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Dougherty County School System Notebook - Nov. 20, 2013

Westover Athletic Director Harley Calhoun wins region athletic director of the year

Westover Athletic Director Harley Calhoun has been named Region Athletic Director of the Year for Region 1-AAAA.

Westover Athletic Director Harley Calhoun has been named Region Athletic Director of the Year for Region 1-AAAA.

Westover’s Calhoun Named Region AD of the Year Harley Calhoun

Harley Calhoun, athletic director at Westover Comprehensive High School, has been named Region 1-AAAA Athletic Director of the Year for the second consecutive year with the Westover Athletic Department winning the Region 1-AAAA All-Sports Championship for the seventh consecutive year. Calhoun also coaches the cross country and track and field teams at Westover. Both boys and girls cross country teams placed 1st in the Region 1-AAAA Championships on October 31.

Westover Cross Country Teams Win Region 1-AAAA Championships

The Westover Comprehensive High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams won their respective Region 1-AAAA championships on October 31. The region competition was held at Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School. The championship ranking for the Westover Girls Cross Country Team marks their 9th consecutive region championship. The girls finished in the following places to lead Westover to the championship: Caitlin Cainion, 2nd; Kateria Taylor, 5th; Shakyra Horton, 7th; Kaitlyn Forehand, 10th; Chiarra Palazzolo, 12th; and Elizabeth Brown, 14th. Janie Plowden is the region individual champion marking the 5th consecutive year that a Westover runner has claimed the individual title.

Westover Boys Cross Country Team won their third title in four years for the boys team. Individual placement leading Westover to the championship included Jack Plowden, 2nd; Tyler Sheffel, 3rd; Quenterrious Ousley, 5th; Robert Peacock, 6th; Demetris McCray, 11th; Martin Jones, 12th; and Lyman Chen, 25th.

Region 1-AAAA includes Cairo, Crisp, Worth, Albany High, Dougherty High, Monroe High, and Westover High. Harley Calhoun coaches both the boys and girls cross country teams at Westover High.

West Town Teacher Receives Georgia Power Grant

Daniel Wilson, first-year teacher at West Town Elementary School, received a Georgia Power New Teacher Assistance Grant at a recent board meeting. Wilson is a recent graduate of Albany State University and was nominated by instructors for having graduated in the top 25 percent of his class and for showing aptitude for teaching while in college. The grants in the amount of $1,000 are payable to the school with funds earmarked for classroom or instructional support resources by the recipient. Jay Smith, Georgia Power area manager, presented the check to Wilson with his ASU nominators and principal in attendance.

Westover Students Chosen for GMEA All State

Westover Comprehensive High School students Allyn Jones, Justin Benard, and Jessie Tyson have been selected to participate in the Georgia Music Educators Association’s (GMEA) All State Chorus. This year’s All State event will be held at the University of Georgia Classic Center in Athens, Feb. 20-22. The Georgia Music Educators Association is one of 51 state affiliates of the National Association for Music Education. GMEA was founded in 1938 and has been active in music education in Georgia continuously since that time. Selina Bentley is chorus director at Westover High.

Westover Chorus Receives Superior Ratings

The Westover Comprehensive High School Choral Department recently participated in the Cultural Arts Center Fall Choral Festival in Dothan, Ala. They were among 35 schools from Alabama, Georgia, and Florida who participated in the festival. Both the Concert Choir and Unique Harmony received overall superior ratings, marking nine consecutive years that Westover has received this honor. The choir is under the direction of Selina Bentley, assisted by student teacher Deese Brown.

Red Ribbon Week Observed Throughout DCSS

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program reaching millions of Americans during the last week of October every year. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pledge to live a drug-free life and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enriqué “Kiki” Camarena. Special Agent Camarena was an 11-year veteran of the DEA who, in 1985, was on the trail of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. In February of that year, he was kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered by drug traffickers. His death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs and the international scope of the drug trade.

Westover DECA Students Recognized at Leadership Conference

Eight Westover Comprehensive High School students were recognized at the 2013 DECA Fall Leadership Development Conference in Atlanta on October 24 for scoring 90 percent or above on the Statesman Award Test. The Statesman Award recognizes state officers, local officers, local members, and advisors who have mastered basic DECA information and facts. Students who scored 90 percent or higher earned the Statesman Award and will receive a lapel pin and certificate. Successful students were Hope Brown, Zari Fleming, Kiandre Gaines, Carleah Lewis, Shemiyah Johnson, Tiara Robinson, Brandi Smith, and Kameron Wallace. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools around the world. Rasheda Haines is the DECA advisor at Westover.

Dougherty High Students Observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Career and Technical Instruction (CTI) Program and the Exceptional Students Program (ESP) at Dougherty Comprehensive High School observed Breast Cancer Awareness Month by inviting the entire school to show support and wear pink every Tuesday during October. Darton State College Cheerleader Jada’ Anthony guided the students in planning and organizing the month-long activities as a community service project. Highlights of the celebration include a pink ribbon display, distribution of pink bubble gum to everyone wearing pink each Tuesday, and the release of 25 pink balloons to commemorate the event’s 25th year. DCHS teacher and breast cancer survivor, Mary Perron, shared with students the story of her fight and answered questions about the disease. She explained the meaning of the different shades of pink; dark pink represents a survivor and light pink represents a supporter. DCHS CTI coordinator is Tracy Canty and the participating ESP teacher is Carla Rey.

Lake Park Students Support “Make a Difference Day”

Lake Park Elementary School student council members gave up a part of their Saturday morning on October 26 to participate in the Make a Difference Day event held at Second Harvest Food Bank. The students, along with their family members and student council sponsors, worked together to pack 200 boxes of food that will provide 2,000 meals for people in our community. Overall, the volunteers at the morning’s event packed 2,000 boxes and sorted through hundreds of donated items that will help feed those in need. Lake Park student council members learned the value of teamwork and how giving just a little bit of your time can make a huge difference in the lives of others. Student council sponsors are Patrice Mitchell, Pat Buchanan, and Susan Summerall.

Retired Deputy Superintendent Gives Back to Students Carlos Keith volunteers at ACE

Carlos Keith, retired DCSS deputy superintendent, is beginning his third year tutoring students at Alice Coachman Elementary School. When asked why he spends time tutoring kindergarten and first grade students, the veteran middle and high school English and Language Arts teacher said, “I want to give back. I’ve got the time and I enjoy it.” Keith, who also spent time as a principal and assistant principal before assuming the deputy superintendent’s duties, believes reading is so important that he makes time every week to help students struggling to become readers.

In addition to tutoring at Alice Coachman, he is president of Albany Kiwanis. In that role, he actively volunteers in the Meals on Wheels and Keep Albany Beautiful programs. Albany Kiwanis is also part of a large international project to eliminate neonatal tetanus by vaccinating expectant mothers.

Mr. Keith is also a member of the DOCO Federal Credit Union Supervisory Committee. He stays physically fit and has participated in the Peachtree Road Race for the past three years. He has two grown children who are successful in their careers. His son, a graduate of West Point, is an Army Major. His daughter, a Brenau University graduate, works in Marietta with executives seeking to advance their careers.

K.A.D.B. Visits International Studies Elementary

Laverne Levins from Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful (K.A.D.B.) spoke to the third grade students at International Studies Elementary Charter School on November 6. Levins impressed on the students the importance of recycling and reducing the amount of waste taken to the landfill. She also provided a diagram of a landfill and explained what it looks like and the process of properly disposing of waste. Students in the third grade had recently concluded a unit in science in which they identified ways to protect the environment, focusing on the conservation of resources as well as recycling. Levins provided each student with a wrist band that serves as a reminder to recycle. K.A.D.B. is a joint venture between the Albany City Council and the Dougherty County Commission.

Monroe High Senior Class “Makes a Difference”

Monroe Comprehensive High School’s senior class participated on October 26 in the national “Make a Difference Day.” More than 80 students braved the cold and volunteered their Saturday morning to prepare boxes of food for families in need at Albany’s Second Harvest Food Bank. The community support and volunteer activity showed students just one of many ways they can “make a difference” in their own community.

Bullying Workshop Conducted at MLK Elementary

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School partnered with the Albany State University Police Department on October 25 to conduct a workshop entitled “Bullying and Academics.” Kenisha Baker, school counselor, and Lt. Anita Allen, ASU Police Department, shared with parents about what bullying looks like, the signs to look for academically to determine whether a child is being bullied, the consequences, and what parents can do to stop bullying. They also informed parents about negative behaviors they should avoid in order to not send the wrong message to their children. Parent coordinator Vicki Sproul organized the event.

Merry Acres Presents Infinite Campus Parent Workshop MAMS parent workshop

On November 1, Merry Acres Middle School kicked off Parent Engagement Month with a Lunch ‘n Learn Infinite Campus barbecue. The speaker was IT application support coordinator Mary Barkley who provided information to parents on the Infinite Campus application and how to successfully navigate through the new system. Parent facilitator Latarsha McGowan shared the importance of communicating and relationship building between parents and teachers to promote better student success. Many parents volunteered their time to help set-up and organize this successful and informative gathering. The event was sponsored by the Southwest Georgia Viper Unit Motorcycle Club and Another Level Motorcycle Club.

Westover’s 9th Grade Academy Students Visit ASU

Biology students and Science Club members from Westover Comprehensive High School’s ninth grade Academy of Medical Arts attended the Albany State University Research Symposium on October 24. Students had an opportunity to interact with a panel of professors about research questions. After the morning session, the students attended two interactive labs which included topics in Biotechnology and Chemistry. Biology teachers Shanica Poole and Angela Wiley sponsored the visit.

ASU Cheerleaders Present Certificates to Robert Cross Students

On Nov. 1, Albany State University cheerleaders representing the ASU Student Athlete Advisory Committee presented Certificates of Reading Achievement to 196 6th and 7th grade Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School students who reached their reading goals for the first nine weeks.

ISECS Conducts Math Workshop for Parents

Roslyn Berryhill, parent facilitator at International Studies Elementary Charter School, organized a mathematics workshop for parents on October 29. The workshop, entitled “Math Matters,” was conducted by John I. Davis, III, ISECS’ assistant head of school. He reviewed the changes to mathematics as a result of the adoption of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. He also covered changes in terminology and how math procedures are taught across the grade levels. Parents even took a timed multiplication test so they could experience the same type of assessment as their children take.

DCSS Title I Office Holds Parent Forum

On October 29, the Dougherty County School System Title I Office and on-site parent facilitators hosted the October parent meeting with the theme “Parent Engagement and How it Impacts Academic Achievement in Dougherty County.” Panel speakers included Angela Shumate (principal, Lamar Reese Magnet School of the Arts); Eddie Johnson (principal, Albany Middle School); Horace Bentley (assistant principal, Monroe Comprehensive High School); Troy Conley (chief, DCSS Police); Cassandra Sampson (curriculum supervisor); Bert Bacon (parent and athletic director, Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church); and Melva Simmons (parent facilitator, Radium Middle Magnet School of the Arts). The welcome and purpose was presented by Trasontra Williams (parent facilitator, Lamar Reese Magnet School of the Arts), with Rev. Rance Pettibone (member, State Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council) serving as facilitator. Panel members shared information and provided an opportunity for parents to ask specific questions related to curriculum and instruction, reading strategies, school expectations, and school safety. Dinner was served and sponsored by the members of the 2nd Bethesda Baptist Church.

During the forum, Roslyn Berryhill (parent facilitator at International Studies Elementary Charter School) was presented with the “Greatest Number of Parent Participation” Award for the number of parents from ISECS that attended the forum. Berryhill shared her belief that “parents play the most important role in the academic success of their children; therefore, it is important that they are informed and involved in learning ways to support their students’ achievements in the home.”