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Dougherty County School System Education Notebook

Notes, names and news from around the DCSS

Albany High students selected for district honor band

Twenty-three Albany High school band students participated in the District II Honor Band on Feb. 22 in Norman Park. Selection for the honor band was based on an audition process. The students rehearsed Friday evening and Saturday morning before performing in the afternoon. Albany High students selected for the district honor band are Emanuel Anderson, Emily Beale, Alexandria Crosley, Malcolm Danmola, Alexander Dawson, Nubia Griffin, Jermaine Hall, Ayana Harpe, Jonathan Idlett, Elliot Medlock, Kayla O’Neal, Alphonso Patterson, Darius Phillips, Danielle Phillips, Tiara Powell, Dontorius Robinson, Ronald Walker, Cierra Walton, Zakendria Washington, Javaughn Zackery, and Staci Zackery. The Albany High Band is under the direction of Trevor Baxter.

State Superintendent Barge names Advanced Placement Honor Schools

On Feb. 25, Georgia State Superintendent of Schools John Barge released the names of 462 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools. There were five different categories in which schools could receive awards. Westover Comprehensive High School received accolades in three of the five categories - AP STEM School, AP STEM Achievement School, and AP Access and Support School.

Westover principal William Chunn made the following statement concerning Westover’s recognition as one of the state’s Advance Placement Honor Schools, “To receive recognition in three categories is an honor for Westover as these classes are administered by the College Board. We are extremely proud of our AP students and our AP teachers. The preparation our teachers put into AP classes helps prepare our students for post-secondary education providing college credit while still enrolled in high school. It is our mission to get more teachers AP certified and more students enrolled in AP classes.”

Monroe High students place in SkillsUSA competition

Members of Monroe Comprehensive High School’s SkillsUSA attended the region competition on February 7 in Moultrie. The SkillsUSA competition provides students with an opportunity to test their skills, make job contacts, and gain recognition at the region, state, and national levels. Winners receive medallions and state and national winners may also be eligible for scholarships, tools, and other awards. First and second place regional winners will advance to state competition. The following students placed at region:

— 1st place, Opening and Closing Ceremonies: Charity Fuller, Jasmine Rogers, Chartasia Singleton, Anthony Shead, Andrew McDowell, Jonathan Banks, Jasmine Blakely

— 1st place, Prepared Speech: Rashawn Hall

— 1st place, Job Interview: James Guest

— 1st place, Computer Repair: Rashad Hall

— 1st place, Automotive Refinishing: Felton Hicks

— 2nd place, Job Skills Demonstration: Torrey Wright

— 3rd place, Quiz Bowl: Arthur Loud, Quashame Riggins, Tatyana Jones, William Hunt, Raven Boyd, Colveliski Stewart, Jordan Tyson

Linda Jackson is SkillsUSA advisor at Monroe High.

Westover student to attend National Student Leadership Conference

Westover Comprehensive High School student Serenity McDuffie has been invited to represent her school at the 2014 National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC). Serenity’s chosen areas of study will be forensic science and technology, and political science. The forensic science program will offer an opportunity to unravel a mystery as they conduct an investigation and build a body of evidence. The students will work within a team to solve a challenging murder case. Cutting-edge techniques, including fingerprint and DNA analysis, will be studied in this summer program. Students will meet leading forensic scientists from the FBI, Department of Justice and other law enforcement organizations.

At the National Student Leadership Conference on Political Action and Public Policy, students will immerse themselves in the inner workings of the U.S. Congress and the American political system. Program participants will visit government institutions including the State Department, the Pentagon, and Capitol Hill and will meet with leading government officials and political analysts.

Education leadership meeting for collaborative improvements

The presidents of the three public, post-secondary education institutions in Albany and the Dougherty County School System interim superintendent met twice last week to forward the discussion in search of collaborative efforts that improve teaching and learning at every level in the community. David C. Mosely (Dougherty County School System), Anthony Parker (Albany Technical College), Arthur Dunning (Albany State University), and Paul Jones (Darton State College) met on Wednesday and Thursday for conversation and planning and then shared their thoughts on the position of public education and the vision for improvement with community leaders from business, government, non-profit, and faith-based organizations on Friday morning. Those in attendance expressed hope that the discussions will be a catalyst for positive change for Albany.

Albany Women’s Club welcomes Mosely

David Mosely, interim superintendent, was a guest at the Albany Women’s Club February luncheon meeting last week. He was the speaker for the month’s topical theme — education. Mosely shared many of the advancements the system is making in building trust with state and federal officials and being more accountable to the community for “doing the right thing.”

He revealed that the system is now in good financial order and is receiving federal funding that was withheld last year for improper spending. He also shared new initiatives that have taken root in his leadership like the early intervention to see that all students are performing on grade level by third grade and the current effort to rebuild technology infrastructure and provide one-to-one computing to every student next school year.

Alice Coachman Elementary celebrates Arbor Day

Alice Coachman Elementary School celebrated Arbor Day on Feb. 21 with Kay Kirkman, a scientist at the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center and the author of two books about the native trees of Georgia. Mayor Dorothy Hubbard introduced Kirkman who spoke about the importance of trees.

June Davis, a second grade science teacher introduced Judy Bowles, the Executive Director of Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful. Members of the Chehaw Daughters of the American Revolution presented a check to Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful to help pay for the Caliper Live Oak tree that was planted in front of the school.

Quail Albany President Visits ISECS

Bill Bowles, president of Quail Albany and former Quail Unlimited CEO, spoke to the fourth grade students at International Studies Elementary Charter School last week. Bowles talked about quail, their natural habitat, and the connection quail have to the community. Students in fourth grade became interested in quail when a teacher brought in a newspaper article about the decrease in the quail population. A small group of students began researching the significance of the quail population in the Albany area and have decided to write a book. Bowles is interested in continuing a relationship with the students and involving them in some aspect of the next Quail Albany conservation event.

Valdosta State presents “Eventually, Ever After” at Radium Middle

On Feb. 21, the fine arts students at Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts enjoyed a presentation of “Eventually, Ever After” by Valdosta State University’s Theatre and Dance Programs.

“Eventually, Ever After”, written, directed, and choreographed by Sarah Wildes Arnett, is a creative and entertaining play based on well-known characters from popular fairy tales.

Coming to life were Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, the Mad Hatter, and many more familiar characters telling tales and dancing to familiar story lines with a modern day spin. The dance styles included ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. The show’s message to young people was that being on time and keeping promises are important.

Career Day activities at Morningside Elementary

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question that sometimes baffles young people. In order to guide students in exploring answers to that question, Morningside Elementary School held its annual Career Day on Feb. 21. Students in grades 3-5 dressed for the day to represent the career they want to have when they grow up. Approximately 30 community representatives from various careers attended the event. They talked to students and shared information related to their professions while students asked questions and viewed materials used in the various occupations. The career day was hosted by school counselor Lynell Hubbard.

Dougherty High students learn about career opportunities

Dougherty Comprehensive High School recently celebrated National Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) week with the theme “CTE: Celebrates Superheroes.” During the week, career consultants from many local organizations visited the school to provide career information to students.

Local and statewide organizations that were represented included Michelle Williams, Cathy Garmon, Richard Parker, Chinelo Ochie, Kenny Rogers, Don Laye, Vielene Jones, and Jill Mash of Albany Technical College; Barbara Whaley, Marine Corps; True 2 You Style; Sebon Burns, Albany Fire Department; Kimberly Hitch, Health Care Professions; Michele Fenn, Devaki Gordon, and Antonie Jones, Albany Probation; Maurice Rouse, Scuts Salon Belle; Sondra Hudson, Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency; Commodore Conyers and Charlie Frazier, Savannah State University; Jason Hillhouse and Donell Mathis, Public Works; Kathy Samuel, Albany State University; and Professor Nat Goss, Andrew College.

Other activities for the week included participation in the Alice Coachman Elementary School Career Fair, CTSO officer breakfast and installation ceremony, career fair, career assembly, and the job interview competition.

Crowd enjoys “Let it Shine” performance at Lamar Reese Magnet

A large crowd of community and family members, friends, and partners-in-excellence enjoyed Lamar Reese Magnet School of the Arts’ 1st graders performing “Let It Shine” on Feb. 27. The performance, presented in conjunction with Black History Month, included traditional songs such as “Get on Board,” “If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus.” “Welcome Table,” “O Freedom,” “Calypso Freedom,” “Hold On,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and the grand finale audience participation song “We Shall Overcome.” Students from each art genre department honored and paid tribute to famous African American singers, dancers, artists, actors, and humanitarians. The costumed production was presented as the culmination of the students’ study of Black History and as a celebration for the school and community. Also in attendance were students from Monroe Comprehensive High School’s early childhood program.

Robert Cross students present drug awareness forum

On Feb. 5, Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School eighth grade students presented the school’s first ever student-led alcohol and drug awareness forum. Leaders from local law enforcement units were invited to participate in the forum during which they answered questions concerning alcohol and drug use by teens. Community panel members were County Sheriff Kevin Sproul, State Judge Victoria Darrisaw, Dougherty Colunty Police Chief Jackie Battle, and Dougherty County School System Police Chief Troy Conley. Students leading the forum were Janai Poullard, moderator, Cameron Hill, Timothy Allen, Marlaisha Belloso, Alaysia Wilson, Conner Neal, Olivia Charles, and Amir Roundtree.

Darton Students visit Sherwood for Dental Health Month

Students in grades K-3 at Sherwood Acres Elementary School got a lesson in dental health from Darton State College students on February 25. The Darton Dental Hygiene students presented lessons on ways to keep teeth healthy and healthy snacks to eat. The students enjoyed the interactive games and information as they learned the importance of taking care of their teeth.

Former students speak at Westover for CTAE Week

Several Westover Comprehensive High School graduates visited their former high school to speak to students during CTAE week. The alumni speakers were Marcus Humphries, Kierra Tompkins, Dexter Luke, Milton Brownlee, and Donte Cathcart. The students were asked to speak about how hard work while in school pays off. All of the graduates are currently enrolled in higher education and working while attending school. The gave inspirational speeches pertaining to their careers and accomplishments since completely high school. Current juniors and seniors at Westover attended the event.

CTAE prepares Georgia’s future workforce and industries to compete in the global marketplace. The purpose of CTAE is to equip these students with the fundamental academic, technical, and leadership skills they will need to be successful. Through partnership between education and industry, the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education curriculum provides students with a solid foundation for their further education and future careers. Marie King, High School High Tech teacher, and Kimberly Preyer, CTAE teacher at Westover High, coordinated the program.

Westover culinary students help in setting world record

Culinary arts students from Westover Comprehensive High School joined forces with more than 2,000 other Georgia high school students on February 7 to secure a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as they created the world’s largest Pecan Praline. The 531-pound creation beat the previous record of 441 pounds and required more than 100 pounds of pecans, 371 pounds of sugar, and 32 pounds of butter.

The Guinness Book of World Records attempt was just one of the activities held at the 10th annual Hospitality Education of Georgia Career Expo in Atlanta. The one-day Hospitality Expo offers high school students from around the state an opportunity to explore career options by visiting more than 100 exhibitors featuring culinary demonstrations, post-secondary culinary arts and hospitality college programs, and a ever-expanding variety of career options at colleges and universities in addition to roundtable discussions with industry leaders.

Tactical medics share knowledge with Monroe students

Tactical medics Phillip Jackson and Brandon Brown spent a school day recently with Monroe Comprehensive High School’s law and justice students explaining trauma care functions such as needle chest decompressions, suturing, splinting, advanced airway management and medical administration. Tactical medics are experts in saving lives and possess extensive knowledge in special operations and civilian tactical team support.

Jackson and Brown are members of the Dougherty County Metro SWAT Team and Dougherty County EMS where they serve as paramedics. During the day, students had many opportunities to ask questions and view equipment used by the medics while seeing a non-traditional profession encompassing both law enforcement and medical skill sets. Richard Williams is the law and justice instructor at Monroe High School.

Albany Tech instructor speaks to Westover CTAE students

Lynn Miller, a certified police officer and instructor at Albany Technical College, spoke to Westover Comprehensive High School Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) students during CTAE month. Students enrolled in nutrition and food science and students in legal environment were encouraged to be responsible in their use of social media. They also learned about the importance of keeping a clean criminal record as they pursue their career goals. The students enjoyed interesting hand-on activities while discussing various career options. Pictured is an activity demonstrating how to take fingerprints. Courtney Hillery is instructor of legal environment and Lorraine Montague is instructor of nutrition and food science at Westover High School.

Dougherty High FBLA celebrates FBLA-PBL Week

The Dougherty Comprehensive High School FBLA-PBL chapter celebrated FBLA-PBL Week Feb. 9-14. The theme for the week was “FBLA DCHS: Excellence in Action.” Among the many activities during the week was a presentation by Cynthia Bennett, Albany State University School of Business. The focus of Bennett’s presentation was learning and leadership. FBLA members also participated in the Alice Coachman Elementary School’s career fair, a scavenger hunt, Adviser Appreciation Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, and Professional Dress Day activities.

The final activity of the week was a business luncheon with Michele Coney from MARS Chocolate USA as the guest speaker. Coney’s presentation introduced students to the business aspects of MARS Chocolate USA. The members received awards, door prizes, and Valentines’ candy bags, compliments of MARS Chocolate USA. The luncheon was provided by Curtis Lewis, FBLA supporter, Dorothy Lewis, Dougherty High FBLA advisor.

CCPLC holds meet and greet luncheon with CAB

On February 14, the College and Career Performance Learning Center (CCPLC) held its first Caring Adults in the Building (CAB) meet and greet luncheon. CABs serve as advisors and mentors to CCPLC students. The role of the CAB is to provide direction and support on the academic, social, and personal level. This process supports students’ attendance and creates a school culture that is conducive for learning. During the, CABs interacted with their assigned students in small groups over lunch. The students shared their thoughts on the overall CCPLC program and made suggestions related to positive improvement for students and the building.

Radium Middle holds parent communication training

Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts parent facilitator Melva Simmons, along with parent volunteers Dr. Lula Harper and Kristi Hodge, provided a training session on Feb. 20. The workshop entitled “Communicating with Parents” encompassed one of the state’s parent involvement standards to help schools build parent participation. The workshop provided information on communication barriers for parents, five keys to communication, styles of communication, and many other tips to assist in school-to-parent communication.