The National School Boards Association (NSBA) today recognized the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) and Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) for their development of innovative projects that promote and advance public education by naming them as the recipients of the 2019 Leading Edge Award.
Established in 2018, the Leading Edge Award honors state school boards associations for creating a statewide initiative program that provides needed services to support the work of local school boards. This year the award recognizes AASB for its School System Snapshot tool and GSBA for its Georgia Vision Project. The two state associations will receive their award at NSBA’s Summer Leadership Seminar held August 15-18 in Chicago.


“The Leading Edge Award recognizes the invaluable services our state associations provide to their local school boards,” NSBA Executive Director and CEO Thomas J. Gentzel said. “The School System Snapshot tool and Georgia Vision Project both advance public education’s mission by engaging partners in addressing critical issues in each state.”


Launched in 2016, AASB’s School System Snapshot tool provides Alabama school board members with an individualized look at each of the 137 school systems’ state and local resources. The Snapshots present demographic data and graphics to illustrate how each system compares to state and national funding and spending averages in a user-friendly, one-page format. The resource is available for download on AASB’s website, along with a user’s guide, an interactive map and more.


“We are extremely proud to receive the NSBA Leading Edge Award for our School System Snapshot,” AASB Executive Director Sally Smith said. “The Snapshots are a way for us to help our school boards communicate a clear picture of their funding needs, to illustrate some of the funding disparities that exist among school systems and to be stronger advocates for their students and communities.”


The reach of Snapshots extends beyond school board members. AASB provides every member of the Alabama Legislature and Congressional delegation with copies of Snapshots for the systems in their districts. Each legislative session, the House Chairman of the education budget committee requests a complete set of Snapshots for each committee member to provide insights in the budget discussion.


Working collaboratively with the Georgia School Superintendents Association, GSBA led the development of the Georgia Vision Project by creating and messaging a coherent vision for public education. The Georgia Vision Project is built on the foundation of the following seven components:
• Early learning and student success
• Teaching and learning
• Teaching and learning resources
• Human and organizational capital
• Governance, leadership and accountability
• Culture, climate and organizational efficacy
• Financial resources


The Georgia Vision Project organizes the resources and energies of Georgia’s stakeholders to effectively focus on preparing students to become contributing members of a democratic society and global economy.


GSBA also recognized the need to launch a statewide messaging campaign known as Spark to engage communities. The Spark campaign aims to ignite a spark in Georgia public school students by highlighting positive stories on how students capitalize on opportunities as a basis for a successful future.


“We are so proud of the accomplishments of the Georgia Vision Project and the Spark campaign,” GSBA Executive Director Valarie Wilson said. “Having a solid foundation and a vision for Georgia’s public education system sets a high level of success for students but also establishes a blueprint for the future.”


The Vision Project has grown to include more than 50 partner organizations since launching in 2010. Stakeholders continue to join and actively partner as the Vision Project continues to transform public education in Georgia. To learn more, visit the Georgia Vision Project and the Spark campaign to learn more.


About National School Boards Association

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA believes education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people, and all children should have equal access to an education that maximizes his or her individual potential. The association represents 49 state school boards associations and one territory association and their more than 90,000 local school board members. For more information, visit


About Alabama Association of School Boards

The Alabama Association of School Boards represents all of the state’s public local school boards. Since 1949, AASB has served education leaders and the interests of local decision making in public education. The association’s mission is to develop excellent school board leaders through quality training, advocacy and services. To learn more about AASB, visit


About Georgia School Boards Association

The mission of GSBA 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 180 elected boards of education. Visit for more information.

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