Award Year: 2013

Fair Oaks Elementary School

407 Barber Road
Marietta, GA, 30060-3946

(678) 594-8080

Cindy Szwec Ed.D., Principal at time of Nomination

Cobb County School District

School Website


At Fair Oaks Elementary, our mission is to provide appropriate differentiated instruction that results in all students meeting or exceeding state and national standards.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 16%
  • White: 5%
  • Hispanic: 76%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • ELL: 57%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Fair Oaks Elementary School, in Marietta, Georgia, opened its doors for the first time in 1958 to accommodate families who relocated to the area to work at the Bell Bomber Plant, now Lockheed Martin. Approximately fifteen years ago, the student population changed dramatically and the school immediately faced issues new to the school and school district. Spanish became the predominant language when the community changed from a primarily Caucasian and African-American population to a largely Latino population.

Fair Oaks Elementary serves approximately 850 students in pre-kindergarten through 5th grade. Ninety-eight percent of our students participate in the free/reduced-price meal program. At Fair Oaks, every child demonstrates a genuine desire to learn in an environment where there are high expectations for all students and staff members. A fourth-grader told a newspaper reporter, “All of the teachers really love the kids, it’s like one big happy family.”

A school practice that has had a dramatic impact on student achievement has been developing teachers as content experts through departmentalization in grades 1-5. Students receive differentiated instruction from teachers who are highly effective in their content areas. We provide our students with the highest quality instruction, equipping them with essential skills, and giving them an advantage they might not gain in a traditional classroom setting.

We are currently on a journey to become a Leader in Me Lighthouse school. The Leader in Me creates a learning environment, based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, where leadership is the core of the school. Our commitment to leadership principles has strengthened relationships among all stakeholders. We are developing intelligent, confident leaders for the 21st century!