Lake Joins State Advisory Panel
Posted on October 1, 2023, by GAPMP
Lisa Lake is involved in many advocacy efforts around Georgia including the State Advisory Panel.
How did you become a SAP member?
Before I started my disability nonprofit, TELIC Empowerment, I was looking for something that I could do that would allow me to voice my opinion and advocate for families like mine that have a child receiving special education services in Ga. I experienced so many issues in my local school with getting adequate disability services and supports for my children and wanted to find as many ways as possible to be part of a system that could provide solutions. While I was searching on the Dept of Education website for a feedback form, I came across the SAP page and was excited to learn that there was a state board that allowed parents and stakeholders to have a voice, learn the state’s plans and efforts to support our schools. This board encouraged parent feedback. I applied immediately!
How does your work as a parent mentor inform your work as a member of SAP and vice versa?
I just became a parent mentor and I am just beginning my work in this area, but my work as member of SAP has made me a lot more informed on upcoming initiatives and efforts that the state is introducing to help our districts be more successful, a wealth data and trends that affect our student outcomes, and it has given me valuable contacts with organizations and stakeholders all over the state that are represented on the board. The SAP board is comprised of over 40 diverse members that represent all of the statewide programs and support agencies. I will be able to utilize all of this data and these relationships to help support my parent mentor initiatives.
What is something that you have learned through SAP that you wish every parent knew?
I have learned that there are a lot of dedicated, caring and concerned individuals working across the state and within the DOE, on a state level, that truly care about the outcome of children with disabilities in the state of Georgia. As a parent, it sometimes feels like you are all alone in a system that is too big to change, and there is no one out there that really cares about your child, your situation, or your child’s success. I have been fortunate to serve on a state board with over 40 members who have shown that they not only care, but they have chosen to serve on this board to make an intentional effort to improve the educational success of every child receiving special education services.
What is something that has changed how you parent because of your involvement in SAP?
I am more involved with my children’s schools and more patient with the administrators and staff when things do not go the way I would like. I have seen the data on the teacher shortages, low teacher retention, and satisfaction, and the many ways that the state is making efforts to try to improve, but it is a long road. It has made me take more of a collaborative approach with my children’s teachers and adminstrators to help instead of being quick to complain.
Communicating Informing Collaborating Sharing Power
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