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Butch Mosely remembered for his 'heart of an educator'
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CLIMAX — The educational “family” throughout the state is mourning the loss of one of its own with the weekend passing of David “Butch” Mosely, a man with more than a half-decade of experience in the field.

No less a luminary than state Schools Superintendent Richard Woods paid tribute to Mosely by declaring, “Public education in Georgia has lost a giant. Dr. Butch Mosely had over 40 years of educational experience at all levels, but even beyond that experience, he brought insight and integrity to everything he did. Dr. Mosely was grounded in common sense, his core was rural Georgia, and he always had the heart of an educator. He leaves behind an unmatched legacy.”

But the loss is as much personal as it is professional for Dougherty County School System Superintendent Ken Dyer, who declared Tuesday he and Mosely “grew to be close personal friends” over the course of their tenure working with the local school system.

“Butch Mosely had a tremendous impact on me,” Dyer said as he prepared for a business trip to Atlanta. “I learned a lot from him about the ‘school business,’ as he called it. He certainly had a lasting impact on our school system, but his legacy is not just about Dougherty County. He served as superintendent of seven different school systems.

“I believe he was selected by all of those different systems because of the leader he was. He was well-thought-of, well-respected, and had a huge impact on education throughout the state.”

When he died Friday at age 80, Mosely was a member of the state Board of Education, representing District 2, having been appointed to the position by Gov. Brian Kemp.

When Mosely came to Dougherty County, originally on an interim basis that became full-time when the Dougherty School Board decided he was the man they needed to right the system’s foundering ship of state, the system was recovering from a standardized test cheating scandal. And DCSS’s graduation rate was hovering around 60% at the time, a number that quickly rebounded under policies imposed by Mosely.

“He came when the system was reeling,” Dyer, who was working in the system’s accounting department when Mosely arrived, said. “He took a bold, active approach but was still sensitive to the needs of the people the system served. That was him; he led through service.

“He provided me personally with a lot of opportunities to learn, and what I didn’t realize at the time was that he was preparing me for this position ... without me knowing it. When he decided to step down (for health reasons), he recommended me for the superintendent’s position without my knowledge. When I asked him about it, he said, ‘I knew you would have said no, and I didn’t feel like arguing. Because I was going to recommend you anyway.’ That was Butch.”

Dyer said he’d called Mosely to tell him that the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy — an institution Mosely championed during his tenure — had been named the state’s top college and career academy. It was then Mosely’s wife of 54 years, June Cox Mosely, told Dyer she had “decided to bring Butch home” from the hospital after his health took a turn for the worse.

“I knew what that meant,” Dyer said. “I believe he heard and understood what I told him about the 4C Academy, though.”

The current DCSS superintendent said his friend and mentor left big shoes to fill.

“Butch was one of those people who had a large impact everywhere he went,” Dyer said. “The thing about him is that, while he took the job very seriously, he never took himself seriously. He took the time to have fun along the way.

“He is leaving a void that’s going to be hard to fill. Like a lot of people, I can say I’m a better person for having known him.”

In addition to his wife, Mosely is survived by two children: Sylena Wiggins and John David Mosely. A memorial service will be held for Mosely at Shady Grove Farm at 11 a.m. Saturday with the Rev. Lynn Hurley officiating.

Employees credited with companies' success
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ALBANY — With more than 2,000 employees, whose duties range from keeping school campuses clean to teaching algebra and coaching young athletes, the Dougherty County School System is a large employer with an important mission by any stretch of the imagination.

In a recent Best Place to Work contest hosted by The Albany Herald, the school system was named tops in categories that included best overall place to work, best benefits program, best boss and best overall leadership in the large company category.

The “boss,” Schools Superintendent Ken Dyer, said it was a group effort across the board — from the Dougherty County School Board to the teams at individual schools — that makes the organization run smoothly.

“I’m very pleased that the Dougherty County School System was recognized as the best big employer in the area,” he said. “We’ve been very active in creating a positive environment for our employees.

“To be recognized as the best employer overall is a testament to our staff and senior leadership and support staff.”

Health and wellness programs, including helping the system’s employees deal with stress during COVID-19, are some initiatives that the superintendent says he thinks stand out.

During the pandemic, the Dougherty School Board has shown its concern for employees’ health by approving $1,000 bonuses for employees who get fully vaccinated. And Dyer and his staff have initiated safety protocols that include a wide range of protective measures from air filters in classrooms to a face mask requirement to initiating COVID testing on school campuses.

“Our goal is to make the Dougherty County School System a destination for the best employees in the state of Georgia, and we set out on that effort every day,” Dyer said. “There are a wide range of employee benefit offerings that help employees realize just how important they are.”

The superintendent attributed his success as a boss to his seven “bosses” on the School Board and the system’s leadership team.

“None of these things we are doing would be possible without our board,” he said. “Our board members recognize our employees are important for a successful school system. I have an amazing team that supports me. It’s not one person doing this; it’s a group doing this.”

Natalie Dixon, CEO of Concrete Enterprises/Express Disposal, also gave credit to that company’s employees. Concrete Enterprises was named runner-up in the category of best to work for overall.

“We’re grateful to have top-notch team members that enjoy coming to work every day,” Dixon said. “They are the secret to our success, so in reality, this award is a reflection to them and their dedication to creating an excellent and fun place to work.”

Lee County gets new creek level gauges
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LEESBURG — Two new creek level gauges were installed last week by the United States Geological Survey on the Kinchafoonee Creek at the Century Road Bridge and on Muckalee Creek at the Forrester Parkway Bridge. These gauges were previously approved by the Lee County Board of Commissioners in August of this year.

The two new gauges can be accessed on the web by typing the following in your browser: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=tae&gage=kccg1 for the Kinchafoonee and https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=tae&gage=mufg1 for the Muckalee.

The gauges measure real-time flow, creek levels, and rainfall in the area. The data are then transmitted from USGS to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) – the National Weather Service’s online Advanced Hydrologic Predictive Service. In the next few days, the NWS also will add the flood level parameters for action, minor and major flood events from the new gauge readings and correlations with existing gauges along the waterways.

These new gauges are upgraded versions of the existing gauges in Lee County on the Kinchafoonee Creek at Pinewood Road and on the Muckalee Creek at Georgia Highway 195. The county signed a three-year contract with the USGS for the placement, monitoring, and maintenance of these gauges at a cost of approximately $7,100 per year, per each gauge.

The new gauges are downstream of the existing gauges and are much nearer the creek population centers in southern Lee County. The Forrester gauge is 12.66 creek miles downstream from the Georgia 195 gauge, and the Century gauge is 13.04 creek miles downstream from the Pinewood gauge.

Having two additional monitoring stations on the creeks will allow Emergency Management, Lee County citizens, and others to have additional knowledge of what the water will do during major storm events such as the one that occurred in March 2020. Per Deputy Emergency Management Agency Director Nikkie Celinsky, “Lee County EMA looks forward to be able to better serve the citizens of Lee County during high water situations.”

Although Lee County residents and businesses near the creek will most benefit from these additional sets of data, citizens in northern Dougherty County along the creeks and lakes also will be able to use these predictions to better understand potential flooding in these areas.

Marla Edmonds and her husband, Ryan, have property on the water in both Lee County and Dougherty County and fully understand the importance of have accurate information in case of flood potential.

“We appreciate having another set of gauges to look at to predict possible flood events,” Marla Edmonds said. “There are so many variables that can alter the flow, so the more data we have from these gauges, the better we can prepare.”

Maka W., Lee County Primary School