About Pleasant Grove Elementary
History of Pleasant Grove Elementary
Sourced from: Thompson, E. K. (2016). Historic Photographs of the Whitfield County schools. Dalton, Georgia: Ellen Keith Thompson.
Pleasant Grove Elementary School was originally established as "Shady Grove" by the community church congregations in 1853. The log structure built just east of present-day Grove Level Baptist Church served as a school, church, and community meeting house. When the Baptist and Methodist congregations built their own churches, the name changed to Pleasant Grove School due to the school meeting outdoors under a grove of trees just south of the Methodist church. The North Georgia Citizen reported in 1880 that a staff of eight teachers and an administrator supervised 90 students. William Martin Sapp, an alumnus of the school, described the eight-hour school day as a combination of studying out loud and working outside under the grove of trees. He wrote:
"When protracted services were being held at either of the Churches, the school was required to go in a body to 'preaching'...Spelling matches and athletic contests with neighboring schools were of frequent occurrence. Wrestling, debates, town hall, base ball (sic), foot races, tugs of war, and other games of physical prowess were held, while the admiring young ladies looked on and applauded their respective champions."
Pleasant Grove School has functioned in its present location for over 50 years. In 1934, several smaller schools were combined with Pleasant Grove to form Pleasant Grove Consolidated High School. Pleasant Grove served first through twelfth-grade students until North Whitfield High School was built in 1954. Pleasant Grove served the first through eighth grades until 1975 when a new high school was built and North Whitfield was converted to a middle school to serve the sixth through eighth-grade students. Pleasant Grove began serving kindergarten students in 1978 and as of 2019 began serving pre-kindergarten students as well as students through fifth-grade.
We envision a valued and dynamic school that prepares students for success in life-long learning.
Our mission is to maximize student learning by providing challenging and engaging educational experiences in a safe and supportive environment.
- We believe the needs of students, personnel, families, and the community are best met with a unified direction.
- We believe our purpose is to lead students to success by engaging them in challenging and meaningful work.
- We believe teachers are leaders who design learning experiences for students.
- We believe our personnel, families, and community members are vital to the education of our students.
- We believe in creating and maintaining a safe, inviting, and inclusive learning environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Phone: (706) 259-3920
Degrees and Certifications:
B.S. Special Education The University of Tennessee Chattanooga
M.S. Special Education The University of Tennessee Chattanooga EdS
Educational Leadership and Administration Lincoln Memorial University
Additional Certifications: Early Childhood Education Reading Endorsement
Mrs. Kathy Ford
I am thrilled to be able to serve the students, staff, and families of Pleasant Grove Elementary. My years of experience have taught me that the key to student success is building relationships.
I would like to share some background information. I began my teaching career in Whitfield County Schools 25 years ago as a special education teacher at Eastbrook Middle School. After two years, I transferred to Northwest High School. In my two years at Northwest, I co-taught 11th-grade American Lit., pre-algebra, and algebra. I transferred to New Hope Elementary, where I taught for eighteen years. I was the lead special education teacher for nine years, co-teaching math K-5 and reading 2-5, as well as resource classes. I also taught fifth-grade math and science for six years, and fourth-grade math and social studies for three years. For the past three years, I have served as the Assistant Principal of Dug Gap Elementary, the assistant principal here at Pleasant Grove, and I'm now happy to begin my 27th year in education as the new principal at Pleasant Grove Elementary.
I enjoy spending time with my family, camping, boating, biking, paddleboarding, hiking, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs. I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve as the Assistant Principal of Pleasant Grove Elementary.
Phone: (706) 259-3920
Degrees and Certifications:
B.S. Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University
M.S. Middle Grades Education, Berry College
Eds Leadership/Curriculum and Instruction, Lincoln Memorial University
Early Childhood Education
Ms. Jennifer Leaderer
I am very excited to be a part of the Pleasant Grove Elementary family. I have been in education for over twenty years and feel very blessed to be serving this community. My original path upon entering college was to become an engineer but my heart always pulled me toward education. After graduating from college I worked for a environmental consulting firm for two years before deciding to follow my heart and go back to school for my teaching degree.
I started my education career by teaching middle school mathematics. Math and science have always been my passion and it was very rewarding to challenge and encourage problem solving in my students. A love of problem solving and creativity attracted me to pursue a teaching opportunity in gifted education in Whitfield County. I taught gifted elementary students for 12+ years. In 2017 I became an instructional coach for Eastbrook Middle School and transitioned from working with children to working with adults. Although it was a wonderful experience, I missed the exuberance of my students. By 2019, I became the assistant principal at Tunnel Hill Elementary and found a terrific balance between working with both children and adults. As the assistant principal at Pleasant Grove Elementary, I am inspired by those around me everyday. I believe our students and staff are as exceptional as they are inspirational. I endeavor to do my very best to serve all of our school's stakeholders.