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Dougherty school millage rate flat

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- Vinson Davis received a 5-0 vote by the Dougherty County Board of Education to be Radium Springs Middle School's next principal at Monday night's meeting.

Meanwhile, the Dougherty County School System maintained its same millage rate -- 18.445 mills -- for the third year in a row, but will pull in $3 million less in local property tax revenue than last year because of a decline in the county's tax digest.

Vinson Davis' father, John I. Davis Jr., is the fifth-year principal at South Georgia Achievement Center and has been a principal at Merry Acres Middle, Westover Comprehensive and Monroe Comprehensive high schools after working 25 years at Albany State University.

The younger Davis beat out seven other candidates for the Radium Middle position when he was interviewed June 28 by a panel of 12 people. The panel included nine DCSS staff members, not including recently retired nine-year Radium Middle principal Geraldine Hudley. It also featured community members Lee Formwalt, Albany Civil Rights Institute executive director, and Kenneth Cutts, a representative from U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop's Office.

Vinson Davis was an assistant principal to Hudley for the past few years, John I. Davis said. According to his resume provided by the school system, the new principal has been an educator since 1996.

"He's excited," John I. Davis said of his third of five sons, who was unavailable for comment.

Stephen Davis, Vinson Davis' brother, won the school system's Teacher of the Year title in May and another brother, John I. Davis III, works for the school system as a technology specialist in the curriculum department. John I. Davis' wife, Iris, retired from Westover as a vocational technology teacher about seven years ago.

Vinson Davis earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Albany State University in 1997 and 2001, respectively. He also completed ASU's teacher certification program in 1999.

In approving the millage rate for the Fiscal year 2011 spending plan, Dougherty County Board of Education members voted 5-0 during the 10-minute meeting to set it at 18.445 mills. The millage rate has been 18.445 since 2008, according to the tax digest.

Based on the 2010 tax digest, 18.455 mills will generate $37,687,238, a decrease of $3.19 million, or 7.81 percent, from last year's $40,878,084.

The digest saw declines in every category, with the biggest, real and personal property, dropping from $2.2 billion to $2.05 billion. Motor vehicles dropped from $180.9 million to $158.4 million, and mobile homes fell from $10.2 million to $9.7 million.

Board members Velvet Riggins and Michael Windom did not attend the meeting. Superintendent Joshua Murfree said the Riggins was home and recovering "quite well" from her recent surgery. No explanation was given for Windom's absence.

The board also unanimously approved the calendar for the 2010-11 school year, which begins for Dougherty County students on Aug. 2. Students are out of school Sept. 6, Oct. 7-8, Nov. 11-12, Nov. 22-26, Dec. 17-Jan. 5, Jan. 17, Feb. 21, March 11 and March 28-April 4.

During its 5-0 vote on the release of personnel, the board approved the terminations of Albany Early College teacher Dana Daniel, Merry Acres Middle temp/student worker Tunisha Hayes, Dougherty Comprehensive vocational teacher Carla Martin and Monroe High science teacher LaKeisha Williams.

The board meet in executive session for 18 minutes to discuss personnel issues before the meeting.