South Forsyth Lighthouse

Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Jeff Bearden honored South Forsyth Middle School at the ceremony on April 9.

CUMMING, Ga. — South Forsyth Middle School was recently listed as recipient of the Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch award as one of the state’s top middle schools. 

The ceremony was held at the campus on April 9 with more than 1,300 in attendance, including students, parents, teachers, and county government and school officials. The award, part of the National Forum Schools to Watch program, is one of the highest honors for middle grade school achievement. Nationally, about 400 schools receive the Schools to Watch designation. Lighthouse Schools to Watch recognizes high-performing middle schools excelling in academic excellence, social equity, developmental responsiveness, and organizational structures and processes. 

Speaking at the ceremony, South Forsyth Principal Sandy Tinsley said, “We received this award because of the students. I hope you realize this award is yours.” 

Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Jeff Bearden added his gratitude to the school for their hard work and expressed how proud he was of their accomplishments.

Tinsley was presented with a plaque and an award fashioned in the shape of a lighthouse, while each administrative staff member received a lighthouse-shaped pen. The seventh and eighth grade women’s chorus and the eighth grade band performed at the ceremony.  

The Lighthouse Schools to Watch program began in 2003 to recognize “exceptional middle schools that embody the symbolism of a lighthouse and lead the way in the world of education.” South Forsyth was one of 17 middle schools recognized in Georgia for the 2019 awards. The program recognized 24 schools in 2018. 

The application process for each school includes a two-day site visit from program officials. During the site visit to South Forsyth Middle School, officials reported they were impressed by the administration’s high level of parent participation, welcoming environment for students, parent and business partners, and the Teacher Breakfast Club.  

North Forsyth’s own Liberty Middle School was also re-designated as a Lighthouse Schools to Watch. Both schools will be recognized at a special event in Washington D.C. in June.

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