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Dougherty County School System Notebook - Dec. 2, 2013

Good news from around the Dougherty County School System

DCSS Public Information Office Wins GSPRA Media Awards

The Public Information Office of the Dougherty County School System was recognized at the Georgia School Public Relations Association 2013 Annual Conference held in Macon last week. The association holds a communications recognition program that seeks to promote excellence in stakeholder communications in Georgia’s school systems. The entries are judged by public relations professionals in the North Carolina school public relations association.

From the more than 80 entries in this year’s program, the DCSS won a Gold Award of Excellence and three Silver Awards of Merit. The work of Lana Stuart, system webmaster, won a Silver Award for the Internet Web Site. Her work was also awarded a Silver Award in the newsletter category for the System Update. R. D. Harter produced two entries that also were recipients of awards. The back-to-school publication, Transitions, won a Silver Award in the special purpose publications category. In the Electronic Media category, the DCSS won a Gold Award for the Back-to-School TV spot.

Westover Culinary Arts Students Earn Certification

The culinary arts program at Westover Comprehensive High School recently saw 13 students pass the classroom examination requirements for the nationally recognized ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification. The students studied the ServSafe curriculum during the first nine-week grading period and took exams on October 16. Culinary arts students Joshua Anderson, Forrest Buford, Jamar Cochran, Kaitlyn Forehand, Juwan Greene, Jordan Groves, Tyra House, Leander Jackson, Austin James, Jonkeria Miller, Kyle Smith, Tiffani Terry, and Nikki Walker each achieved the required score on the exam to become certified.

The ServSafe certificate is the highest standard for food safety and is granted by the American National Standards Institute and Conference for Food Protection. Local food service operators involved with the Westover culinary arts program have expressed enthusiasm for the increased employability of high school students who hold the ServSafe certification. The students’ certificates are valid through 2018. Chef Robert Schley is culinary arts instructor at Westover.

Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program for ESOL and Migrant Families

On November 5, the ESOL and Migrant Program, in collaboration with the Leadership Academy presented a conference on the topic of alcohol and drug awareness to ESOL and migrant families in the DCSS. The conference gave parents an opportunity to know more about the problems and consequences that alcohol and drugs can bring to families. Guest speakers gave testimonial accounts and scientific research data in both Spanish and English. Drug-Free Schools project coordinator Esther Anderson provided a bilingual brochure with general information about drugs and alcohol and services available in the Albany and Sylvester areas. Linda Coston, Vice-President of Adult Education at Albany Technical College, shared the importance of English classes and obtaining a GED. El Maya Restaurant provided refreshments for the participants.

Local Veterans Visit Turner Elementary School

On November 8, Turner Elementary School students were honored to a visit from three local veterans — Charles Slaughter, Roderick Jolivette, and Major Mitchel Carthon. The veterans spoke to students about their tours of duty and how their lives were affected by service in the armed forces. They encouraged the students to show pride for their country through respect for themselves and others. The program opened with the presentation of colors by the Monroe Comprehensive High School JROTC followed by an explanation of the origins of Veterans Day by fifth grade students. The Turner chorus presented a musical selection in honor of all veterans. The students were attentive throughout the program and eagerly expressed their excitement to their teachers in the classroom.

Community Groups Donate Coats and Shoes to Alice Coachman

Erin Hutchins from the YMCA 21st Century Community Learning Center brought 28 pairs of new shoes to Alice Coachman Elementary School on November 14. She was surprised to see her friend and fellow community worker Clinton Johnson from the Mt. Olive Community Outreach Center’s FLAGG Program who had just arrived with an armload of 30 gently-used coats. The coats had been left in Mt. Olive’s lost-and-found for more than a year and were cleaned, free of charge, by Eagle Cleaners.

100 Black Men of Atlanta Supports Albany Middle STEM Initiative

The 100 Black Men of Atlanta has partnered with Albany Middle School to establish a robotics learning environment. Students will be trained to build and program robots using the Mindstorm NXT kits. Robotics training is available after school to all grade levels. Students will use the robots they build to solve real life problems. Recently, the robotics team traveled to Atlanta to attend the 4th Annual Robotics Showcase and Invitational held at the Georgia World Congress Center. The speaker for the showcase was Dr. Lonnie Johnson, an engineer and inventor who worked on the Cassini mission to Jupiter and invented the Super Soaker. Students attending the event were Malik Wade, Dyna Ramos, Steve Hairston, Travis Parker, Raytwan Brantley, Roderick Major, Errol Austin, Ronnie Amos, Tenesha Jackson, and Trinity Patrick, along with coach Gloria Clemons .

MCLB Director Speaks to Lincoln Students for Veterans’ Day

Kent Morrison, Executive Director of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, presented an inspirational program recognizing the patriotism and bravery of veterans and their families on November 8 at Lincoln Elementary Magnet School. Morrison expressed ways that citizens can show allegiance to our country and respect for the symbols that are dear to the hearts of Americans.

During the program, the Lincoln family paid tribute to family and friends who have earned the distinction of being U.S. Veterans. The Lincoln color guard presented colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” The Lincoln ensemble also performed. Lincoln assistant principal Pat Greene spoke about her sons who are presently serving in the Marine Corps and the Army. Principal Ellen Lane closed the celebration by expressing gratitude to all veterans for their service and to the American Legion, one of Lincoln’s partners in excellence, for the display of flags they provided for the occasion.

Albany High Student Organizations Raise Funds for Cancer Coalition

Students from Albany High School’s SkillsUSA, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), and Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) clubs held a fund raiser on Oct. 25 at the school. The students sold pink cupcakes and other pink treats to raise money. They also coordinated a kickball game with the proceeds going to the fund raiser. More than 300 students attended the event and the clubs raised $150 to donate to the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia for “Pinktober.” One student commented, “It felt great to do something that I feel makes a difference in the world I live in.” Advisors for the participating student groups are Marcus Glass (SkillsUSA), Carene Talley and Jamie Fredrickson (FBLA), and Melinda Suber (HOSA).

Local Attorney Speaks to Monroe Law and Justice Students

On November 13, local attorney Christopher Warren introduced students in Monroe Comprehensive High School’s Law and Justice Program to the elements of case presentation. The law and justice program recently designed and implemented a student peer court system that allows students to govern themselves as deemed appropriate by the principal. Warren will lend his assistance by preparing students to act as prosecutors for the proceedings. Richard Williams is law and justice instructor at Monroe High.

Albany Middle Collects “Pennies for Patients”

Albany Middle School students, led by Future Business Leaders of America members, recently ended a successful “Pennies for Patients” campaign. The campaign involved faculty, staff, and students donating their loose change to help the fight against blood cancer. As a result of their efforts, more than 20,000 pennies were donated to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society whose mission is to help fight blood cancer disorders. Trinity Patrick served as student leader for the campaign. Gloria Clemons is Albany Middle School’s FBLA sponsor.

Albany High Chorale Performs at ATC’s Veterans Day Program

The Albany High School Chorale recently performed at the 1st annual Veterans’ Day Program at Albany Technical College. Ashley Cruel and A’Siaunnya Bryant opened the program with an a Capella arrangement of the National Anthem and the entire chorale performed two medleys of patriotic songs including “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee,” “God Bless America,” and “The Armed Forces Medley.” The Albany High Chorale is under the direction of Anthony Miller.

MLK Elementary Holds Reading Workshop for Parents

“Raising Reading Comprehension” was the topic of a parent workshop held recently at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. On November 15, media specialist Cyndy Lyle shared with parents exactly what reading comprehension is as well as specific comprehension strategies for helping their children become better readers. She also answered questions parents had regarding the Accelerated Reader Enterprise Program. Parent facilitator Vicki Sproul coordinated the event.