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Education Notebook 10/18 - PUBLIC SCHOOL NEWS

October 18, 2009 -  (Albany Herald) Joe White, who was installed this summer as president of the Georgia School Boards Association, will be honored from 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. today with a community reception at Mitchell County High School in Camilla.

White is also chairman of the Mitchell County School Board.

"That Mr. White is a product of the Mitchell County School System and a native of Camilla, makes his achievement extra special," said Mayor Mary Jo Haywood, a co-chair for the recognition committee.


Monroe Comprehensive High School's Accelerated Reader Program recently incorporated a blend of "The No Child Left Behind" - 25 Book Campaign and a customized AR program beyond what was required for regular course work. The students in ninth-12th grades were challenged to read and pass the AR quizzes for at least six AR books, or read three AR books and the equivalency of three books such as newspaper articles, magazines, chapters from books or Web pages.

Twenty-six students achieved the goal. The two top readers were Kendra Primus and Alison Francis. They both read eight AR books and passed the AR quizzes for those books. The AR program also received support from the MCHS Class of 1969.

- Westover Comprehensive High's Curtis Luckey was named a semifinalist for the National Achievement Scholarship Program recently.

- Georgia was one of 15 states to show marked improvement in eighth-grade mathematics on the National Assessment of Education Progress. It is the first national results that show the impact of Georgia's new mathematics curriculum, according to the Georgia Department of Education. Nearly all the grade 8 students who took the NAEP last school year had been taught using the Georgia Performance Standards in mathematics for three years.

Individual school system scores are not available for the test.

"NAEP results are not individualized," said Matt Cardoza, Georgia Department of Education's communications director. "They are a sampling basically of kids throughout the state so we don't actually know what kids took it by district."

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is a test given to a representative sampling of students from each state across the nation. The test is scored on a scale from 0 to 500 and is also broken down into four scoring categories: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced.

- South Georgia Regional Achievement Center social studies teacher Bill Lightle's second book has been released this month by Mill City Press of Minneapolis, Minn. "Mill Daddy: The Life & Times of Roy Davis" is love story and tribute to Roy Davis' spirit that carried him and his family through sharecropping, the Great Depression and the hard life in a Georgia cotton mill, according to a news release.

The book also details the humorous adventures that the author and his friends had working under Davis at Albany's Flint River Cotton Mill in the 1970s. Lightle has taught in area schools for 21 years. His first book was published in 2004 and is titled "Made or Broken: Football and Survival in the Georgia Woods. Both books are available at

- Georgia Southwestern State University students recently were recognized for receiving scholarships for the 2009-10 academic year.

Leesburg's Melinda Vansant, a freshman accounting major, received the Wheatley Academic Scholarship. Albany's Nkechi Ubah, a senior nursing major, received the J. Emory Rylander Scholarship. Albany's Nikki Jackson, a junior nursing major, received the Rylander Scholarship.

Leesburg's Nate Gahman, a freshman, received a the Pryor Scholarship. Leary's Jason Dean, a sophomore nursing major, received the John and Betty Pope Fellowship, and the Wheatley Academic Scholarship. Albany's Katelyn Ison, a senior psychology major, received the Frances Wood Wilson Scholarship.

- Albany's Anna Ogonji, Jim Rhodes, Rachel Robinson and Tammy Ryan were recently named to Moultrie Technical College's summer President's List. The full-time students achieved the recognition for having no academic grades below a "B" with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale through the July 8-Sept. 17 term.

Ashburn's Kanon Brooks, Julian Burdett, Kimberly Gamble, Letaria Gamble, Latoya Hall, Ozzie Hampton, Montresa Mack, Shaquita Pitts, Carol Sidaway, Tomicka Summerlin, Monica Tukes and Angela Tumbling also made the list. Leesburg's Linda Bailey, Poulan's Calvin Oliver and Sylvester's Marc Boyd, William Campbell, David Denton, Herbert Denton, Anna Haire, William Hamilton, Mary Lane, Shermille Leonard, Brandy Marcotte, Katresa McClinton, Robert Powell, Amanda Price, Sabrina Smith, Patricia Thurmond and Elizabeth Willis also earned the recognition.

- Albany State University recently had a faculty/staff Iron Chef competition during its homecoming week. Reginald Christian, entree; Dedra Harvey, beverage; Cheryl Jones, dessert; Rosalyn Jones, appetizer; and Jane Mitchell-Hale, bread; and Beverly Robinson, vegetable, were the category winners.


- Merry Acres Middle School held its first Math Family Fun Night recently. It was a night of fun and fellowship centered on mathematics, said Merry Acres' Tracy Stolze. Parents, teachers and students participated in various activities including "Are You Smarter Than a 6th Grader?", "How VersaTile Are You in Mathematics?", Math Bingo, Math Relay, Math Scavenger Hunt, Giant Probability Dice and math-related art activities.

- The DCSS Gifted Education Department is offering the Senior Gifted Internship Program during the 2009-10 school year. This program provides gifted-identified seniors an opportunity to shadow a professional in their field of interest. Students work at an assigned location for two class periods each day and gain valuable work experience and knowledge of their chosen field. The interns also receive high school credit.

Several DCSS students are working in the emergency room, radiology department and out-patient physical therapy at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. One student is working at Albany Technical College in public relations and event planning. Albany Advocacy Resource Center offers two assignments; one assisting in a group home for mentally-challenged adults and one working with the after-school program for autistic elementary students. Another student intern is working with the pharmacists at U-Save-It Pharmacies.

Merry Acres Middle School gifted-education teacher Gina Phillips is the program's coordinator.

- Artwork from all 16 of Dougherty County School System elementary schools are part of a new exhibit at the recently opened Northwest Library. The library is located at 2507 Dawson Road and is open Monday-Saturday. Students artwork is also currently on display at the downtown DCSS Administration Building, Central Library and Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.

- Albany High students in Victoria Green's class recently had a mock Federal Reserve meeting in the school's media center. It was an extension of the class' trip to the Sixth District Federal Reserve Branch in Atlanta in September. The students simulated board members who were professionals in many industries (automobile, entertainment, real estate, etc.). They brought relevant and real time statistics and trends for the industries they represented and then used the information to vote on whether to increase, decrease or do nothing to interest rates, just as the real board does.

"They did an excellent job and I even dressed in black and white service attire to serve them coffee (hot chocolate) and water," Green said.

- Albany State University's campus will be open to community children of all ages for the 3rd annual Ram Raid from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. The Department of Housing and Residence Life sponsors the event annually as a safer alternative to the traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating practice. Setup time for tables and decorations will start at 4 p.m.


As a community service, Bainbridge College Continuing Education Division will offer the free course "The Game of Real Life" for middle and high school students from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Monday in Room 416 of the Continuing Education Center on campus. Parents are encouraged to attend as well.

Interested persons should pre-register for the free course so that there will be sufficient supplies. Call the BC Continuing Education Division at (229) 248-2517.

The hope for the course is that participants will be inspired to "play the game of real life" with precision and gusto to ensure a life of real quality, said instructor Gean Hendrix, director of BC Business and Industry Services. "Generally there are two road blocks that affect how well you play the game," he said. "They are a lack of basic skills and poor work ethics."


- A new survey conducted for the Afterschool Alliance found an increase in participation in afterschool programs by Georgia youth over the last five years, along with high satisfaction rates among their parents. The percentage of Georgia children in afterschool programs increased to 17 percent, up from 16 percent in 2004.

But the new study also revealed that 25 percent of the state's schoolchildren are on their own in the afternoons, and another 15 percent are in the care of their brothers or sisters. In addition, the parents of 32 percent of children not already in afterschool say they would enroll their kids in a program if one were available.


Georgia's first professional golf management program will begin at Georgia Southwestern State University next fall.

"The popularity of golf is increasing rapidly in countries around the world," said GSW President Kendall Blanchard. "As a result, opportunities for golf professionals are increasing. Golfing is an important part of Georgia's history and its economy. Our new PGM program can be viewed as an important part of that legacy and an element of our curriculum that gives the university a special distinction among the many universities in the state."

The program has been in the works for more than five years. Georgia Southwestern hired Shaun Murie as program director in 2007. The PGM program is housed in the internationally accredited GSW School of Business Administration. Its graduates will earn a BBA in management with a concentration in professional golf management.

- Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue took a close look at the new Front of Campus Project during a recent visit to Tifton's Abraham Baldwin College.

Perdue was on campus for a meeting and took time to talk with ABAC President David Bridges about the renovation project involving Tift Hall, the oldest building on the ABAC campus.

Greenline Architecture has already produced preliminary plans for the renovation of Tift Hall, and J.T. Turner Construction has fenced off the entire area. The Georgia Legislature approved $6 million toward the project through a bond sale.

"We will start with Tift Hall," Bridges said. "We'll be seeking the funding for Lewis and Herring during the upcoming legislative session."


With the largest number of participants to date, the Bainbridge College Canoe and Kayak Club set out for Spring Creek on a hot but beautiful morning to enjoy the sights along the water.

Club sponsors, Eric Dueno and David Sarrette, led the group of 12 on the club's second adventure of the semester. They will lead another trek Oct. 30 with the destination of Silver Lake. The Sept. 25 trip rivaled the beauty of scenery and animals that were seen during the August trip on the Wakulla River in Florida. The inaugural adventure for the semester was declared by Sarrette as one of the best.

"After putting in we came across a family of manatees lying on the bottom of the 4-foot deep crystal clear water," he said. "None of the students had ever seen this endangered species. They were all amazed."

Students who went to Spring Creek were Caleb Adkins, Shendora Butler, Tory Cannon, Bobby Grubbs, Doug Harris, Melissa Heard, LePlacia Herring, Richard Lawrence, Herman Peterson, John Provence, Emily Ray and Elaine Smith.

Education Notebook submissions should be typed, concise and e-mailed to; faxed to (229) 888-9357, Attn. Ethan/Education Notebook; or dropped by our office at 126 N. Washington St.

By, Ethan Fowler

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