[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on June 7th of this year, was our #1 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2018 countdown!]

After the recession hit in 2013, it was evident that something was off at Mashburn Elementary School (part of Forsyth County Schools in Georgia). I watched teachers being laid off, and it was draining to witness. We had bigger class numbers than ever before, and our school culture and employee morale were at an all-time low. For us to pull our way out of this difficult time, we first had...

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  • About the Author:

    Tracey Smith is currently the principal at Brookwood Elementary School in Forsyth County, Georgia. Smith was the principal at Mashburn Elementary for eight years. Follow her on Twitter @tbsmith01.