Award Year: 2022

North Columbia Elementary School

2874 Ray Owens Road
Appling, GA, 30802-2204

(706) 541-1158

Ms. Tonya Gambrell, Principal at time of Nomination

Columbia County School District

School Website

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At North Columbia, our mission is Empowering and Inspiring ALL Learners to Excel in a Global Society. We work diligently each and every day to ensure students reach individual potential. There is a strong sense of teacher efficacy as we work to help students succeed in all aspects of their lives.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 5%
  • White: 87%
  • Hispanic: 4%
  • Two or more races: 4%
Students engaged in learning at North Columbia Elementary.

Students engaged in learning at North Columbia Elementary.

North Columbia Elementary is the smallest and most rural school in Columbia County, Georgia. Nestled in the center of Appling, the school is the heart of the community.Many generations have come through the building that was constructed in 1956, but newcomers are also welcomed with a smile and quickly become family. Strong relationships among all stakeholders help the school thrive!

The faculty and staff of North Columbia aim to engage, enrich, and inspire every child every day. Students are challenged at independent levels in all academic areas. The curriculum is enhanced with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) learning opportunities where students are given real-life problems to solve in collaborative groups, building their teamwork capabilities which are essential for current and future success. Students also learn resilience and perseverance by engaging regularly in the engineering design process.

Goal setting and conferencing are other important components to the success of each student at NCE. Students and teachers take time to discuss how to improve literacy, mathematics, behavior, and more. Students understand that teachers care about their progress and also help set attainable goals that they work toward mastering together.Students and teachers monitor progress towards goals and celebrate accomplishments along the way.

Success is measured in many ways at North Columbia. Students tend to perform in the upper quartile on statewide and county assessments. Additionally, the school consistently earns the highest ratings possible on student, parent, and teacher climate surveys. Most importantly though, students enjoy coming to school and work hard to become independent lifelong learners.