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Dougherty students earn FAMU scholarships

Dougherty County Board of Education Chair James Bush, left, and DCSS Superintendent Joshua Murfree discuss upcoming budget cuts during the School Board’s monthly meeting Wednesday at Northside Elementary School.

Dougherty County Board of Education Chair James Bush, left, and DCSS Superintendent Joshua Murfree discuss upcoming budget cuts during the School Board’s monthly meeting Wednesday at Northside Elementary School.

ALBANY, Ga. — Wednesday's Dougherty County Board of Education meeting produced a mix bag for the system. The Board discussed painful budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year, and saw 17 of its best and brightest students awarded Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Presidential Scholarships worth more than $1 million.

The four-year scholarships ranged from $116,000 to $12,000. The process began earlier this year when Superintendent Joshua Murfree approached FAMU.

"I wrote them and told them we had some worthy scholars down here," Murfree said. "When I started out, my goal was to provide post-secondary placement opportunities for Dougherty County's children.

"The scholarships are for children who don't have anything and are rewards for doing what they are supposed to do academically."

The scholarship money is weighted by SAT and ACT test scores and grade-point average.

Scholarship winners by school are:

Albany High

Forrest Schultz, $116,608; Chelsea Fitzhugh and Jessica Burnett, $20,000 each; Andrew Tabatt, $16,000. Five Albany High juniors also earned scholarships: Katherine Godwin, Abigail Shepard and Shivam Patel, $103,000 each; Courtney Wallace, $16,000; and Indyia Simpson, $1,200.

Dougherty High

Alesha Thomas, $103,000

Monroe High

Kason Jones and Chelsea Cox, $16,000 each; Elisabeth Banston and Alexander Landin, $12,000 each.

Westover High

Ellen Roberts, Benjamin Clenny and Kwasi Wrensford, $116,000 each.

In regard to the pending FY 2012-13 budget, which is facing an estimated $9 million shortfall, board member Carol Tharin suggested cutting all DCSS travel expenses by 50 percent, closing or repurposing some schools, early retirement buyouts, letters of non-renewal sent to all teachers named in the CRCT cheating report and outsourcing of some school services.

"We've been asking for this information since last summer, and it's not been forthcoming," Tharin said. "We need to look at these options and find out how much we can save. Remember, they are just options. It's like preparing for a hurricane, but it doesn't necessarily mean we'll have to use them."

Tharin also suggested selling surplus school land and buildings.

Murfree responded by saying he had some specific options and would present them to the DCSS Finance Committee when it meets Tuesday.

The superintendent added that he had a three-year plan that would implement cost-cutting measures.

The next meeting of the full board is set for May 14 at 7 p.m. at the school administration building.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

What was the outcome of the agenda item (last on the list unfortunately) entitled: letters of non-renewal for CRCT accused teachers and administrators" ??????

It sounds like Dr. Murfree intends to take care of this and budget items all by himself. What is the Board for exactly??

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Momof3 2 years, 3 months ago

Congrats to all the students who received scholarships! Great job and much luck on your college careers!!

Could we not have done another article for all the crap they added at the end? Let the kids have their good, POSITIVE moment! ughhhhhh

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

Ruby, that was a discussion item. The board will not vote on issuing letters of non-renewal, this is all on the superintendent. Mom, reality, like gravity, cannot be denied.

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Momof3 2 years, 3 months ago

I get gravity, but maybe the headline should have been Students get scholarships AND other DCSS news... just saying... I don't care if it's news, just let the kids have their stuff to themselves is all.

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Hawk59 2 years, 3 months ago

Congratulations to all of these students, as well as all others who have worked hard to maintain consistent grade point averages to receive their scholarships. Good luck in your future endeavors!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

@ MOMOF3......you are wasting your time.....these people want BLOOD all the time.....they hate when DCSS does something great.....thats why they hardly ever post positive articles about the DCSS on PURPOSE!!!.....but if you want to hear some good educational "feel good" stories.....you have to go to these schools and talk to the teachers and kids....forget about reading too much stuff like that on here.....GOOD NEWS DONT SELL PAPERS!!

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Momof3 2 years, 3 months ago

Coach, I am at AHS all the time. My daughter plays sports for them (and I never miss a game!!) as well as being in their Magnet Program so I KNOW there is so much positive going on there and I am so proud of each and every one of these kids!!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

Good for you. I love all the DCSS schools and I think they get a bad rap sometimes by design. As I read these educational stories, I have learned to read "between the lines" and see what the editor is really trying to say. Its all political.....Have you noticed it?

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Momof3 2 years, 3 months ago

Politics.... seems to be what makes the world go round.. or at least Albany anyway.

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tywebb 2 years, 3 months ago

quit whining. why don't you take the editors job, since you can do such a better job. I can see your headlines now:
Black kid beaten for being black, but white kid beaten for other reasons. DCSS getting a bad rap from people who care too much about education. I Love bubbavet_rureel. And so on!!!!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

If I were editor, our educational stories would be of a higher quality fiber with a meaningful message. Slander and sarcasm would not exist.

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