DeKalb County educator elected next GAE president

For Immediate Release
July 8, 2020

ATLANTA – Lisa Morgan, a veteran educator of Georgia’s public schools and most recently the vice president of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), has been sworn in as GAE’s 31st president.   Morgan, who has been a member of GAE since 2000 and has served in numerous roles within the local, state, and national [National Education Association (NEA)] associations, says she is very honored to have been elected as president of the most effective organization working for the best interests and improvement of public education. Morgan shares, “I am borrowing a quote from Stacey Abrams, ‘I believe in public schools because public schools believed in me.’  I am honored to be in a position to speak up for public schools because like so many of our students, I would not have an education without them.”

Morgan affirms that her short-term goal is to help GAE members navigate the unpredictable and questionable circumstances surrounding the reopening of Georgia’s public schools: “We have provided initial guidance to our members centering on ensuring they are involved in conversations with their local superintendents and school boards.  Voicing their own concerns over the safety of their students, themselves, and their families is imperative.  As educators, we all want to be in the classroom with our students, but their health and safety must be the priority.”

After that, one of her primary goals is to address the systemic inequities exacerbated by the digital divide.  “The pandemic has served to highlight clearly the challenges faced by our black, brown, rural, and socio-economically disadvantaged students having access to the essentials needed to complete and advance in their virtual studies,” she said.  “For the foreseeable future, virtual learning is going to be a part of the public education process.  Our decision makers in education, government, and the community must come together to address this gross inequity or a considerable percentage of our children will be facing challenges that will impact their academic progress for years.”

In addition, Morgan underscores that eliminating school waivers will be another emphasis during her term. “Standards and rules are in place for a reason,” she said.  “Absolutely no data supports the premise that waivers improve student learning and outcomes.  Waivers simply allow local systems to circumvent proven methods of administration for the sake of convenience.”

Finally, Morgan applauds the passage of SB 367 that serves to reduce the emphasis on excessive standardized testing.  “GAE has always called it ‘toxic testing’ because it was detrimental to both the individual student and the collective class as teachers found themselves forced to ignore their teaching instincts in order to satisfy requirements that their students simply regurgitate information.  Testing is not teaching.”

            Before her election as GAE president, Morgan served on GAE’s Board of Directors for 10 years and was elected secretary-treasurer (2014-2018) and vice president (2019-2020). She also served in various capacities with the Organization of DeKalb Educators (ODE)--the local GAE affiliate organization--serving as second vice president (2008-2018) and first vice president (2018-2020).  She was also an association building representative for ODE from 2003 to 2020.

She grew up in Athens, Tennessee, and attended Athens City Schools and McMinn County Schools.  Succeeding Charlotte Booker from Rockdale County, Morgan currently lives in Snellville.

            GAE members also elected Dr. Sharon Doe, a physics teacher from Richmond County, as vice president. Doe is president of the Richmond County Association of Educators.  Carly Shaw, who teaches gifted and talented science classes in Fulton County, was elected as the organization’s secretary-treasurer. Shaw is president of the Fulton County Association of Educators.  All were sworn into their new positions during the virtual NEA Representative Assembly in July.