The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System District Holds Inaugural Series to Share Success Stories from Previous Students

Passport to Excellence Lecture Series Spotlights Stratton Leopold, Dawn Baker and Howard Morrison

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) District announces the inaugural Passport to Excellence Lecture Series presented by the gold sponsor, JCB North America. The series is made up of three lectures featuring presentations from accomplished individuals who previously attended or graduated from SCCPSS, sharing their unique career journeys and the insights they have learned about success and how to achieve it.

On Thursday, August 27, Stratton Leopold will present from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Savannah Arts Academy, located at 500 Washington Ave. Leopold attended elementary school at Massie Heritage Center, and then went on to attend Chatham Jr. High. Several years later, he studied Pre-Med at Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt Universities, but ultimately chose to work his way into the film industry. He has now been in the film business for more than 40 years, producing major, large-budget motion pictures. He has nearly 60 film and television credits to his name ranging from executive producer and producer to casting director and actor. Leopold has also served as an Executive Vice President at Paramount Pictures. He is locally famous for Leopold’s Ice Cream on Broughton Street, which was founded in 1919 by his father, Peter Leopold and his uncles Georgia and Basil.

The second lecture, taking place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, October 29 at Savannah High School, located at 400 Pennsylvania Avenue, will feature a presentation from Dawn Baker. Baker graduated with honors from Savannah High School, and went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Baker now co-anchors WTOC’s The News at 5:30 and THE News at 11:00. Baker is also a published author from her book, “Dawn’s Daughter: Everything A Woman Needs To Know.” 20% of all of the proceeds from her book go to “The Dawning of a Miracle Scholarship,” a fund Baker created to help young ladies with chronic and/or life-threatening illnesses go to college.

Howard Morrison will be the final speaker on Thursday, January 21, 2016 at Woodville Thompkins Technical and Career High School located at 151 Coach Joe Turner Street. His lecture will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Morrison attended Massie School from the second grade to the sixth grade in Savannah. Later becoming a graduate of Yale University and a veteran of the US Navy, Morrison had a banking career that spanned nearly 30 years and helped to develop the C&S Bank’s (now Bank of America’s) High Technology Banking Group and Atlanta’s high technology business community. As a result in 1995 Morrison was inducted into the Georgia High Technology Hall of Fame. After retiring from banking in July 1996, Howard returned to Savannah where he has devoted a lifetime of service advocating educational and entrepreneurial related initiatives.

These presentations are free but are invitation only. If you are interested in attending a lecture, please contact Cynthia Wright at or 912.856.9075.

The Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Lockamy and three “Public School Patriots,” SCCPSS district’s nominated recent graduates, will co-emcee the panel interviews of each speaker. At the end of the Passport to Excellence Series, the three speakers will be honored at the February 2016 Teacher of the Year Banquet with the Passport to Excellence Awards of Distinction.

The Passport to Excellence Series is sponsored by JCB North America, Healthy Savannah, Savannah Economic Development Authority, Carriage Trade PR and Cecilia Russo Marketing. Sponsorships are still available. For more information, visit

In partnership with Carriage Trade PR and Cecilia Russo Marketing, the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System announces its first-ever “Passport to Excellence Lecture Series.” The series will kick off in Aug. 2015 and will feature presentations from accomplished individuals who previously attended or graduated from SCCPSS. Hear inspirational stories, as we sit down to learn how the foundation of their success began right here in Savannah in our public school system. Dr. Lockamy, the Superintendent of Schools, and the other members of the community, will be conducting the public interviews with the speakers.

Cynthia Wright
Director of Communications
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing


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