Former First Lady Joins Piedmont Board, Advocates Education of Teachers


Former Georgia First Lady and teacher, Sandra Deal, recently joined the Piedmont College Board of Trustees. Deal became Georgia’s First Lady in 2011 when her husband, Nathan Deal, was elected Governor. She continually used her position to speak out about the importance of education through programs such as the “Read Across Georgia” project. As a part of this program, Deal read to kids in every county and school system across the state.

“As Georgians, we want [students] to be able to fill the jobs that are coming to Georgia,” said Deal in an interview with Georgia Trend Magazine. “They need more than a GED. They need technical training or college education, so they can find those good jobs and stay employed. That is the freedom we all look for – self-sufficiency.”

Deal has dedicated much of her life to helping younger generations through her career as an educator, working for more than 15 years as a language arts teacher. Now that she and her husband are living in their home in Demorest, Deal is hoping to foster future educators by joining the student life committee at Piedmont.

“Piedmont College has, through the years, educated many of the caring teachers who taught me, taught with me and inspired others to choose Piedmont,” said Deal. “I am honored to be asked to serve on the board. I hope my outlook and experience will enable me to be of service in this position.”

The U.S. News and World Report data from 2018 showed that 19 percent of all enrolled students were majoring in education, making it the second most common major at Piedmont.

“We are delighted that Mrs. Deal, a long-time champion for education, has joined our board. It is a natural partnership,” said Piedmont College President James F. Mellichamp. “Since our founding in 1897, Piedmont has a proud history of educating teachers.” 

The School of Education at Piedmont operates the largest teacher education graduate program in the state, and is Georgia’s second-highest producer of teachers.

“It’s important to make your life count and imprint the lives of others while you have the opportunity,” said Deal to Georgia Trend. “Nathan and I feel it is so important, encouraging education, because it builds the future.”