Former Gov. Deal celebrates late wife’s memory with school reading event

Former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal spent the morning Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, reading to students at two Hall County elementary schools in honor of his late wife, Sandra's, 82nd birthday. (Hall County Schools)

Today marks what would have been the 82nd birthday of Georgia’s late former First Lady Sandra Dunagan Deal. To honor her life and memory, former Gov. Nathan Deal, along with family and friends, visited Riverbend and White Sulphur Elementary Schools in Hall County. They spent the morning reading to students, emphasizing the importance of literacy and the joy of learning.

“Today was a big DEAL,” White Sulphur Elementary School Principal Suzanne Chadwick tells Now Habersham. “We all felt excited, appreciated and valued. It was so honorable to be a part of such a memorable day.”

As an educator, Deal dedicated much of her life to the education and well-being of Georgia’s children. As First Lady, she traveled to every school district in the state, reading to students and instilling a love for reading.

(Hall County Schools)
(Hall County Schools)

Sandra Deal passed away on August 23, 2022, after a battle with cancer, but she left a lasting impact on thousands.

“We are just so blessed and honored to have the former Governor, his family, and his close friends visit these two schools today,” says Hall County School Superintendent Will Schofield. “Sandra’s legacy will endure in the lives of those she influenced with her advocacy, compassion, and love. She was an example to us all. I can’t help but think that the teacher in her must be smiling this morning as she watches the eyes of these students lighting during reading time.”

Both Riverbend and White Sulphur Elementary Schools will merge next year to form Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary School in her honor.

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