged the status quo and was instrumental in getting Northview High School built ahead of schedule, using a construction model taken from the private sector to speed up the process.
Over the years, her commitment has been on easing overcrowded conditions in North Fulton schools, ensuring high performing students have access to an accelerated curriculum through Continuous Achievement and for the past several years, working to bring back a traditional math curriculum to Fulton County.
Reeves has become a familiar face, and often a thorn in the side, to state and education officials who stand in her way of doing the right thing for students.
In his gala remarks, Beach applauded Reeves for supporting the school district’s move to becoming a charter system, which allows greater flexibility to the education process.
“Katie Reeves has made an immeasurable impact on the North Fulton community. Her imprint is everywhere – from the new schools built in this area to the impact she’s had on the curriculum,” said Beach. “It was my honor to present Katie with this award. She is a friend to business and cares about the community.”
She also helped navigate Fulton County Schools through some of its worst budget years, resulting in the district being in a better financial position than many other metro Atlanta school systems. Along the way, unpopular decisions were made such as the demise of elementary band and orchestra, but the system has emerged more financially healthy than the bulk of its peers.
“We are tremendously proud of Mrs. Reeves and her work in the community,” said Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa, the seventh superintendent Reeves has worked since 1999. “With this award, the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce has recognized something we in Fulton County have known for years – that Katie Reeves cares deeply about the education of students and the needs of the community. Excellence is her mission; there are no compromises when it comes to doing what is right for our schools.”