September 26, 2022

Board Names New Elementary School for Sandra Dunagan Deal

Governor Deal joins First Lady Deal as she reads to elementary students. (Photo Courtesy AJC)

The Hall County Board of Education voted unanimously this evening to name its future elementary school on Ramsey Road, Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary School.

Superintendent Will Schofield praised late First Lady, Sandra Deal, for her life-long support of education and her advocacy for childhood literacy. “Naming this school after a Hall County woman who devoted her life to the next generation represents everything that is good, noble, and true--in public education and in humanity. Sandra grew up in New Holland and she taught and lived in North Hall. Later, as the First Lady of Georgia, she devoted her time to childhood literacy as she crossed the state, instilling the love of reading into countless thousands of elementary students. She was the perfect example of a life lived well for others.”

Mrs. Deal was a teacher in the Hall County school District for many years, serving at Tadmore Elementary, North Hall High School, and North Hall Middle School.

Mrs. Deal’s mother, Ida Lou Waldrep Dunagan, taught second grade at White Sulphur Elementary. The new elementary school, which is currently under construction and slated to open its doors to students and staff in the fall of 2024, will replace both White Sulphur and Riverbend Elementary Schools. Those schools will be phased out of elementary service.

Sandra’s husband, Governor Nathan Deal, said, “Our family appreciates the honor the Hall County Board of Education has bestowed on Sandra by naming this new elementary school after her. She was an educator at heart! This will be a fitting memorial to her life as a teacher and as The First Lady of Georgia who was committed to literacy and learning.”

The Storytime Room at the Hall County Public Library was named for First Lady Deal in 2020.
"First Lady Sandra Deal championed early childhood literacy as she read at over 1,000 public schools in each of the 159 counties and 181 public school districts," said Board Member Mark Pettitt. "To know Mrs. Deal was to love Mrs. Deal, and to be loved by Mrs. Deal. Her legacy of championing children will live on for decades and I thank the Deal Family for sharing Sandra with all of us. She certainly made Hall County and Georgia a better place."

Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary School is scheduled to open for students in August 2024.

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