State School Superintendent Richard Woods has appointed Dr. J. Nicholas Philmon, will spearhead and develop a statewide literacy coaching model in Georgia.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods has appointed Dr. J. Nicholas Philmon, a key figure in developing structured literacy practices in Marietta City Schools, to spearhead and develop a statewide literacy coaching model in Georgia.

As the Structured Literacy Coaching Coordinator, Dr. Philmon, while retaining his position with Marietta City Schools, will collaborate with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to construct and lead a statewide literacy coaching model. The objective is to enhance the capacity of schools and districts to deliver nationally recognized training in structured literacy and the science of reading.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods emphasized the importance of a tiered, statewide coaching model, stating, “Developing a tiered, statewide coaching model – with buy-in from local districts and schools and a common, proven framework – is key to the continued success of Georgia’s early literacy initiatives.”

Dr. Philmon, has extensive experience and leadership in structured literacy, will oversee the Georgia Literacy Coach initiative. His responsibilities include collaborating with a design team of experts to formulate a comprehensive coaching plan, managing the hiring process for regional literacy support coaches, and providing training to regional coaches and educators across the state.

His efforts will complement GaDOE’s existing partnership with the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy, which offers literacy courses for K-5 teachers and leaders, along with a two-year literacy leadership cohort.

Dr. Philmon has been a part of Marietta City Schools’ initiatives to align instruction with structured literacy and the science of reading. He has served as a school-based literacy coach and, ultimately, as K-5 ELA Coordinator for the district. In this role, he coordinated professional learning, led structured literacy training, and aligned district pacing with research-based practices.

With a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from Mercer University, Dr. Philmon’s research has focused on teacher coaching, making him well-suited to lead Georgia’s statewide literacy initiative.

Marietta City Schools Superintendent Grant Rivera expressed confidence in Dr. Philmon’s appointment, stating, “Dr. Philmon’s appointment to spearhead Georgia’s statewide literacy initiative is a clear recognition of Marietta City Schools’ leadership in this critical area of education. His expertise and drive have been an important part of our success. His passion for literacy education will make a significant impact across Georgia, shaping the future of countless students.”

Dr. J. Nicholas Philmon’s leadership is expected to play a pivotal role in advancing literacy education statewide, ensuring that all students in Georgia have access to high-quality literacy instruction.

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