Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

SCCPSS Parent Mentor Julie Hardeman Wins State Recognition

Published on: 10/7/2019

Julie Hardeman, parent mentor for Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools’ Department of Specialized Instruction, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Phil Pickens Award by the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership.  The Phil Pickens Award is named after the late Phil Pickens who served as state director of the Georgia Department of Education Special Services Dept. and founded the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership. Every year the Partnership selects an outstanding administrator and parent mentor for this prestigious award.  


The Phil Pickens Award is meant to recognize those members of the GaPMP who reflect his vision…  for parents, or parent mentors as they are now known, to be considered more than volunteers… they would be trained professionals working in their local school districts.   Admirers said Hardeman reflects this vision because, “she works to provide information to families in a variety of ways, through transition workshops, Parent University events, school family nights, and local advocacy and support groups.


Focusing on youth and mental health, Ms. Hardeman brought Youth Mental Health First Aid training to both Chatham County Schools and families and assisted in developing plans to support families in crisis. And, partnering with her regional community collaborative, organized a mental health symposium which attracted over 250 attendees. Her work has expanded beyond Chatham County as a member of the Georgia Department of Education State Advisory Panel, and as an advisor to the Georgia Department of Public Health to develop evacuation plans for persons with disabilities for a seven-county region.”

The Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership is an alliance of parents and professionals working together to improve outcomes for students with disabilities by enhancing communication and collaboration between families, educators and the community.  The mission of the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership is to build effective family, school, and community partnerships that lead to greater achievement for students, especially those with disabilities. Parent mentors are parents who support other parents by providing information and resources to help their children succeed in school and transition from school to adult life. The mentors work to increase parent participation in IEP meetings, provide information related to improving reading and math, and help parents locate needed services and supports.  Mentors also work with teachers, staff, and administrators to integrate family engagement into school and district activities and to build a culture in which family engagement is expected and valued.


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