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Career Academy holds steering committee meeting

Photo by Terry Lewis

Photo by Terry Lewis

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County School System's College and Career Academy Steering Committee held its first full meeting at the DCSS administration building Tuesday.

The meeting, held before some of the city's most prominent business leaders, was a pitch for support from the community.

The proposed new charter school will be set up to fit the needs and wishes of the area and will target all the children in the Dougherty County School System. The goal is to provide regional employers with work-ready employees.

DCSS school board member Velvet Riggins said, "Right now we are working with a blank board. What appears on that board will be up to the community."

LRA Constructors President Ben Barrow then asked what the committee wanted from the county's business community.

"We don't want your money, we want your support," board member Darrel Ealum replied.

"Well, that's refreshing," Barrow said as the room erupted in laughter.

Consulting with the committee members was Russ Moore, CEO of Seamless Education Associates Inc. of Newnan. Moore, who has worked with 21 career academies, said he believes that "within a decade" every high school student in Georgia will be served by one of the academies.

"The curriculum will be designed around CTAE (Career Tech and Ag Education) and is meant to have kids ready for immediate employment after graduation," Moore said. "Plus, this will be a charter schoo,l so it can be designed and set up according to feedback from the community and local businesses."

Moore added that 2012 will be the "push" year for the academy, laying out this rough timeline:

-- Feb. 2012: Need to have curriculum and marketing assessments finished.

-- Spring 2012: Write the charter.

-- Fall 2012: Write grant applications.