Dougherty County School System Notebook

A collection of notes and good news from around the Dougherty County School System

Dougherty County STAR students and teachers Announced

The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Dougherty County’s STAR students and teachers at the 54th Annual STAR Student-Teacher Luncheon on February 28. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce created the STAR program in 1959 to highlight the best in student achievement from across the state. Locally the Lions Club has also provided scholarship support and helped with program sponsorship. The state program is managed by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE).

Students are selected for the honor at the school level and advance through state competition based on SAT scores, class standing and student achievement characteristics. At the county luncheon, Chamber President Chris Hardy served as master of ceremonies for the event that culminated in the announcement of the county-wide STAR Student and Teacher winners. David Mosely, DCSS interim superintendent, brought congratulatory remarks to the honorees and guests. Dougherty County Board of Education member, Lane Price, shared the many benefits of her year as a selectee for the program during its initial year of existence.

Three students and their chosen teachers represented the Dougherty County School System. From Albany High, STAR student Tiauana Smith selected teacher Carolyn Taylor as her most significant influence in academic abilities; Dougherty High’s STAR student Chauntoria McCray selected Helen Koneri as her teacher; and Westover High STAR student Dillion Notz named Sisy Zachariah.

Westover senior places in online technology competition

The Georgia Educational Technology Fair (GaETF) is an annual student technology competition produced by the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium. Westover Comprehensive High School senior, Dillion Notz, is this year’s third place winner in the category of Technology Literacy Challenge (11, 12). This is the first time a Westover student has participated in the GaETF competition, the highest level of student technology competition in Georgia. Stephen Woolard is Dillion’s technology teacher at Westover.

DCSS celebrates Read Across America Day

On February 28, the Dougherty County School System celebrated the 17th annual Read Across America Day. Read Across America Day is held in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2 and celebrates the joys of reading. The goal is to show America’s students that reading is the key to success and to build a nation of readers - on March 2 and every day.

To honor Dr. Seuss, students at Live Oak Elementary School began the day with green eggs and ham served in their school cafeteria. Many schools recognized the day with a variety of activities such as book fairs, face painting, door decorating contests, drawings for prizes, bookmarks, and participation in “Read the Most from Coast to Coast,” a nationwide event to break the record for the most Accelerated Reader (AR) quizzes taken in a day. Dougherty County School System students took a total of 6,533 AR quizzes. Nationally, 4,987,949 quizzes were taken on that day which broke last year’s record.

Schools invited guest readers from the community to celebrate the fun and value of reading with their students. Volunteer readers included family members, community leaders, civic clubs, local churches, retired educators, and representatives from AB&T Bank, Albany Police Department, Albany State University, Books -A-Million, Darton College, DOCO Credit Union, Dougherty County School System, First Baptist Church, Gillionville Baptist Church, Kiwanis, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Mars, Mt. Zion Church, Porterfield United Methodist Church, Salvation Army, Sheriff’s Department, WALB, and WFXL. Early childhood education students at Monroe Comprehensive High School, who are dually enrolled at Albany Technical College, celebrated Read Across America Day by reading to students at Lippitt Drive Head Start.

Local Medal of Honor Recipient speaks to Monroe students

Marine Corpsman Henry L. Jackson, a graduate of Monroe Comprehensive High School, visited his alma mater on February 20 to be honored by the faculty, staff, and students at their Black History Program. Jackson shared vivid recollections of his experiences at Montford Point, N.C. and proudly displayed his Congressional Medal of Honor.

In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt established a presidential directive giving African Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the Marine Corps. These African Americans, from all states, were not sent to the traditional boot camps of Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California. Instead, African American Marines were segregated, experiencing basic training at Montford Point, a facility at Camp Lejeune, N.C., which Jackson recalls as being “little more than a hacked-away part of forest in a corner of Camp Lejeune.” Approximately twenty thousand (20,000) African American Marines received basic training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949.

The U. S. House of Representatives has awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal to Jackson and his fellow African American Marines for their service to America. During the program, Corpsman Henry L. Jackson received a certificate of recognition that will be permanently displayed in the MCHS trophy case.

Habitat for Humanity gets help from Sherwood Acres

Junior Beta Club and Student Council members from Sherwood Acres Elementary School spent the day on February 27 learning on the worksite of Habitat for Humanity. The students raised funds to that were used to donate lunch and snacks to the college students who traveled to Albany to work on Habitat houses for the annual Collegiate Challenge. David Wilson, volunteer coordinator for Habitat, guided the Sherwood students on tours of houses and answered questions about how families acquire homes through their program.

Sixty-five college students from St. Francis Xavier University of Nova Scotia, Canada, and University of Maryland-Baltimore traveled many miles to donate their time to help the community. The college students helped Sherwood students build their own birdhouses and played games with them as they showed them what it is like to give back as a volunteer. This is an annual event planned by Sherwood counselor Margaret Hatcher to help students understand the power of volunteerism and the need for decent housing in our community.

MLK Elementary students observe Black History Month

On February 21, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School presented a program in celebration of Black History Month. The school’s program committee joined forces with its Partner-in-Excellence, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, to entertain and enlighten the audience of students and parents. Mt. Zion’s senior pastor Daniel Simmons was the guest speaker. He encouraged students to learn to read, become writers, and be history makers. Betty Frazier, church member and retired librarian from Albany State University, displayed her collection of books by and about African Americans. She also shared some antiquated items with the students and told them how hard times were “back in the day.” The program was coordinated by teachers Jocylin James and Mary Dunnum along with other committee members.

Monroe education Students learn about community resources

On February 19, students enrolled in early childhood education classes at Monroe Comprehensive High School participated in the Southwest Georgia Council Community Agency Fair. During the fair, students met representatives one-on-one to learn about services provided by local agencies and businesses. The SWGA Council is a federally funded child development program that provides comprehensive services to low-income children and their families in an 18 county service area. Dr. Keyla Johnson is early childhood education instructor at Monroe High.

Sherwood Acres Black History 2014 Program

Sherwood Acres Elementary School celebrated Black History Month on February 28 by paying tribute to the contributions made by black Greek letter organizations in our community. “Unsung Heroes: The History and Legacy of Black Fraternities and Sororities,” is the title of the production written and directed by Martez Favis, Sherwood’s Teacher Of The Year and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The idea was originally proposed by Favis’ first grade teacher, now colleague, Carrie Kirkland, who is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The show was hosted by Olympia Danford, fifth grade reading teacher and member of Delta Sigma Theta. Many collegiate fraternity and sorority members from Albany State University volunteered their time to work with Sherwood students in preparation for the event.

Eight groups participated including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. Many special guests were in attendance including former superintendent Dr. John Culbreath, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. The event ended with a performance by the Sherwood Pantherettes Dance Team and a performance by the faculty fraternity and sorority members. Two faculty members were recognized for their service to the community through their organizations. They are Bobby Hand, Sr. (Alpha Phi Alpha) and Veronica Reese (Delta Sigma Theta).

WBL and WIA students participate in job shadowing at MCLB

Students from Albany High and Monroe Comprehensive High Schools’ work-based learning (WBL) program, along with Albany Early College’s workforce investment (WIA) students. had an opportunity to shadow employees at the Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base on February 19. The students have been researching options in their chosen career pathways and the job shadowing provided real life exposure to their selected fields. At MCLB, the students received a tour of the departments and were introduced to co-workers.

Students participating in the activity from Albany Early College were Tasia Garrett (dentistry), Kewana Jackson and Rokira Lewis (health/medical clinic), Breelin Breedlove (marketing), and Arthur Fuller (metal working). Participants from Albany High School were Jasmine Hicks, Sa’shun Johnson, Heavenly Stephens, and Zoye Thomas (business), Tony Downs (fire services), Javier Coley, Uniqua Miller, and Dominique Moseley (health/medical clinic), and Brittany Hall (law). Those representing Monroe Comprehensive High School were Jasmine Blakely, James Guest, and Chavi Simmons (business), Calveasha Hawkins and Shakuria Henderson (criminal justice), Akheema Miller (computer information systems), Heavenly Tyson (dental clinic), Brea Whitaker (law), Terel Lewis, Keundra Wilson, and Lamayah Wimberly (marketing), Tinesha Brown, Terriyanna Davis, Brittany Hobbs, Tiara Jones, and Shania Lofton (nursing), and Tyshira Price (sociology).

Pamela Green-Jackson planned and scheduled the students with Marine Base employees and Anthony Wade acted as escort. Work-based learning coordinators Carene Talley and Linda Jackson chaperoned the students.