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Congressman Rob Woodall

Representing the 7th District of Georgia

District Connection - 8/29/16

August 29, 2016
E-Newsletter Archive


Here at home, in Washington, and all across the country we often have the discussion about the benefits of keeping education at the local level, but in the 7th District, we have the distinct advantage of being able to point to very real, very significant success using that approach.  Both Forsyth and Gwinnett County schools are highly regarded in Georgia and across the nation as high-achieving, results-oriented systems – and that isn’t due to a federal mandate, but rather the commitment of our local educators and the hard-work of our students.  You may have seen in the news last week that Forsyth County seniors achieved the highest composite ACT scores of any district in the state while besting the state and national averages. Their neighbor to the south – Gwinnett County schools – is no stranger to national recognition as it has twice been the recipient of the Broad Prize for the best urban education system in the country, and also outpaced the state and national ACT average composite score this year.  

These things don’t just happen. They are tangible products stemming from the vision, dedication, and local partnership we’ve crafted in our community.  The results speak for themselves, and of course, the number one priority is preparing our young people for the next phase of their lives, but the added benefit is that any school system around the state or country that may be less successful can look to our model as an example.  This fundamental principle is why you and I work together to take 7th District values to Washington.  

There are many voices in the conversation, but we’re making progress, and you need look no further than the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorized of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and was touted as the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century.  Securing a Presidential signature on an education reform bill that sent so much decision-making authority back home to parents, teachers, and communities and empowered them to develop the best systems for them was one of our biggest legislative victories of the 114th Congress, and the repeated education successes from counties in the 7th District prove that it was the right thing to do.  These are the kinds of changes you and I are implementing together – and all the while we’re delivering on the crucial responsibility to provide the next generation of leaders with choice and opportunity in education.



You can’t talk about the success of our students without also looking to the tremendous teachers working day-in and day-out preparing each young person with the necessary knowledge, skills, and confidence to embrace the next challenge or chapter – whatever it may be.  Just as the hard work of our students has garnered national attention, so too has that of our teachers.  One example in particular is Cindy Apley Rose. Ms. Rose currently teaches mathematics at Couch Middle School in Grayson, but has dedicated her entire career to the students of Gwinnett County.  She was recently named as a winner of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – one of only 213 nationwide – and will be recognized in Washington, D.C., in coming weeks.

It’s a remarkable achievement to have a career centered on empowering young people, and that is exactly what Ms. Rose personifies.  Her accomplishment is certainly in the impact she has had on countless individual students, but I couldn’t be more pleased to see that dedication recognized at a national level with this award.  Thank you to Ms. Rose and all our amazing educators throughout the 7th District.



It’s no secret that America has her fair share of challenges, but I am constantly reminded that we live in a truly amazing time now and even better days for our nation lay ahead. For instance, I am the Republican chairman of the Congressional Robotics Caucus, and robotics is one of the most promising and exciting fields in science today. From cars that can drive themselves to microbots that can scrape plaque off an artery to prevent heart attacks, there is plenty of amazing innovation going on in this country. The world’s leading mechanical engineers are making great strides in fields like medicine, transportation, and agriculture, and perhaps more importantly, the next generation of science superstars are well on their way, including students right here in the 7th District who were recently invited to participate in an international robotics competition in Indiana. I am committed to making sure that the federal government promotes these important advancements rather than hinders them, and I will continue to do that as the co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Robotics Caucus.



As we look toward the future, we are blessed to have a brand new class of high school seniors who are just beginning their final year in high school and who are looking forward to college. While many of them may stay in Georgia and pursue an education and a career closer to home, there are some among us who look at the horizon and envision themselves serving others in the military. Our nation’s Armed Forces are the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, and thankfully, those volunteers who keep the peace around the world and protect our lives here at home are drawn from our own neighborhoods. 

The 7th District of Georgia is honored to have a number of exceptional students who have been nominated and who are attending our nation’s service academies – the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Air Force Academy in Colorado, the Naval Academy in Maryland, and the Merchant Marine Academy in New York. These academies require a Congressional Nomination to attend, and I’ll tell you, choosing students to nominate is the most difficult and most rewarding part of my job. Our community’s young people are leaders, and every student who is nominated to attend an academy has the potential to lead our nation in the future. 

If you are a student or you know a student who is considering military service, please visit my website to learn more about the eligibility qualifications and the application procedure for receiving a nomination. 


Rob Woodall
Member of Congress