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Dougherty County School System Education Notebook - Nov. 10, 2013

Students and teachers achieve recognition and make progress in the Dougherty County School System

Dougherty High takes 1st for one-act play

Late last month, students from the Dougherty Comprehensive High School Fine Arts Department participated in the Region 1-AAAA One Act Play Competition held in Cairo. The students took first place honors with their performance of Cries from Soweto adapted by teacher Lisa Love along with Rose Love and Lanaya Love.

The play tells the story of the Soweto Uprising and the rejection of apartheid by South African youth.

Eight members of Dougherty’s cast received individual awards for their performances and were named to the Region All-Star Cast. Those students are Chauntoria McCray, Chris King, Hashondra James, Brandon Wilson, Kalie James, Zaquayrius Lewis, Desmond Coley, and Jimmecha Carr. On Saturday, the group traveedl to Houston County High School in Warner Robins to perform in the state competition. The students are advised by Lisa Love, choral director Anthony Newsome, and art teacher Samantha Miller-Fields.

Morningside students win math competition

The fifth grade students at Morningside Elementary recently won first place in the Sumdog Math Competition. Morningside fifth graders competed against other elementary students throughout Southwest Georgia. The competition required students to log on to the Sumdog website where they completed interactive math games.

Shelia Dyson is the fifth grade math teacher at Morningside and was the contest sponsor. Two Morningside students, Labrina Phillips (2nd place) and Kalan Marshall (7th place,) placed in the top 10 of all students participating in the contest.

Albany High Band rates superior at festival

Late last month, the Albany High School Marchin’ Chiefs participated in the 16th annual Warner Robins Invitational Marching Festival. The Marchin’ Chiefs received Superior ratings in the categories of drum major, color guard and percussion. Drum majors Malcolm Danmola and Nasya Blackwell scored 190 points out of a possible 200, earning them third place in class AAA. The percussion section, led by AHS senior Twontavis Cuff, also placed third in class AAA. The Albany High School Marchin’ Chiefs are under the direction of Trevor Baxter.

Sherwood mentoring program receives grant

Jack and Jill of Albany recently obtained a grant in support of the Sherwood Acres Elementary School REAL Boys REAL Men Mentoring Program. The program matches male students who are identified to be in need of adult support for a variety of reasons, with mentors for academic success. CRCT results showed improvement for every subject area for members of the program this year. The grant of $5,000 will help fund student needs and special activities for the organization.

Dougherty High receives Sertoma donation

The Albany Downtown Sertoma Club donated $750 to Dougherty Comprehensive High School. The check was presented to 10th grade English teacher Christen Taylor who will use the donation to help further the educational needs of Dougherty High students through the purchase of resources and supplies.

The Sertoma Club’s commitment is “service to mankind,” and the club believes that there is no better service than supporting students.

Lincoln Magnet wins wellness initiative grant

Lincoln Elementary Magnet School assistant principal Patricia Green applied for and recently received a School Grant for Healthy Kids in the amount of $2,500. The grant’s focus is to increase physical activity for students. The Wellness Initiative, Action for Healthy Kids, works with schools to implement school wellness initiatives in the 2013-2014 school year. Action for Healthy Kids works to develop best-practice school wellness resource information, webinars, training, and toolkits. Multiple studies show that children who get regular physical activity experience improvement in both their fitness levels and brain function. Yet, half of U.S. students don’t receive physical education in an average week.

The funding recognizes the importance of physical activity in children’s health and helps to fill a gap in the national resources provided to schools for wellness initiatives. Andrea Sharpe is the Georgia state coordinator and contact liaison for the Wellness Initiative.

Lamar Reese students place 1st in ASU parade

Lamar Reese Magnet School of the Arts Cheerleaders and Tiniklers placed 1st in the walking entry division of Albany State University’s Homecoming Parade. Geraldine Winns, ASU athletic academic coordinator, presented the trophy to cheerleading coach Carmen Hicks and cheerleading sponsors Alpha Felton, Dawn Stanley, and Stephanie Harvey, along with Tinikling coaches Deon Lanier and Latasha Edwards. The combined squad consists of 100 dedicated Lamar Reese students. Lamar Reese principal Angela Shumate and assistant Principal Narkisa Howard hosted a victory celebration for the squads and coaches.

Monroe High SkillsUSA attends state rally

Monroe Comprehensive High School’s SkillsUSA members attended the 4th annual SkillsUSA Champions Rally at the Georgia National Fairgrounds recently. More than 80 SkillsUSA chapters from around the state joined together for a day of inspiration, competition and fun. Monroe placed in the top ten with their Career Pathways Poster. The top 10 entries in each category remained on display at the Fair and received cash prizes when the fair closed.

Monroe students who participated in the Rally were Jonathan Banks, Jasmine Blakely, Raven Boyd, Shambernique Fillmore, Charity Fuller, James Guest, Rashad Hall, Rashawn Hall, William Hunt, Crystian Jackson, Tatyana Jones, Daniqua Malone, Quamashae Riggins, Coveliski Stewart, Jordan Tyson, and Jalisia Wright.

SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and character development.Primary SkillsUSA advisor at Monroe High is Linda Jackson.

Sherwood Acres hosts parent orientation

The REAL Boys REAL Men Mentoring Program at Sherwood Acres Elementary School hosted its 3rd annual Parent Orientation Breakfast in the school’s cafeteria. The parents who attended received information on the varied events planned REAL Boys REAL Men for their sons to experience this school year.

Nedra Fortson of Jack and Jill of Albany spoke to the group about the $5,000 grant that the program received for the second consecutive year. Benny Hand represented the Gamma Omicron Lambda Education Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., which is a new partner to RBRM. Opening and closing remarks were delivered by principal Brent Fowler who is a supporter of the initiative. The program is run by founder and program coordinator Martez Favis and chairman Randal Thomas.

Sam’s Club honors Turner Elementary teachers

Sam’s Club recognized 20 Turner Elementary School teachers for their hard work and dedication on October 15. Local Sam’s Club manager, Cliff Townsend, presented each teacher with a rose, a balloon, and a $50 gift card to purchase supplementary materials for their classrooms.

Turner principal Debra Jones and assistant principal Jacque’ Walker expressed appreciation and gratitude for the continuing financial support Sam’s Club has shown to Turner Elementary School. “We say thank you for what you are doing to inspire teachers and students in our community,” said principal Jones.

The teachers who received awards from Sam’s are pictured above. Front row: KeVa Harris, Delores Boston-Brown, Nadria Smith, Lovonda Jolivette, LaTishia Snead, Bertha Molden, Amanda Wright, Catherine Lamar, and Sam’s Club manager Cliff Townsend. Back row: Kimberly Simmons, Norma Heath, Fatima Jackson, Susan Jefferson, Carlene Angry, Camellia Payton, Susan Lowery, Khadijah Ali, Cynthia Solomon, Beverly Sutton. Not pictured: Monica Lewis and Paul Griffin.

Author speaks to high school students

Michael Wenger, author of “My Black Family, My White Privilege,” led a discussion aimed at community racial healing at the Civic Center late last month. The activity was arranged by the Southwest Georgia Project. In addition to a community-wide forum, Wenger held a session with high school students from throughout the county mid-day. Communication between groups with obvious physical differences can create better understanding for the positions of others. The sessions provided some insight to how students or any members of society can be treated differently based on preconceived bias or expectation.

Skating Center Visits Morningside Students

On Oct. 4, Cheri Whitmire, manager, and Roller Roo (Kenny Harris) from Stardust Skating Center visited Morningside Elementary School to encourage the students to read. They offered skating incentives to the students for reading more books. The theme of the visit was “Reach for the Stars in AR” and the program was hosted by Morningside principal Dr. Ronald Lewis. He challenged the students to read at least 25 books to receive a reward from him as well. The faculty and staff performed the play “The Three Little Pigs” which was narrated by media specialist Rashay Traeye.

Northside Hosts ‘Doughnuts for Dads’

Northside Elementary School parent facilitator Jessica Jenkins and her team provided a “Doughnuts for Dads” experience for more than 50 fathers on Oct. 22. Bert Bacon, youth director at Greater Second Mt. Olive Baptist Church, spoke to the dads concerning “Their Job.” He encouraged them to remember to be present in the lives of their children, pay attention to their grades and behavior, and give them an example by which to live. The agenda also included a review of the new promotional requirements by Tracee Williams (EIP teacher) and Christopher Jones (4th grade teacher). School counselor Tyjuana Burton presented 10 tips on how to help children do well in school while Jenkins stressed the importance of reading, reading, and more reading. After the meeting, the dads had an opportunity to visit classrooms and attend the Scholastic Book Fair with their children.

Radium Middle Radium Middle receives donation from ASMC

The American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC)-Albany recently made a donation of paper products, hand sanitizer, and school supplies to the students at Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts. ASMC believes in giving back to their community and were excited about sharing with the students at Radium Middle. ASMC representatives presenting the donation included Kim Davis, John Christian, Nestor Fajota, and Ira Thompson. Pictured with student representatives are Radium principal Dr. Valerie Williams along with assistant principals Dr. Kimberly Thompson and Dr. Roderick Pollock.

Teaching garden started at Lake Park’

On Oct. 15 the students, staff, and parent volunteers at Lake Park Elementary School joined together to establish a teaching garden. The garden will serve a number of purposes including encouraging healthy eating and providing hands on lessons focusing on nutrition concepts and understanding where food comes from. The garden will provide students with positive experiences with vegetables along with hands-on practice in context to science, math, language, and social studies.

Volunteers who worked to create the garden included Mary Ann Plowden, Leaither Lowder, Graham Stacy, Kerra Paduano, Alison Snipes, Allie Wilson, Tajuannia Woods, Jay Carpenter, Tarcarra Hodge, and Joseph Thomas.

Career Day at Sherwood Acres Elementary

Approximately 50 community professionals visited Sherwood Acres Elementary School to share valuable information with the students on Oct. 23. Using the theme “Drugs Don’t Work in our Future,” counselor Margaret Hatcher organized the event so that all kindergarten through fifth grade students could rotate to a variety of speakers and learn more about different jobs. The event included guest speakers from law enforcement, media, agriculture, medicine, education, fire safety, auto industry, pet therapy, food service, hair care, counseling services, nursing, construction, mosquito control, and banking. The speakers represented Albany State University, Darton College, Home Depot, Southwest Georgia Project, PAWS Patrol, WALB, Goldstar EMS, Albany Fire Department, Albany Police Department, Albany Gang Task Force, Probation Officers, Toyota, Kia, National Peanut Research, USDA, Strive to Thrive, TWI Counseling, Prestige Pediatrics, Regions Bank, Phoebe Network of Trust, GHSA, Burger King, Open Arms, Inc., and Dougherty County Public Works. The event was sponsored in part by Publix. All staff and students enjoyed learning from these community members who took time out of their busy day to speak to them.

ASU recognizes readers at Radium Middle

Albany State University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) recently recognized students at Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts who met their Accelerated Reader goal for the first nine weeks. The SAAC developed the RAMS (Read and Achieve to Mature and Succeed) Reading Program as part of their mission to promote education.

ASU’s director of sports information and SACC advisor Stanley McCormick said,” the committee really wanted to celebrate reading. Reading is so important to the educational growth of young people, and we feel it is one of our responsibilities to make sure that students are reading as much as they can. This is our gift to the students of our county school system for doing an excellent job in reading.” Committee member Elontavius White presented students with certificates of achievement and spoke to them about the importance of goal setting and hard work. Pictured are White and Radium Middle students Roderick Pollock, India Aaron, and Markayla Hobbs.

Jackson Heights holds parent workshop

On Oct. 15, Jackson Heights Elementary School conducted a parent workshop on DCSS’ new web-based portal, Infinite Campus. The workshop was held in the computer lab with parent facilitator Valerie West as host and instructor. Parents were enthused about the new system and the access it provides to their children’s grades. They also enjoyed an overview of the teachers’ portal and were pleased to have enhanced options for connecting with their children’s performance. Many attendees expressed their appreciation for the system’s implementation of the user-friendly system.

International Studies holds reading workshop

Roslyn Berryhill, parent facilitator at International Studies Elementary Charter School, organized a reading workshop for parents on October 15. Parents heard from Kristin Williams, the school’s International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IBPYP) coordinator, about the importance of inquiry in the reading process. EIP teacher Debra Hollis spoke about the new reading requirements and the STAR assessments and Susanne McDonald, EIP teacher, gave parents strategies for working with their children at home. Anne Hewett, a retired educator, told the story What! Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story to demonstrate the fun that parents and children can have while reading at home. Ten parents received a book of their choice from the Title I Parent Resource Center.