Education Notebook 11-8-09

Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes recently spoke to students at Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton.

Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes recently spoke to students at Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton.


Darton College recently reported a record enrollment for the fall semester of 5,854 students.

The head count is a 16.6 percent increase over the last fall's enrollment of 5,019. Darton's enrollment is approximately 70 percent female, and the average student age is 30 years old. The enrollment includes 129 international students from 46 countries.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization will hold a small business conference from 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Monday in the ACAD Auditorium at Albany State University.

The conference is one of a series the USDA is conducting with the goal of helping small farmer-owned cooperatives and small rural businesses to compete more successfully for government and commercial contracts. Registration for the conference is free. Pre-registration is advised since space is limited. To register, individuals should send their name, company name, full address, telephone number(s) and e-mail address by e-mail to Justin.wilkes@da.usda.gov or by fax to (202) 720-3001. For more information, contact Justin Wilkes at (202) 720-7380.

Writer and activist Kevin Powell will facilitate a series of conversations with young black middle and high school students when he travels on his "New Directions Tour" of eight Georgia cities, including Bainbridge. The November tour is at the invitation of the University System of Georgia's (USG) African-American Male Initiative.

Powell will be at Bainbridge College's Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday. The 3 p.m.-4 p.m. community session is free. The session will include planned designated groups, including the Albany Early College program. Powell is the editor of The Black Male Handbook and author of nine books.

Southwest Georgia workers who have been displaced because of the economy, as well as employed workers who feel that they lack opportunities to achieve their goals, can benefit from Job Seekers 101, a specially designed workshop offered by Bainbridge College Continuing Education Division. It will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday at the main campus Continuing Education Center. The workshop fee is $25.

Full-time Bainbridge College faculty will present sessions on communication skills, interpersonal skills, personal productivity, the job search and work ethics. Presenters include faculty members David Maxwell and Kyle Thomas, and Beverly Thompson, who coordinates special projects in the college's technical studies division. To register or for more information, call (229) 248-2517.


Mercer University recently held an event for alumni and prospective students in Camilla. Mercer President William Underwood was on hand to meet more than 70 area alumni, prospective students and their parents, including residents from Camilla, Moultrie, Pelham and Albany.

The dinner was hosted by area Mercer alumni Adela MacCaughelty Ford, CLA '91, of Camilla; Thomas L. Kirbo III, CLA '65, LAW '67, of Moultrie; Dorothy Kirbo McCranie, LAW '99, of Moultrie; Joseph D. Weathers, LAW '91, of Moultrie; and Joline Bateman Williams, LAW '60, of Camilla.

Three-time Olympian gymnast Dominique Dawes recently motivated the students at Abraham Baldwin College at a leadership workshop sponsored by the Student Support Leadership Club and Student Support Services.

"I truly love what I am doing," said Dawes, who turns 33 Nov. 20. "Pursue your passion, and it won't feel like work. You'll be willing to put in the time and effort."

Dawes and her Olympic teammates stunned the world in 1996 at the Olympic Games in Atlanta when the United States won the team gold medal. Dawes became the first African-American to win an individual gymnastics medal when she won the bronze in floor exercise.

Dawes was also a part of the bronze medal U.S. team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and competed with the 2000 team in Sydney. He favorite Olympic memory is meeting the '92 Dream Team with the all-stars such as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and David Robinson.

"We knew their bus was pulling in, and like gymnasts always do, we lined up on the sidewalk," she said. "Out steps Larry Bird, and he asked us to come on the bus. There's Magic Johnson and Clyde Drexler. I'll never forget it."

Besides her motivational speaking, Dawes runs one-day gymnastics clinics. She also does some television work, and is putting some words together for a book on her life.


Dougherty County School System Superintendent Sally Whatley recently recognized 73 employees who earned the distinction of having perfect attendance for 2008-09. Two meetings were held to accommodate the work schedules of the child nutrition staff and the school and other department recipients. In addition to certificates that proclaimed the accomplishment, Whatley presented checks totaling $500 to 10 employees whose names were drawn from among all those in attendance.

Employees who were recognized for perfect attendance and their department or school were:

Child Nutrition Services -- Pamela McCray, Lillie Walton, Leila Franklin, Mary Perkins, Cynthia Fazendin, Roland Watts, Wanda Carroll, Grindal Laster, Shirley Campbell, Betty Smiley, Deseria Ford, Latoria Hines, Veronica Smith, Patty Ragan, Catherine Cole, Ladainial Hooper and Patricia Leming;

Curriculum -- Horace Bentley;

Drug-Free Schools -- Barbara Turner;

Exceptional Students -- Dallis Smith;

Albany High School -- Trevor Baxter, Pat Brown, Mamie Fulmore, Shelia Marshall, Ruthie Mayhew, Jimmy Mullins;

Dougherty Comprehensive High School -- Joyce Hall;

Monroe Comprehensive High School -- Willie Presley, Karen Gargel, Vickie Lewis, Jesse Hunt, Bryan Haas, Alvin Young;

Westover Comprehensive High School -- Harold Barronton, Constance Wehner, Alton Bentley, Cheryl Little, James Little, Rachelle Smith, Terry McKay, Susan Daniels, Cleatus Hopkins, Alphonese Wilson;

Albany Middle School -- Angela Battle Blue, Leila Franklin, Aldean Simmons;

Dougherty International Education Middle School -- Steve Braswell, Dorothy Day, LaTonyia Johnson, Andrea Hall;

Merry Acres Middle School -- Brenda Browne, Stephanie Moon, Betty Roberts;

Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School -- Veronica Washington;

International Studies Elementary Charter School -- Cindy Dell, Shelia Thomas, Lerkeesha Jackson;

Lake Park Elementary School -- Joy Houldridge;

Lincoln Elementary Magnet School -- Shirley Barnes, Alvette Johnson, Denise Golden;

Magnolia Elementary School -- William Myrick, Anther McKenzie;

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School -- Donna Bracken, Chinary Chester;

Northside Elementary School -- Amanda Wright, Anwar Sadler;

Sherwood Acres Elementary School -- Delisa Long, Julian Young, Bonnie Odoms, Brenda Marley, Sherrina Tukes, Cassandra Crawford;

Sylvester Road Elementary School -- Yolanda McCray;

West Town Elementary School -- Henri Taylor Green, Rhonda Holmes;

Sylvandale/Pre-K -- Vivan Mallory, Lucy Smith;

South Georgia Regional Achievement Center -- John I. Davis Jr.


The Albany High School band traveled to Fitzgerald recently to compete in the Blue and Gray Invitational. The 85-member Marchin' Chiefs earned the highest rating possible of superior in each category and took first place in the areas of percussion, flags, drum major, danceline and overall band in their class. The ensemble placed third place overall with a score of 86. Albany's danceline earned first place overall as the best danceline in the contest.

The Marchin' Chiefs also recently competed in the Sound of Silver Invitational at Pierce County High School in Blackshear. In the festival performance, Albany earned the highest rating possible of superior in each category and took first place in the areas of percussion, flags, drum major, danceline and overall band in their class. The group won the Class 2A competition of the event out of 10 schools and finished second overall out of 18 schools, which included 3A schools.

"They missed winning the whole contest by one point, we scored a 93.17 and the winning band scored a 94," said Trevor Baxter, the fourth-year band director.

Education Notebook submissions should be typed, concise and e-mailed to ethan.fowler@albanyherald.com; faxed to (229) 888-9357, Attn. Ethan/Education Notebook; or dropped by our office at 126 N. Washington St.