Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch (LSTW) is a state initiative that is part of the Schools to Watch® program of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform ( Georgia’s program is administered by a Board of Directors headed by Linda Hopping ( and CamilleMcElroy (

Each year the STW® program identifies schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, socially equitable, and have sound organizational supports and processes that enable school success. The sites selected in Georgia represent a wide range of student demographics, physical plants, size, and programs. All are characterized by their successful implementation of Georgia Performance Standards and the Common Core, their ongoing quest for school improvement, their organizational structures, and their dependence on locally disaggregated data as the impetus to drive instruction and practice.

Common Characteristics of Schools to Watch®:

  • dynamic, visionary leadership
  • challenging curriculum for all students
  • active learning environment
  • data-driven decision making resulting in increased academic achievement
  • test scores on an upward trajectory
  • positive, happy, involved students
  • small learning communities
  • teams of teachers and students
  • a culture of advocacy in which all students are known and valued
  • high level of faculty commitment
  • attention to the non-cognitive goals of education
  • extensive family and community involvement
  • active business partnerships
Board Members:

Ms. Linda Hopping, Co-Director, Lighthouse Schools to Watch
Ms. Camille McElroy, Co-Director, Lighthouse Schools to Watch
Dr. John Lounsbury, Dean Emeritus, Georgia College and State University
Ms. Elizabeth Fogartie, retired principal, Webb Bridge Middle School (LSTW)
Dr. Vicki Denmark, VP for Educational Innovation, AdvancedED
Ms. Barbara Moore, Associate Director, SREB
Dr. Suvess Ricks, retired Associate Superintendent, Douglas County Schools Ms. Alice Smith, retired, Georgia DOE
Dr. Bob Heaberlin, Executive Director, GAMSP

Program Partners:

Georgia Middle School Association
Georgia Association of Middle School Principals
Georgia Professors of Middle Level Education