Parting Mentors offer Wisdom and Best Wishes
Posted on May 25, 2023, by GAPMP
A Servant’s Heart
Shirley Daniels has served Mitchell County for 20 years
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” After 21 years of being a parent mentor, I pray that the relationships that I have made throughout my career are long-lasting and memorable. The parents, students and the community of Mitchell County will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for letting me serve you.
Want to know more about Shirley’s lifelong commitment to families? Read more
Our Forever Parent Mentor
“I leave hope fueled by love and the collective power of sustainability. The partnership is a Game Changer, and we are all Agents of Change in communities across the state of Georgia. Together we will continue to make a difference.
I also leave my spiritual gifts of prayer and steadfastness to the partnership, never allow the word No to startle you, instead use it as a motivator to press forward a Yes is just around the bend. God Speed to each of you.”Edith Abakare
Edith Abakare has served as a parent mentor in one of Georgia’s largest school districts, sometimes solo, for 11 years. She distinguished herself as a Leadership Council chair and was honored as the 2016 Parent Mentor Phil Pickens Award recipient. Her future plans are to “focus on Asher’s future and seeking advocacy opportunities in Nigeria.”
The following comments are by Anne Ladd, speaking on behalf of her fellow parent mentors at Edith’s retirement celebration:
"When I got up this morning, I thought “It’s a gloomy, rainy day out AND Edith Abakare is retiring.” So I sadly went to my closet and wanted to choose something dark, colorless, sad to wear but, alas, today is not about me. Today is a celebration of Edith and so I wore Edith‘s favorite color which is yellow. Everyone here knows Edith from Atlanta Public schools but she is a multi-faceted person. She is a business owner for more than 30 years, she is a master cosmetologist and a fashion stylist. Edith is a creative and like so many creatives she’s a night owl she will stay up into the night planning, creating, thinking. Edith is a woman of strong faith and she lives her faith and demonstrates her faith in all things that she does. BUT the reason that we all know Edith is because she is mother to a fabulous young woman, Asher. Asher is the secret ingredient that brings all these complex pieces of Edith to us. And we are all better for knowing Edith. I certainly know I am. Prior to coming to work at the GaDOE a little more than 10 years ago, I was a Parent Mentor in Gwinnett County and that’s when I first got to know Edith. She was a trusted peer and when I stepped into my current role she continued to be someone I relied on. You see, in addition to all that she has done here in Atlanta public schools, Edith has taken on many leadership roles in our state wide partnership. She has been the leader of the metro region of Parent Mentors. She served on our executive team for our leadership council, served as chairperson of the leadership council, chairperson of the Phil Pickens Leader ship Award committee AND was the recipient of that award in 2016. She is a stellar data collector and her peer reviews always end with “I learned so much from your report.” She is valued across the state. When Edith speaks everyone listens! But of course the important day-to-day things were happening right here in Atlanta public schools and for me, as someone working at the state level, it felt great when a parent or family would reach out needing some assistance and I could guide them to their Parent Mentor in Atlanta. There are so many times when parent concerns can be handled easily by a Parent Mentor who can speak to another parent with the lived experience. Recently I spoke with my predecessor, Patti Solomon, who is also a friend of Edith and I let her know I was coming here today. She said you should take Edith a compass because she always set families in the right direction and now she is charting a new course. Well I thought that was a great idea except I went a little different direction. Edith, I brought a gift to you today. It is a book by Brené Brown called "Atlas of the Heart". I hope you enjoy the book. Brene Brown says “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us because I believe that with an adventurous heart and the right Maps we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves even when we don’t know where we are.” So maybe you have a plan or maybe you’re at a cross road and you’re not sure which path you’re taking but just know, we are always here for you…'Once a parent mentor, always a parent mentor.' We value you and we are better because of you. Best wishes, Edith!"