More than 2,400 Dougherty County School System teachers, administrators and support staff gathered at Darton State College Friday during the system’s annual back-to-school general meeting. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)
Dougherty County Back-to-School system meeting
Othellious Cato, a literary competition champion in public speaking, talks about the importance of a great teacher in a student's life Friday at the annual back-to-school general meeting of teachers, administrators and other personnel in the Dougherty County School System. About 2,400 system employees attended the meeting at Cavalier Arena on the darton State College campus.
ALBANY — Darton State College’s parking lot was filled with yellow school buses Friday as every teacher, administrator support staff member of the Dougherty County School gathered at Cavalier Arena for the system’s annual back-to-school general meeting.
Inside the arena, a crowd of more than 2,400 people, many decked out in their respective school colors, heard Superintendent Butch Mosely’s charge to the troops before the 2014-15 school year begins on Monday.
Mosely, hoping to keep the momentum going from the 2013-14 school year, pressed hard on four main issues.
“We want to continue to improve academic achievement,” Mosely said. “If we do that then that will take care of the second issue, which is seeing our test scores improve. We want to also continue to improve our work force and start keeping closer tabs on teacher attendance — especially on Mondays and Fridays.
“Finally I want you to know we had 365 students drop out last year, 185 in the ninth grade alone. This is unacceptable, we have to keep these kids because if we don’t, everybody loses. I assure you we are working very hard on this problem.”
Prior to Mosely’s speech, Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard took a moment to laud the teachers in attendance.
“As a former educator, teacher and student I want to thank you teachers for all the hard work you do,” Hubbard said. “I want to encourage you to care about our children and be strict with them. As a child, I had teachers I hated, some I hated so much I wanted to kill them. Those are the teachers that later I learned to appreciate the most.
“You hold the keys to success for our children, and I am asking you to help every child learn.”
DCSS Teacher of the Year, Lincoln Elementary’s Jennifer Lewis-Polite, reminded the crowd of their importance.
“A teacher is a gift, a profound gift to our children,” Lewis-Polite said. “Teaching is a service that is honorable. We can change circumstances and influence young lives. We want our children to thrive, let’s help them do it.”