Steering Committee members pushed Dougherty County’s proposed College and Career Academy to the next level Tuesday as 26 business, education and government leaders volunteers to be on the new charter school’s Executive Committee.
ALBANY, Ga. — Dougherty County’s nascent College and Career Academy took a giant step closer to reality Tuesday when 26 members of the business, education and government communities volunteered to sit on the proposed new charter school’s executive steering committee.
Members of the College and Career Academy Executive Steering Committee:
Frank Griffin, Flint River Bank
Glenn Sinquefield, Artesian Construction
Ben Barrow, LRA Constructors
Tim Knowles, Retired
Pam Hegler, Albany Technical College
Len Dorminey, Heritage Bank
Lula Davis, Davis Realty
Bobby McKinney, Retired
Jay Smith, Georgia Power
Wilbur Campbell, Retired
Barbara Rivera Holmes, EDC
LaKisha Bryant, Girls Inc.
Commadore Conyers, Retired
Woodrow Brooks, Self-Employed
Katrina Baranko, Merle Norman
James Taylor, City Manager
Danielle Johnson, Albany State University
Sherrell Byrd, Albany State University
Viola Brooks, Educator
Michael McCoy, Asst. County Manager
Felix Revills, Pastor
Ewell Lyle, County Commissioner
Jim Deal, Albany Communications
Angie Barber, Phoebe
Farris Shorter, Retired
“This group of people will form the leadership core of the steering committee,” consultant Russ Moore said, adding that the school’s board of directors will likely emerge from this group.
“We think this is phenomenal way to change education,” volunteer Bobby McKinney said. “This represents a sea change for Albany, Ga.”
The proposed 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 aim is to provide regional employers with work-ready employees.
“Our goal is to provide work-ready students who will make a positive impact on our community’s economic development,” DCSS board member Velvet Riggins said. “These 26 people are just the start. We invite any community member or agency to join with us — especially the top 10 area industries in Albany — to come around the table with us and help us formulate the college and career academy.”
Moore, who has established similar charter schools across the state, says the system works and will help reduce the county’s dropout rate.
“This process works by applying a business model to public education,” Moore said. “The charter is crucial because it will allow us to take and change the educational system. You can also govern it. We will create a a school that will meet the needs and interests of the county’s students.”
One of the steering committee’s volunteers, Sherrell Byrd, the First and Second Year Experience Coordinator at Albany State University, is no stranger to education, having run for the school board in last year’s election.
“I have always had a passion for career academies, and I have followed them around the state for years,” Byrd said. “I think it’s phenomenal that one is coming to my home town because it will be a huge help to our students.”
The executive committee will meet again at 8 a.m. on Oct. 12 at Albany Technical College to select the charter school’s board.