Dougherty County School System Notebook

News and notes from around the Dougherty County School System

Monroe High band wins multiple awards at competition

The Monroe Comprehensive High School Band participated in the Viewer’s Choice Battle of the Bands at Six Flags over Georgia on May 3. The event featured seven high school marching bands from throughout the country. The bands were reviewed by three HBCU judges who critiqued them on musicality and musicianship. The bands’ auxiliary and dance lines were judged on the uniqueness and organization of their choreography. Monroe’s Golden Tornado Band’s performance earned it the Best Band Award for the second consecutive year, the Best Band Booster Award, and band director Jamar Smith received the Band Director of the Year Award.

Westover Students receive Microsoft Certification

A group of business and communications students at Westover Comprehensive High School recently received certification as Microsoft Office Specialists (MOS). Students are required to take the certification exam in Word and PowerPoint for their end of pathway assessment. The MOS certification proves that they have cutting edge skills for the workforce. Certification means that the students are familiar with and knowledgeable in the use at least 80 percent of the features and capabilities of the Word and PowerPoint applications. In addition to Word and PowerPoint certifications, Leeza Turney (pictured center) is also certified in Excel. She is the only student at Westover who has in three of the Office software applications. Alnita Williams, business and communications teacher at Westover, is also certified in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

4-H Summer Camp scholarships awarded

Each year, many boys and girls look forward to 4-H summer camp. Cloverleaf, Junior and Senior 4-H camps offer a week away from home, meeting new friends, and doing and experiencing new things. The Ramell Jackson and Anthony Jones Scholarship was started to assist 4-Hers to attend Summer Camp. The scholarship is open to all Dougherty County 5-12th grade students who must write a one-page essay on “What 4-H Means to Me.” The essays are judged and the top 3 awarded camp scholarships. Recipients of this year’s Ramell Jackson and Anthony Jones Scholarships are Haley Rich, Lincoln Elementary Magnet School (cloverleaf); Keidon Bryant, Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School (junior); and Lamancia Martin, Albany High School (senior).

Alice Coachman Elementary honors community volunteers

On May 6, Alice Coachman Elementary School honored more than 40 community volunteers with a program presented by the 2nd and 3rd grade students. The students sang “World’s Greatest” to the volunteers who were recognized and presented certificates. Eight of the volunteers received pins for having volunteered more than 100 hours. The certificates were presented by Alice Coachman principal Gail Solomon, assistant principal Carla Malone, and parent facilitator Pat Hall.

Lincoln Elementary recognized by American Heart Association

The American Heart Association Youth Market Vice-President, Kimberly Moore, and the Youth Market Director, Bridget Rex, stopped by Lincoln Elementary Magnet School on May 15 to thank the Lincoln faculty, staff, and students on behalf of the American Heart Association, Greater Southeast Affiliate, and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance for their continuous support in the Jump Rope for Heart program. This year, Lincoln Elementary raised $7,532.48 to help Americans who owe their lives to AHA funded research breakthroughs and their wide range of lifesaving activities. This made Lincoln the top contributor in Dougherty County.

Community leader Erica Savage speaks at Monroe banquet

On April 26, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter at Monroe Comprehensive High School held its annual end of the year banquet. The guest speaker for the event was Albany native and community leader Erica Savage. Savage is a graduate of the 2013 Aspiring Leadership Program held in Washington, DC, and was selected by her peers and faculty as the class speaker for the program’s graduation ceremony. Most recently, she was keynote speaker for the MLK Annual Dream Summit, Monroe High School’s 2013 FBLA Leadership Retreat, and Terrell County Schools’ 2013 Career Day.

Savage was also named one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Southwest Georgia. She spoke to the students about leadership and how to be self-motivated as a leader. She stressed to students the importance of continued learning throughout life. She ended by encouraging students to identify a mentor to keep them on the right path to success.

NFL Super Bowl champ visits Jackson Heights

Ricardo Lockette, an Albany native and graduate of Monroe Comprehensive High School and Fort Valley State University, stopped by Jackson Heights Elementary School on May 9. During his visit, he spoke with the students about character education and the importance of a quality education. Lockette explained the value of good character throughout life, not just on the playing field. He told the students how the advice of his high school coaches and teachers still keeps him focused as an adult.

Lockette took time for a group picture with Tiffany Lunsford’s third grade class and the students promised they would display good citizenship throughout life. He told them to “stay focused and always strive to do your best.” He also made appearances in several classrooms to say hello to students, posed for pictures, and signed autographs for staff members and parents. Lockette’s mother, Felita Lockette, and EIP teacher at Jackson Heights was surprised by his visit for Mother’s Day weekend. Lockette is a wide receiver for the current NFL Super Bowl Champions, the Seattle Seahawks. Earlier this year, the City of Albany and Dougherty County named March 22 “Ricardo Lockette Day.”

ESOL and Migrant Parent Outreach

On May 5, the English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Migrant Departments held their final parent outreach of the school year. The celebratory theme was focused on both Cinco de Mayo and highlights from the school year. Several community business partners were also recognized and celebrated. The three members of the Migrant Parent Advisory Council (PAC) were introduced to the attendees by Nancy Trujillo, Region 2 Migrant Education Program resource specialist with the Georgia Department of Education. Elections for the first ESOL parent committee were held and a mission statement was developed. Cultural Colombian dancing and Mexican food from Paco’s added to the evening’s festivities.