Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clayton State School of Graduate Studies Holding Open House June 10

The Clayton State University School of Graduate Studies will be holding its next monthly informational Open House on Tuesday, June 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in room 201 of the University’s Harry S. Downs Center.

The Open House will give prospective graduate students a chance to learn more about the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Business Administration, Master of Health Administration, and Master of Science in Nursing. The Clayton State School of Graduate Studies regularly holds open houses on the second Tuesday evening of each month.

The University is now accepting applications for all four of its graduate programs. Go to http://graduate.clayton.edu or call the School of Graduate Studies at (678) 466-4113. For directions to campus, go to http://conted.clayton.edu/directions.html.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bob Barr Comments on California Home Schooling Case

The right of parents to home school their children is under attack in California, warns Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. A state appellate court is preparing to hear oral arguments in a case in which the trial judge ruled that parents had no constitutional right to home school their children.

Education is a state and local issue, notes Barr, but “even more so it is a parental responsibility.” For good reason, he explains,“more than 80 years ago the Supreme Court upheld the right of parents to determine their children’s schooling, calling it an essential liberty under the 14th Amendment.”

He urged the California courts to look to that case, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, in which the Court stated that “the child is not the mere creature of the state.” If the courts fail in their duty to protect the parents’ constitutional right to educate their children, he adds, then the California legislature and governor have a responsibility to act.

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and actively advocating American citizens’ right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

Fulbright Scholarships Awarded

Georgia Tech students received national scholarships for their academic prowess. Daniel Shorr, Halley Espy and Thomas Earnest all received 2008 Fulbright Scholarships.

Named after Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Scholarship was established in 1946 as a vehicle for promoting “mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world”. Fulbright grants are made to United States citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

Since the Fulbright Scholarship program was established, the program has had almost 280,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to exchange ideas and to contribute to finding solutions to shared issues.

Shorr, a psychology major is preparing a senior thesis about pictorial warning symbols. He plans to continue this study in a cross-culture context during his Fulbright experience. He participated in summer intensive language study programs in Japan the past two summers.

“Being awarded a Fulbright Fellow grant to Japan is incredibly affirming as to the feasibility of achieving my loftiest goals,” said Shorr. “The award is tantamount to telling me that a dream of mine – a life of academic research – is entirely within my reach. Moreover, I see Fulbright as the perfect link between my undergraduate and graduate schooling; the experience of conducting research in Japan will undoubtedly aid me in the future when I plan to collaborate with Japanese colleagues on empirically investigating other psychological questions.”

Espy, an international affairs major, plans on going to Germany to study international energy security policy as part of her Fulbright Scholar experience. Espy has conducted previous research on economic and security cooperation between France and Germany and she participated in a program at the Freie Universitaet in Berlin during the summer of 2005.

“Receiving the Fulbright Scholarship is a tremendous honor for me, and I only hope to live up to the international focus and accomplishments of those who have received the grant before me,” said Espy. “I am so excited about the opportunities in the upcoming year and to step outside of my comfort zone to experience another culture.”

Thomas D. Earnest, a 2007 graduate of Georgia Tech, has just received a 2008-2009 Fulbright award for research in Tunisia. Thomas majored in international affairs and spent the last few months studying Arabic with the American Research Center and the International Language Institute in Egypt. Thomas is currently working on Capitol Hill for Congressman Phil Gingrey and is living in Washington, DC.

Thomas plans research at the Center for Maghrib Studies in Tunis on the high levels of urban migration in Tunisia and the economic development challenges presented by this population shift.

“I am extremely honored and humbled by having been awarded the Fulbright grant,” said Earnest. “I consider it a great privilege to be given the opportunity to represent our institution and our great country as a citizen ambassador as I am living and studying abroad. While the true breadth of this honor will not be fully realized until I have completed the grant period, it is an honor to be giving the ability to directly pursue my research interests in international economic development.”

Register Online for Graduation Test Summer Administration and Remediation Classes

Students who failed the previous administration of the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) will have an opportunity to retake the test this summer.

The test will be given July 14-17 at McIntosh High for students who took the previous administration while enrolled in the Fayette County School System. Exam dates for each subject are as follows: July 14, math; July 15, social studies; July 16, language arts; July 16, writing and July 17, science.

Students must register online at www.fcboe.org by June 27 in order to participate in testing. Late registrations will not be accepted. Guidance departments at each high school can assist students with the registration process through May 23.

Remediation classes are available at McIntosh High June 9-July 3, Monday-Thursday. The cost for materials is $15 per class; students may not register for more than two classes. Register online at www.fcboe.org. See the website for class times and additional test prep information.

For questions or more information, contact Julie Turner (test information), 770-460-3990, ext. 114 or Sharon Boyer (remediation classes), 770-460-3990, ext. 118.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Georgia Students Receive Degrees at Xavier University of Louisiana

A total of thirty-two Georgia students received degrees during Xavier University of Louisiana’s 81st annual commencement ceremony, which was held Saturday (May 10) at the Kiefer Lakefront Arena in New Orleans.

Broadcaster, author, advocate and philanthropist Tavis Smiley delivered the keynote address at the Commencement ceremony. Archbishop Alfred Hughes gave the invocation and benediction.

Seven students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages headed this year’s group of 38 summa cum laude graduates, including Fahamina Ahmed of Metairie, LA (Pharm.D), Jaime Crawley of Houston, TX (Pharm.D), Breyanna Grays of Grand Blanc, MI (BS in biology/premed), Heba Hossenally of Jefferson, LA (PharmD), Erica Stevens of Mobile, AL (BS, biology/premed), Katura Thomas of Allentown, PA (Pharm.D) and Thao-Nguyen Tran of Marrero, LA (BA in Spanish and BS in biology/premed).

A list of all Georgia students earning degrees (listed by city and degree) follows:

Alpharetta, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Dominique N Lynch

Atlanta, GA: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science:
Brandon Lusane Dawkins, magna cum laude

Bachelor of Arts:
Christina Nicole Ellington

Bachelor of Science:
Heather Ashley Brightharp
Chari Renee Gary, summa cum laude
Mornisha C Terrell
Brandon J E Williams, cum laude

College Park, GA: Doctor of Pharmacy
Kareema Denise Sullivan

Decatur, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Alishia Shanae Bankhead
Ayeshia Tranae Bankhead
Carol Coleman
Raymond Harrison IV
Brittani A Leach-Beale

Doctor of Pharmacy
Kwame Kenyatta Haven

East Point , GA: Bachelor of Science:
Tiereny C Bell

Ellenwood, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Terry Gene Richardson II , cum laude

Fairburn , GA: Bachelor of Science:
Juton Renee' Winston

Fayetteville, GA: Bachelor of Arts:
Jena M Perriatt

Bachelor of Science:
Lindsey N Holloman, magna cum laude
Tiffany M Norris

Doctor of Pharmacy:
Crystal Monique Calloway, summa cum laude

Hephzibah, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Victoria Ann Ngozi Anyanwu

Hinesville, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Garrett Douglas Anderson, summa cum laude

Lithonia, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Elijah Fennell III
Shannon Patrice Franklin

Lizella, GA: Doctor of Pharmacy:
Kelly Yarnell Moran

Marietta, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Jewel Emefa Constance

Powder Springs, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Christian Oscar Davillier

Riverdale, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Ashley Tee Ellerbe, magna cum laude

Stone Mountain, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Renita Annette Clark

Tyrone, GA: Doctor of Pharmacy
Samuel L Young II, cum laude

Union City, GA: Bachelor of Science:
Erica Lisa Cagan

Georgia Southern University offers Advanced Placement Summer Institute for High School Teachers

New and beginning teachers of Advanced Placement (AP) high school courses are invited to Savannah in mid-July for professional development training in any of four topics: U.S. History, World History, English Language and Composition, and Human Geography.

Running Monday, July 14 through Thursday, July 17, the AP Summer Institute, sponsored by the Continuing Education Center at Georgia Southern University, will provide AP course content, teaching strategies, and program ideas and issues. All classes will be taught by College Board-approved consultants.

The College Board is approved as an authorized Continuing Education Unit (CEU) provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), an internationally recognized organization for standards and authorization for continuing education and training. Three CEUs are available through IACET for participants who attend all 30 hours of the AP Summer Institute and successfully complete the scheduled activities.

In addition, participants who hold a valid Georgia Teaching Certificate are eligible for three Professional Learning Unit (PLU) credit hours, providing they attend all 30 hours of the AP Summer Institute and successfully complete the scheduled activities. PLU credit is used by employees of Georgia public school systems who currently hold certificates in an approved field (certified teachers, school counselors, administrators, etc.) as credit toward renewing their existing certificates.

Room blocks for the nights of July 13, 14, 15, and 16, 2008 have been reserved at two hotels. Reservations must be made no later than June 13, 2008 for participants to qualify for the discounted room rates.

Each class runs daily from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm Street. Lunch is included in the course fee.

A deposit of $100 is required with each AP Summer Institute registration. The balance of $389 is due by July 7, 2008. Space in the class is limited so preference on the waiting list will be given to students who have paid the registration in full prior to the July 7 deadline.

For more information or to register, call (912) 681-5551 or visit the Web at http://ceps.georgiasouthern.edu/conted/APinstitute.html

Gordon College Dean’s List Announced

The following students from Fayette County were named to the spring semester Dean’s List at Gordon College. In order to be named to the Dean’s List a student must be in good standing with a semester grade point average of 3.50 or higher for 12 or more semester hours of course work.

John Castaneda, Christopher Cofer, Katherine Dodd, Lauren Foster, Christie Jackson, Jessica Rossi, Kristen Clower, Caroline Creel, Thomas Daniel, Emily Flores, Lawanda Green, Nathaniel Knowles, Juliann Long, Ashley Mixon, Vanessa Pettyjohn, Katherine Rickles, Thomas Ringler-Lantzy. Olivia Russell, Daljinder Sahney, Lauren Whitener, Victoria Williams, Trevor Wright, Karen Adams, Tiffany Beining, Allison Brown, Ryan Cornell, Taylor Gillen, Aron Hall, Lauren Hughes, Kelsey MacGinnis, Daniel Ruy, Angela Wilder, Kathryn Ferrill, Jessica Turner, Glen Pitner.

The following students from Fayette County were named to the spring semester Dean’s Merit List at Gordon College. In order to be named to the Dean’s Merit List a student must be in good standing with a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher for 10 or 11 semester hours of course work.

Holly Adams, Megan Demeter, William Ames, Whitney Whitlock.

12 Area Students Awarded Scholarships by the Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia

Twelve high school and college students were awarded scholarships from the Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia in an awards banquet recently held at Fayetteville First Baptist Church.

Vice President of Bank of America and Former NFL and University of Georgia football player, Eric Zeier gave a motivational speech to the assembled students, parents and building professionals. In a theme titled “Turning the Pages to the Next Chapters of Life”, Eric gave the students three key areas to work on as they move into the future; Be willing to get out of your comfort zone, Don’t let challenges become excuses and Be passionate about what you do.

Six of the twelve students received the Jerry Ballard Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to students in post-secondary education who are taking courses in a building industry related fields. Given in memory of past HBA president, Jerry Ballard who died in 2005, the recipients included three students attending Griffin Tech, John H. Battle, Jr., Brandon Bennett and Eddie James Pope. The three other recipients were Joseph Babb who attends Shorter College, Errin Barnett who has been participating in the CEC Pre-Engineering and Engineering Drawing classes and Austin McKinney currently attending Auburn University.

“I plan on starting my own HVAC company back home in Henry County,” said Brandon Bennett who is enrolled in the Air Conditioning Technology program at Griffin Tech “This scholarship money will buy the tools that I will need to get started.”

Six high school seniors also received scholarships from the HBA of Midwest Georgia including two from Coweta County, three from Fayette County and one from Pike County. Recipient Brittany Koranda is graduating from East Coweta High School and plans on attending West Georgia University studying Business Administration. Kres Betsill is graduating from Northgate High School and also plans on attending West Georgia University studying Sound Design. John Hamilton Cox III will graduate from McIntosh High School attending Louisiana State University with a major in History. Kaitlin Wilson is graduating from Starr’s Mill High School and plans on majoring in Psychology. Brittany Enterkin is graduating from Whitewater High School and plans on attending Berry College. Matthew Crawford will graduate from Pike County High School and will study Physical Therapy.

The HBA of Midwest Georgia scholarship program began in 1984. In an effort to give back to the community, the original program awarded scholarships to local graduating high school seniors. Since then, 235 scholarships totaling $294,160 have been awarded. That total includes nine scholarships given in memory of past president Jerry Ballard. In addition, $660 was awarded in 2007 to two high school seniors at Heard County High School to take summer school classes allowing them to graduate that year.

The Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia serves over 700 businesses in the building industry in Fayette, Coweta, Spalding, Meriwether, Heard, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Butts and Jasper Counties. For information about the association, call Executive Officer Sandy Boda at 770-716-7109.

Clayton State’s Youth University Orientation Set For May 29

Clayton State University’s Division of Continuing Education popular Youth University program has scheduled an orientation session for Thursday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the University’s Jonesboro facility at 9157 Tara Blvd.

The orientation session will be for both parents and students who have registered for either of the two upcoming Youth University sessions. Also invited are any parents and students who have not yet registered, but are interested in attending Youth University. The deadline for registration for this year’s Youth University is one week later, Thursday, June 3.

An exciting alternative to traditional summer day camp, the 2008 Youth University will consist of two camp sessions, each three weeks in length and held at the newly-renovated location on Tara Boulevard.

Youth University hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday with extended morning and evening care available at an additional fee. The two sessions will run from June 9 to June 27 and from July 7 to July 25. Both will be staffed by qualified teachers and counselors with backgrounds in education, recreation, writing, the arts and athletics. The registration fee is $399 per session.

This year’s Youth University will offer two new theme-based curricula covering the traditional academic components of Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Math, with a creative bonus in music and dance, drama, and art design. These innovative programs offer students ages seven to 11 a unique learning experience designed to challenge them both academically and creatively to broaden their knowledge of different cultures and experiences.

Session One, from June 9 to June 27, will allow campers to join Mowgli, Bagheera, and a host of jungle creatures for a fun-filled learning adventure. Daily classes will focus on themes from The Jungle Book. Campers will learn the location of jungles around the world; jungle animals, their habitat, and the food chain of survival; and the culture and history of India. They’ll also prepare for an end-of-session theatrical production of Disney’ Jungle Book Kids.

Session Two, from July 7 to July 25 will see students be introduced to pioneers, explorers, Native Americans, and a host of historical figures as they study the great American West. The camp’s comprehensive academic curriculum will cover U.S. Geography, Spanish and French discovery and settling of the American West, the Gold Rush, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett and other historical pioneers. The end-of-session theatrical production will be of the Wild, Wild West.

For more information, or to register for Youth University, call (678) 466-5050 or go to http://conted.clayton.edu.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Last Chance to Sign Up for Summer School, Fayette County

Middle and high students who did not participate in early summer school registration can still sign up for classes.

This year’s summer session is being held at J.C. Booth Middle for middle school students and McIntosh High for high school students. Summer school dates are June 3-July 9.

Regular registration for the middle school summer program will be May 29, 30 and June 2 at J.C. Booth from 8 a.m.-noon; registration the high school summer program will take place on June 2 at McIntosh from 9-11 a.m.

All classes meet Monday-Thursday (no classes on Fridays). Students must provide their own transportation to and from classes. Visit www.fcboe.org for information on fees, tuition and class schedule.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Georgia Southern University Army ROTC Awards More than $100,000 in College Scholarships to Richmond Hill High School Seniors

Georgia Southern University’s Army ROTC program presented more than $100,000 in college scholarships to three Richmond Hill High School seniors during an awards day held at the school.

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel William Roberts, the Scholarship and Enrollment Officer for Georgia Southern University’s ROTC program, presented three scholarships valued at up to $36,000 during the four-year period to Sophia Navedo, Keisha Green and Brittany Smith. The scholarships may be applied towards tuition or room and board. The scholarships also include a stipend and a yearly book allowance for each of the students.

The Georgia Southern University Army ROTC offered more than 30 scholarships to freshman who will begin classes this Fall semester.

Braelinn Artists Winners in Kiwanis Art Competition


Two Braelinn artists won recognitions in the recent Kiwanis Art Competition. McKenzie Lehman, 4th grade, won a first place finish. Delaney Frank, fifth grade, won a fourth place ribbon. According to Mrs. Pegues, Braelinn Elementary art teacher, students “compete with artists of their grade level within Fayette County.” Congratulations, girls!
-----
www.fayettefrontpage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Volunteers Needed to Participate in Evaluating Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program

The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy in collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina is looking for 130 adults who work with children and youth from schools, faith-based organizations or youth-serving organizations to help evaluate “Stewards of Children,” a child sexual abuse prevention training program for adults. This could include anyone who works with children in a variety of capacities including youth groups and little league sports teams. This 3-year, multi-site, federally-funded study will determine the effectiveness of the instructor-led and online versions of the training program.

Participants should live or work within I-285 and be between the ages of 18-65. The study will take anywhere from 1 to 3 ½ hours, and CEU credits are available. Participants will receive the actual training and materials at no cost. Compensation is provided to participants. To learn more about how to participate, call Nedra Manners, Study Site Coordinator for GCCA, at 770-942-2391 or email her at nedra.manners@innerharbour.net.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Five Graduates Named Byrd Scholars

A graduating senior from each of Fayette’s high schools has been selected to receive the nation’s only federally funded scholarship.

Amy Evans, Fayette County High; Courtney Simmonds, McIntosh High; Jaimie Little, Sandy Creek High; Kevin Harrell, Starr’s Mill High and Alyson Pigford, Whitewater High has been selected as 2008 Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholars.

The Byrd scholarship program is the only federally funded merit based scholarship program for college undergraduates. The program's purpose is to recognize outstanding academic achievement among high school seniors who show promise of continued excellence in postsecondary education.

Byrd Scholars receive a $1,500 yearly stipend, for a maximum of $6,000 over four years, to pay for college expenses.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Webcasts to Allow Deployed Parents to Watch Graduations

GE Note: While we don't know if any schools in GA have picked up on this, we think it's a great idea.

Hundreds of troops deployed from Europe will be able to see their children's high school graduation ceremonies via live webcasts, Department of Defense Dependents Schools Europe officials announced.

DoDDS Europe, U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army 5th Signal Command have combined assets, talents and technologies to enable the live webcasts. The effort will allow at least 18 graduation ceremonies to be viewed by an estimated 211 deployed parents in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations around the world.

The first graduation ceremony will be webcast June 5; 10 graduation ceremonies will take place simultaneously on June 6; and the last ceremony will be webcast June 13. Schools identified as having students with deployed parents are:

-- June 5: Hanau and Bamberg, Germany;

-- June 6: Naples, Italy; Heidelberg, Hohenfels, Kaiserslautern, Ansbach, Baumholder, Ramstein and Vilsek, Germany; Lakenheath, England; and Aviano, Italy;

-- June 7: Mannheim, Germany; and Rota, Spain;

-- June 8: Patch High School, in Stuttgart, Germany; H.H. Arnold High School, in Wiesbaden, Germany; and Vicenza, Italy; and

-- June 13: AFNORTH International High School, in Brunssum, Belgium.

Deployed parents will be able to see their graduating seniors cross the stage and view student messages recorded for the occasion.

This is the fifth year the effort has been undertaken. Diana Ohman, director of DoDDS Europe, who has been involved with each of the yearly webcasts, said that although it is a monumental technical challenge, these webcasts are emotionally significant to the students and the deployed parents.

"There is no room for error; it is too important," she said. "It is important to the graduating senior that he or she be able to share the event with their parents, as well as for the deployed parent to be able to view their son or daughter crossing the stage."

Planning for this year's webcast began in January. Seniors who had or anticipated having parents deployed at graduation were identified through the high schools.

By: American Forces Press Service

From a Department of Defense Dependents Schools Europe news release.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Clayton State University Graduate Student Coaches Mock Trial Team to Second National Championship

Clayton State graduate student Anna Cox recently helped to coach the Jonesboro High School (JHS) mock trial team to its second consecutive national championship.

In competition held in Wilmington, Del., and hosted by the Delaware Supreme Court (who also served as the presiding judges for the final round), the JHS team defeated a team from Kalamazoo High School (Kalamazoo, Mi.) in what Cox says was, “the most amazing final round I have ever seen. It was perfection!”

“This is an immense feat, because we had two completely different teams each year,” she adds in regard to JHS’s back-to-back national titles. “In the words of our state committee, [we] `steamrolled’ the competition.

“We have a fantastic, diverse group of students from a public school who beat out private and charter school students. We have a great support system from our legal community and the judges and lawyers that help coach the team.”

Cox, a resident of Jonesboro, teaches Latin at the regular and honors levels at JHS. She has been helping to coach the mock trial team for the last three years. Her husband and fellow JHS teacher (chemistry), Andrew Cox, also coaches the team. Anna Cox also credits the Honorable John C. Carbo, state court judge; the Honorable Deborah Benefield, superior court judge; Tasha Mosley, esq., assistant solicitor of Henry County; and Katie Powers for their help.

The winning case for JHS involved Delaware Auto and Marine (DAM), a publicly-traded company with a low stock market price.

“Because they think they are ripe for a hostile take over, they enact a poison pill in order to discourage Mid-East Stevedores Services, Inc., a company held by a fictitious Arab nation,” explains Cox. “DAM must prove that it is acting in the good faith of its shareholders and that MESS is a company that has material ties to terrorism. MESS must prove that DAM is acting in bad faith and not in the good interest of its shareholders.

“The kids can now say that they have tried a case in front of the Supreme Court.”

Members of the JHS mock trail team included; Laura Parkhouse, Joe Strickland, Dominique Delgado, Jurod James, Brian Bady, Ralph Wilson, Avion Jackson, Miguelande Charlestin, Kayla Daniels, Lindsay Hargis, Braeden Orr, Bridget Harris, Jayda Hazell, Adrienne Marshall, and Tabias Kelly.

Aside from coaching the mock trial team, Cox is an advisor for the Latin club, prom committee, and student council for JHS. She is also a student in Clayton State’s Masters of Liberal Arts program and plans to graduate this fall with the first masters degree ever awarded by the University.

Cox is the daughter of Larry Wiley, a Clayton State Communications instructor. Like his daughter, Wiley worked for the Clayton County School System for many years before retiring. He has taught at Clayton State part-time for more then 25 years.

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners, Clayton County Public Schools, and Jonesboro High School will be hosting a parade this weekend honoring the national champions. The parade through the city of Jonesboro will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 24 and will depart from the Jonesboro Historical Courthouse at 121 S. McDonough St.; turn right on South Main Street and conclude at Jonesboro High School, located at 7728 Mt Zion Blvd.
-----

www.fayettefrontpage.com
Fayette Front Page
News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Thursday, May 22, 2008

GEMA Recognizes Mitchell County Schools for Implementing Approved Safety Plan

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) congratulates Beauford Hicks, superintendent for the Mitchell County School System, for adopting an approved safety plan.

“Although spared from the most recent bout of severe weather, Mitchell County has experienced its share of devastating tornadoes in the past and officials realize it is imperative they be prepared for an emergency,” says GEMA Director Charley English. “GEMA commends Mitchell County school officials for creating safety plans for all five schools that take an ‘all-hazards’ approach to prepare for man-made and natural disasters.”

By law, every public school in Georgia must develop and implement a wide-ranging safety plan that addresses acts of violence or terrorism, natural disasters, hazardous materials and radiological incidents. GEMA’s School Safety Unit has developed a planning guide for schools to help them create their plans.

In addition, GEMA’s School Safety Unit provides services that help schools have a safe and secure school year. GEMA’s school safety coordinators offer training and technical assistance to educators, emergency management and public safety personnel. This includes site surveys, classes on weapons screening, school bus safety, gangs, bullying, exercise design and bomb threat management. They also respond to school crises.

For more information on school safety or GEMA’s School Safety Unit, call GEMA toll-free in Georgia at 1-800-TRY-GEMA or visit www.gema.ga.gov. For more information on specific risks in your area and how to prepare for them, contact your local emergency management agency.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Elementary Teams Finish in Top 10 at State Science Olympiad

Elementary Teams Finish in Top 10 at State Science Olympiad
5/21/08 (4:53 p.m.) Fayette’s youngest scientists proved they are among the best in the state by earning top awards in the Elementary State Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament... More

---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

CRCT Social Studies (ONLY) Results Invalidated

State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox sent local superintendents the following message today shortly before 3 p.m. It should be noted that this email only impacts Social Studies CRCTs in Grades 6 & 7 and not any other grades or any other subjects:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Superintendents,

Over the past several days the Georgia Department of Education has been closely monitoring initial results of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) as they are being processed. The area that has raised great concern is the results for social studies in grades six and seven. Simply, the performance appears to be implausibly low, which raised serious questions.

After intense scrutiny of the standards and the assessment, we have come to the conclusion that these scores are not trustworthy measures of student achievement in social studies. Accordingly, the results will be invalidated. It is important to note that we found nothing technically incorrect with the scoring of these assessments. This decision is based primarily on the conviction that we need to revise the curriculum and the assessments to better evaluate the knowledge and skills that represent student achievement in social studies.

In the coming days, school systems will receive a letter from the Georgia Department of Education that addresses this action. This letter may be used as documentation in student records that the affected scores are nullified.

Additionally, we will empanel a group of teachers and curriculum leaders to revise the social studies curriculum in grades 6 & 7 and help us begin the process of developing new assessments for these grades.

This action does not affect any other areas of the curriculum or their corresponding assessments.

Sincerely,
Kathy Cox

---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Preliminary CRCT Results Are Mixed for Fayette’s Students

Harder tests matching the state’s more rigorous curriculum have resulted in a larger drop than expected in the CRCT pass rate for eighth grade math.

Unofficial scores for eighth grade math, although lower than last year, look better for Fayette than across the state. Preliminary scores indicate that 80 percent of the county’s students passed compared to an estimated 60 percent statewide.

The lower pass rate in math is attributed to a tougher curriculum and a more rigorous test to match. Up until last year, only a small number of students were exposed to algebra in the eighth grade. This year, every eighth grader is taking algebra as well as statistics and geometry. Fayette’s unofficial pass rates for other grade levels (1-7) in math range from the high 80s to 90s.

Students in grades 5 and 8 must pass both the math and reading portions of the test to get promoted to the next grade level. Unlike math, preliminary results in reading across all grade levels (1-8) show a 95 percent and above pass rate with fewer students scoring in the “not meeting standards” category. The school system will offer free classes this summer to help students prepare for the retest that will be given in both subjects late June.

Scores also dropped more than expected in sixth and seventh grade social studies. Unofficial score results indicate that 41 to 45 percent of the county’s sixth and seventh graders passed. It is estimated that only 20 to 30 percent of sixth and eighth grade students statewide passed this portion of the test. The same unofficial scores for Fayette show a 95-96 pass rate for grades 3, 4 and 5.

The preliminary pass rates for sixth and seventh grade social studies are much lower than had been expected for the implementation of a new curriculum, according to State School Superintendent Kathy Cox. She says she is in the process of putting together a panel to determine what caused the poor performance. One area that will be examined is whether the middle grades social studies standards were clear enough about what students are expected to know at the end of the year.

The school system officials will closely monitor the state’s findings while they launch their own study into the situation.

“We in Fayette will be investigating these test results, reviewing our implementation of the new curriculum and making changes to address the needs of our students,” says School Superintendent John DeCotis.

While there is no system-level summary data at this time, the school system anticipates that the preliminary scores will closely mirror the actual scores that the state is expected to send to school systems in June.

Although preliminary test scores in some areas are lower than usual for the county, Fayette’s students are still outperforming students across the state. This is a testimony to the hard work that both teachers and students have put into the new curriculum.

“We would like to thank our teachers and students for their hard work and efforts in dealing with this new curriculum and testing program,” says DeCotis.

On other areas of the test, unofficial results in English/Language Arts and science show pass rates of the mid 80s-90s across all grade levels tested.

Study: Atlanta a National Leader in Higher Education Growth

The Atlanta region is firmly established among the leading U.S. higher education centers in all measures of higher education. And in key rankings, Atlanta’s rate of growth leads other top higher ed centers in the nation and outpaces population growth in the region, according to two reports released today by the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE).

The Atlanta region ranks, among America’s 50 largest metro areas:
· 7th in college students enrolled (with 176,171 full-time-equivalent students)
· 3rd in African American students (47,548 full-time-equivalent students)
· 7th in degrees earned (35,802 at the bachelor's level or higher)
· In the top 10 for degrees earned across 14 academic fields studied
· 5th in university research (with $1.01 billion in higher ed research spending)

The reports analyze U.S. Department of Education data to rank the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country by college students enrolled, degrees earned in 14 fields, and finance data such as higher ed research dollars. “Higher Education in America’s Metropolitan Areas” shows growth trends over the 17-year period 1989-2005 and is available online at www.AtlantaHigherEd.org/MetroAreas. “The Atlanta Region: National Leader in Higher Education” highlights Atlanta’s place in the rankings at www.AtlantaHigherEd.org/MetroAtlanta. Full methodology is also posted online.

In an analysis of the top eight “higher ed hubs” — metro areas whose colleges enrolled at least 100,000 students and awarded 15,000 degrees in 1989, the study’s benchmark year — ARCHE found:
· student enrollment in the Atlanta region is growing at a faster rate than in any top U.S. higher ed center, up 62 percent since 1989.
· in degrees awarded, the Atlanta region’s growth rate was No. 2 among top higher ed centers, up 75 percent since 1989.

Atlanta’s leadership is not just a function of growing population: the 62 percent enrollment increase and 75 percent rise in degrees outpace the 55 percent growth in the metropolitan area’s population during the same 1989 to 2005 period.

Local colleges and universities also give the region a competitive edge in fields that support business growth. The Atlanta region saw the No. 1 increase among all metro areas in the number of degrees awarded in engineering, the No. 2 increase in bioscience degrees, No. 3 increase in computer science degrees, No. 4 increase in foreign language degrees, and No. 6 increase in business degrees. Atlanta higher ed also is an economic powerhouse, with $6 billion in direct spending, comparable to a Fortune 500 company.

ARCHE produced the report to give civic and business leaders – in metro Atlanta and around the nation – information they can use to leverage college and university resources in economic and community development.

“Only five U.S. metro areas topped $1 billion in higher education research spending, and Atlanta was one of them,” said Sam A. Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. “And our colleges are booming when it comes to grads in strategic fields like engineering, bioscience and foreign languages. That is a huge advantage for businesses here – and for those who might want to set up shop here.”

“Atlanta is known for its spirit of working together to move the region forward,” said ARCHE President Michael A. Gerber. “Our colleges and universities are national role models for working with regional leaders in promoting prosperity, educating a skilled workforce and improving quality of life.”

The Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education brings together 19 of the Atlanta region’s public and private colleges and universities, including Clayton State University. Founded in 1938, ARCHE builds awareness of the size, scope, impact and value of higher education and helps its members share strengths through cooperative programs such as cross registration for courses and library sharing. Visit www.atlantahighered.org for information about ARCHE, its members and its research reports.

Anachebe Graduates from Riverside Military Academy


Dubem Anachebe of Fayetteville, Ga., has graduated from Riverside Military Academy, an all-boys college preparatory school located in Gainesville, Ga. Anachebe is the son of Ngozi and Eric Anachebe.

A cadet at Riverside since 2006, Anachebe was a member of the academy’s 2008 state championship track team.










---
www.fayettefrontpage.com
Fayette Front Page
News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Education Policy Forums Planned For School Board, Legislative Candidates

The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and the Georgia School Boards Association will soon be holding a half-day session at Clayton State University for area school board and state legislative candidates. The Education Policy Forum is designed to provide future education decision makers with factual, research-based information on which to develop positions.

The Forum, which began in the 2002 election year and was repeated in 2004 and 2006, features experts who address areas that are consistently local and state-wide items of interest.

Topics include: choices in education; early learning; education finance; governance and policymaking; school leadership; standards, assessments and accountability; student achievement; and teacher workforce. The information provided is based upon non-partisan research and is compiled in a Primer that covers each topic in-depth. All participants receive one of the resource books.

The Clayton State session, the first in the county since the program began, is one of 12 Forums to be presented across Georgia in June. The local event will be held June 4, 12:30 – 4:45 p.m., at Clayton State University, Jonesboro Rd., Morrow. Five sessions will follow over the next eight days in Dalton (June 6), Columbus (June 9), Albany (June 10), Valdosta (June 11), and Macon (June 12). A Clarksville session, June 3, is scheduled to kick-off the month-long program.

The Forums will resume June 23 with a session in Acworth followed by stops in Athens (June 24), Sandersville (June 25), Savannah (June 26), and Dublin (June 27) There is no cost.

Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership, explained the value of the sessions. “There is nothing more important to our state’s future than our public education system. The legislatures we elect will ultimately set education policy that will affect all of us and have a direct impact on Georgia’s prosperity.”

He added, “This is why the Forums are so valuable. We present expertly researched in-depth, non-partisan information that helps explain the intricacies of our education system. Attendees will leave the session with a wealth of information on which to base their campaign and future education decisions.”

Jeannie M. (Sis) Henry, executive director of the Georgia School Boards Association, also stressed the importance of the Forums. “It is critical to all legislative and governmental decision makers to have an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a school board, and to have a working knowledge of how school systems are governed and operated.”

She continued, “Not only are school systems usually one of the largest employers in a county, but in teaching our children, schools systems have a direct effect on the future of our country.” Henry stressed that as a co-sponsor of the Forums “GSBA welcomes the opportunity to provide information on school board governance to candidates and potential candidates in any political race.”

Registration is available on line at both the Georgia Partnership (www.gpee.org – Home Page) and Georgia School Boards Assn. (www.gsba.com – click On-Line Registration on Home Page) web sites. Questions may be directed to the Partnership at 404-223-2280 or GSBA at 770-962-6843.

A participant in one of the 2006 Forums, Amy Carter, now a member of the House of Representatives, District 175, clearly defined the importance of attending a session. “As a current high school teacher, I thought I had a clear understanding of the public education process. The Education Policy Forum was an eye opener!

“Believe me,” she emphasized, “this is a very complex subject and this session provided expert insight that I could never get anywhere else. The knowledge gained here will allow me to make more informed education-related decisions.”

Gordon College Offers Saturday Campus Visit Day

Gordon College is offering prospective students and their families an opportunity to visit the campus, tour the resident halls and take care of various applications during a special campus visit day Saturday, June 7 from 9 a.m. to noon.

And as a special incentive, the $20 admission application fee will be waived that day.

“We realize that students and their families may not be able to visit our campus together during the week,” said Lisa Shiveler, director of admissions. “So we are offering a special campus visit day on the weekend.”

Staff will be on hand to answer questions, help with the paperwork for admission and on-campus housing and to escort visitors on tours of the campus.

Those interested should visit the Gordon College Welcome Center at the corner of Spencer Street and College Drive on the southwest corner of the campus. Parking is available directly behind the Welcome Center.

For more information, call 770-358-5354.

Clayton State Offering Non-Credit Continuing Education Courses in Peachtree City

Clayton State Offering Non-Credit Continuing Education Courses in Peachtree City
5/20/08 (7:49 a.m.) Spanish. Digital photography. And a variety of computer software classes. Those are just some of the offerings this summer at Clayton State – Fayette... More

School System Honors Retirees

The Fayette County School System is getting ready to say good-bye to some of its most dedicated employees.

At the end of this school year, 64 staff members will have retired from the system. These retirees have served Fayette’s students in different capacities as teachers, bus drivers, maintenance workers, counselors, secretaries, administrators, media specialists and custodians. Each has willingly shared his or her talents, helping make Fayette’s school system a place “Where Excellence Counts.” Thanks to their efforts, thousands of students have been provided a top-notch educational experience that will serve them well into the future.

“I always say that we can replace the position but not the person. Our new employees are going to have big shoes to fill,” says Superintendent John DeCotis.

After years of making Fayette’s school system shine, it was their turn to be in the limelight. On May 16, the school system hosted “An Evening with Our Stars,” a celebration dinner in honor of this year’s retirees.

The event was held at Peachtree City Wyndham hotel. Each retiree was escorted down a red carpet by school system administrators and introduced by television personality Donna Lowry, schools and news reporter for WXIA-11 Alive News.

Although they are beginning a new chapter of their lives, many retirees continue to serve Fayette’s students as school volunteers, mentors and tutors.

“On behalf of the Fayette County Board of Education, I want to thank all of our retirees for their many years of service and wish them much joy and happiness in their retirement,” says DeCotis.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Media Program Named “Exemplary” in Georgia

Only one elementary library media program and media specialist in the state is named “exemplary” each year by the Georgia Department of Education. This year’s exemplary award has been given to Peggy James of Crabapple Lane Elementary.

In order to be recognized as exemplary, nominees must prove that they have met at least 14 target indicators in the areas of student achievement and instruction, staffing, facilities, access and resources, administrative support and staff development.

“Peggy James is the reason our students rush to the media center each day. She has transformed our media center into a forest, pirate’s ship, beach in the Bahamas, barnyard with livestock and a wedding chapel,” says Principal Doe Evans. “She involves our students by having them transport themselves to these far away places. She consistently searches for ways to make her teaching more interesting and informative.”

Most elementary schools have an AR (Accelerated Reader) program to encourage students to read and increase their reading levels. According to Evans, Crabapple doesn’t use the program because they have something better.

“When people first visit our school, they often ask if we have AR. We confidently reply that we don’t need AR, we have Ms. James,” Evans explains.

James will be one of six media specialists recognized on June 8 at the Georgia Department of Education Board Meeting. Peer library media specialists and the staff from the department of education select the recipients based on the school’s written application, a letter of support from the principal, a telephone interview and onsite visit. The award program honors one exemplary and exceptional media program at the elementary, middle and high school level.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Superintendent Cox Issues Statement on CRCT Results

State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox released the following information about 2008 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test Scores:

This afternoon, I spoke to superintendents around the state about the results of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). Some systems have received unofficial results and have raised concerns about low scores in Grade 8 Mathematics and Grades 6 and 7 Social Studies.
For the past three years, the state has been implementing a new curriculum -- the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). The GPS is more rigorous in all areas. As we have implemented the curriculum, we have created new CRCTs that set higher standards for our students, as well.
We do not have statewide or system-level numbers on the 2008 CRCTs yet and will not for a few weeks. However, I wanted to address some of the concerns raised by superintendents, educators and parents.

MATHEMATICS
While we do not have statewide results yet, it appears that the pass rate on the 8th grade mathematics test will be around 60 percent.

The 8th Grade Mathematics GPS -- and the CRCT -- are very rigorous. For instance, up until last year, only a small number of students were exposed to Algebra in grade 8. This year, every 8th grader is taking Algebra, as well as Statistics and Geometry.

When you raise standards and expectations, it is not unusual to see a temporary dip in the percent of students who are meeting those expectations. We have seen this in other grades and other areas of the curriculum. The numbers we are seeing in Grade 8 Mathematics are generally what we expected.

We know that our mathematics teachers have worked hard to implement our new curriculum. And we know our students are working hard and are challenged by the new content. We also know that some teachers, parents and students are frustrated by these first results.

Additionally, we realize these results have a big impact on the number of students who must retest under the state's promotion and retention policy (students in grades 5 and 8 must pass the reading and mathematics CRCTs in order to be automatically promoted to the next grade). These results could also affect the status of schools under No Child Left Behind. We are working on some policy and budgetary flexibility to assist systems:

- Money will be available for systems to use to offset increased summer school costs.
- We are asking systems to keep detailed records on the costs of remediation and retesting so we can champion for additional funds, if needed.
- In regards to NCLB, we asked earlier this year for an adjustment to the annual academic goals in math to adjust for the rigor of the curriculum. These goals -- called Annual Measurable Objectives -- were set before the new curriculum was written. We will continue to pursue this flexibility.

But as Georgians, it is imperative that we are honest about our mathematics achievement. For too long we have had a vast majority of our students performing well on state tests, only to be poorly prepared for national assessments. The result has been low national test scores and, ultimately, students who are not college or work ready.

I know in future years, we will see improved scores in 8th Grade Mathematics, just like we are seeing in other areas of the new curriculum. And it's important to note that this year's 8th graders are better prepared for high school mathematics than ever before and will be more competitive in the 21st century.

SOCIAL STUDIES

While, again, we do not have statewide or system results, we are fairly certain that a substantial majority of our 6th and 7th grade students did not meet standards on the Social Studies exam.
Preliminary reports put the pass rate on these two exams at 20-30 percent. The dip in the pass rate from previous years is far more dramatic than we have seen in other areas when we have transitioned to the new curriculum. It is cause for concern.

In the next week, I will empanel a group of Georgia teachers and curriculum specialists to review the first-year implementation of our new standards in social studies to figure out what may have caused such poor performance. One area that will be looked at is whether these middle grade social studies standards were clear enough. It appears that the specificity of the test questions may have caught some students off guard. We have to do better with this.

We know our social studies teachers care deeply and are working hard. These results are not reflective of their instruction or their effort.

It is my hope we can work together to determine where changes must be made so we can truly reflect the learning that's going on in our classrooms.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Many Eligible Students Are Missing Out On Financial Aid For College

SPM Wire - With college tuition on the rise nationwide, families should be more aggressive than ever before on making sure they're not missing out on financial aid available to them.

"While many high school seniors are engrossed in completing college applications, it's also important for them and their parents to be thinking about paying for school. Many will need multiple loans to cover the burgeoning costs of college," says Kevin Walker, co-founder and CEO of SimpleTuition, Inc., a company that helps students and parents make sense of education financing options.

Indeed, average tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose 6.6 percent this year, again outstripping increases in financial aid and pushing students into more borrowing, according to the College Board.

Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a key step families should take when preparing to pay for college. This application helps to determine the amount of federal and college aid a student may receive and allows them to apply for federal student loans. Federal loans have favorable repayment terms when compared to private loans and experts recommend maxing out on federal loans first.

"Only after the FAFSA is completed can students access the best borrowing programs available," stresses Walker.

With the cost of college continuing to skyrocket, thousands of families nationwide will require multiple loans each year to cover tuition and fees. One of the reasons families tap multiple loans, is that federal student loans, available in limited amounts, are worth the trouble of including in the package. The FAFSA is a necessary step toward accessing these loans.

Walker strongly advises parents and students to consider the following advice:

* Federal Stafford Loans are available, regardless of need, but you must complete the FAFSA. Many families assume they won't be eligible for the financial aid programs governed by the FAFSA process. However, the federal Stafford loan - the most common student loan - is available to almost any student, regardless of need. To qualify for Stafford, you need to complete the FAFSA form. If the family is deemed 'needy' enough, the student may be able to borrow through the subsidized Stafford program, where no interest accrues during enrollment. If the student is going to borrow at all, don't leave this best-in-class loan on the table.

* Do it yourself and do it sooner than later. The FAFSA form is not complicated. Just visit the U.S. Department of Education Web site to link to the online FAFSA. The sooner you complete the form, the more time you have to prepare for the tuition bill. Some even say that applying early gets you in queue for some school aid that may be available on a first-come, first-served base.

* Be prepared. Have the following information handy: federal tax return for parent and student (if you haven't filed your tax returns and don't have exact numbers for your 2007 income-and-tax situation, simply estimate your 2007 income); information on assets and other untaxed information; and the U.S. Department of Education PIN number assigned to you.

* Advocate for yourself and ask questions. If your circumstances change (change of assets, change of financial need, dependency status, job loss, etc.) contact your school's financial aid office as your expected contribution could decrease based on these factors. Don't hesitate to stand up for yourself if you think your "need" has increased.

For more information about funding for college, visit www.simpletuition.com.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Put some thought into teacher thank-yous

In the past 24 years, Earny Miller has accumulated more than 50 coffee mugs, which are proudly displayed at her parents’ home. They were all gifts from her students.

“I appreciated each and every one, but you can only use one coffee cup at a time,” said Miller, a reading specialist at Pleasant Grove Elementary School in Dalton, Ga.
Miller’s late father stored the mugs in a china cabinet.

“He was so proud of her so she gave the extra ones to him. He kept them on display,” said Miller’s mother Betty Dowdy, who now maintains the collection.

A coffee mug is a nice way to thank a teacher for a job well done at the end of the year. But Miller’s collection shows that there may be more memorable and unique gifts students can give, too, said Judy Ashley, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension school relations specialist.

“Instead of giving the traditional coffee mug, why not give a gift certificate to a coffee shop,” Ashley said.

According to the National Parent Teacher Association, gift certificates to area restaurants, salons or events are also unique, thoughtful gift choices, she said.

If time allows, survey your child’s teachers to find out their favorite books, colors, flowers and restaurants. Then use this knowledge to select a good gift, she said.

“You can then work with other parents to give the teacher his or her favorite book signed by each of the students in this year’s class,” Ashley said. “Or, give each teacher a bouquet of their favorite flower.”

Miller agrees that personal gifts are best. One of her all-time-favorite gifts is a ceramic pot created by a room parent.

“She made the pot and added all the students’ names and their thumb prints,” she said.
Christmas decorations are also among Miller’s favorites.

“I use them to decorate the room and I remember each of the kids when I unpack and display them,” she said. “I have a holiday wall hanging from Joseph Farmer and he’s now 22, a UGA student and the Hairy Dawg mascot.”

Teachers often use their personal funds to purchase items for the classroom. To help lessen the burden on the teacher’s budget, give a hodgepodge of classroom materials like tissue boxes, hand sanitizer, paper, chalk and stickers.

“If you’re not sure what to include, give a gift certificate to an area teachers’ supply store,” she said.

Gifts don’t have to be expensive. Many can be created by the student.

“Help your child write a personal thank-you note individualized for each teacher,” Ashley said. “Or interview your child about the teacher and use the answers in your thank-you note.”

Ask the child what he or she liked best about the teacher or what was the most important thing learned. Ask, too, what flower or cartoon character the teacher is like and why. The child’s response could make for a funny additional anecdote.

Incorporate the child’s answers into a truly one-of-a-kind thank-you note. Include a separate note expressing your gratitude to the teacher.

Special education teacher Jean Marie Reese’s most prized gift is physically and literally priceless.

“One of my students carved a heart and the words ‘I love you’ into a piece of wood,” said Reese, a Banks County teacher. “More than half of our students are on the free or reduced lunch program. Their families don’t have extra money. This personal gift meant so much to me. I have displayed it in my curio cabinet for more than 10 years.”

By Sharon Omahen
University of Georgia

Clayton State Nursing and Dental Hygiene Programs Awarded $326K Grant from HRSA

The Clayton State University School of Nursing, and the Department of Dental Hygiene, part of the University’s College of Professional Studies, have been awarded a $326,730 Student Disadvantaged Scholarship Grant (SDS) from the federal Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The grant, for FY2009, will be split almost equally between the two programs and marks the third consecutive year the University has received an SDS grant from HRSA. The School of Nursing will receive $157,952 for the period from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. The Department of Dental Hygiene will receive $168,778 for the same period.

The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program was created by Congress under the Disadvantaged Minority Health Improvement Act of 1990 for the purpose of providing financial assistance to disadvantaged health professions and nursing students.

The amount of the individual SDS award was transmitted to Clayton State’s Office of Financial Aid for their records and to the Clayton State Bursars Office for disbursement. The SDS is only used for scholarships for minority or disadvantaged students and funds are applied directly to the recipient’s tuition/fee bill and any remaining balance distributed to the student for the purpose of paying other fees and incidentals associated with their education.

Clayton State University’s student population is roughly two-thirds minorities and has been rated by U.S. News and World Report as the most diverse in the Southeast region of the United States for five out of the last seven years.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

New Summer Schedule for School System’s Offices and Welcome Center

Four-day summer work weeks are one of several cost saving measures the Fayette County Board of Education is implementing in what is shaping up to be a tight budget year.

Twelve-month employees at the school system’s central offices and all 30 schools will work 10-hour days from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday with Fridays off. The four-day work schedule is estimated to save the system approximately $60,000-80,000 in energy costs per week.

With the exception of facilities where summer camps and classes are being held, business hours for all offices and buildings, including the Welcome Center where new student registrations are handled, will be Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and closed on Fridays. This schedule will take affect on June 2 and go through July 25.

Anyone who needs to register a child for school or conduct other business with the school system should make a note of the new summer hours.

Other cost saving measures the school system is considering implementing in the coming school year include leaving vacancies in offices where it is feasible, reducing travel and eliminating out-of-state travel, reducing overtime, reducing the amount of paper and copying costs with the implementation of the eBoard system and reassigning county office staff as vacancies at the school level come open.

Additional measures also under consideration are reducing discretionary duty leave, limiting the number of buses used for athletic events and consolidating bus routes as necessary after the first three weeks of school.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Governor Perdue Signs Legislation Expanding Support for Choice Options within Public Schools

Today Governor Sonny Perdue signed three pieces of legislation into law to expand support for choice options within public schools: HB 881, 831, and 1277. Each of these pieces of legislation further solidifies Georgia’s commitment to raise student achievement across the state.

HB 881, sponsored by Rep. Jan Jones and known as the charter commission legislation, requires charter school petitioners to continue to seek approval from their local board of education. It also enables the petitioner to request charter approval directly from a newly-formed state charter commission if the local board of education rejects the petition, or if the petitioner seeks conditions different from those approved by the local board of education.
In addition, HB 881 changes the way charter schools are funded. Many previously-approved charter schools operate on fewer dollars than traditional public schools receive.

“HB 881 offers Georgia one more tool in the education toolbox to meet students’ unique needs through high quality charter schools,” said Rep. Jan Jones. “It is the result of careful and inclusive collaboration among the Governor’s office, the State Board of Education, Superintendent Kathy Cox’s office, the House and Senate, and numerous parents and outside groups. This legislation will lead to a greater variety of smaller, specialized or innovative public schools that will be held to high achievement standards.”

House Bills 831 and 1277 build further on the infrastructure support for public charter schools. HB 831 enables the State Board of Education to establish a grant program to provide matching funds to charter school organizations for capital improvements or construction of charter schools, while HB 1277 provides charter school personnel access to the State Health Benefit Plan.

“I would like to thank Rep. Kaiser for working with us during the session to resolve concerns that caused me to veto a similar bill last year,” said Governor Perdue. Governor Perdue also issued a signing statement on HB 1277, making it clear that charter school personnel are not to be considered state employees: “My signing of this legislation should not be considered evidence of anything other than policy makers’ intent to allow charter school employees to enroll in the State Health Benefit Plan; no other aspect of a charter school employee’s employment is affected by my signing of House Bill 1277.”

Another piece of charter legislation, HB 1065, was signed into law by Governor Perdue earlier this month and authorizes local charter schools and state chartered special schools to use their SPLOST funds for capital outlay projects.

“Taken together, these pieces of legislation clearly empower Georgia’s parents and local communities to develop and sustain innovative school choice options to improve student achievement across our great state,” said Governor Perdue. “School choice options should be a collaborative offering between interested citizens, local school systems, and the state.”
For more information on these bills, visit www.legis.state.ga.us.

Monday, May 12, 2008

2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year

Leanne Maule, an English teacher from Cartersville High School, was named the 2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year Friday night.

Her selection was announced by State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox at the Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet held Friday night at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

"Congratulations to Leanne Maule and her colleagues at Cartersville High School," Superintendent Cox said. "Leanne is creative, has a passion for education and a heart for the struggling learner. She is an excellent choice for Georgia Teacher of the Year."

As the state Teacher of the Year, Ms. Maule will spend the 2008-2009 school year on special assignment, serving as an ambassador and advocate for the teaching profession. She will give presentations to other educators, as well as business and community leaders, and represent Georgia teachers at state and national conferences. She will also be Georgia's entry in the 2009 National Teacher of the Year competition.

Ms. Maule was one of ten finalists, who were chosen from a pool of over 140 district-level teachers of the year that applied for the state honor. The ten finalists were observed in the classroom and interviewed by a team of judges and then gave a speech during a luncheon held at Georgia Power Co. in March.

"I know this was a very difficult choice for the judges," Superintendent Cox said. "Any of the ten finalists would have done a wonderful job as Georgia Teacher of the Year."

About Leanne Maule

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Ms. Maule began teaching in 1991 in Goose Creek, S.C. She came to Cartersville in 2000 and joined Cartersville High School in 2002.

In her application, Ms. Maule said her own experience as someone who struggled in school motivated her to become a teacher.

"I made a vow to myself that I would strive to become the high school teacher ... who saw every child's potential," she wrote. "My students know that I genuinely have their best interests at heart."

Ms. Maule's classroom is creative and interactive. She incorporates the arts into almost every lesson, including the creation of a Renaissance Festival, a Shakespearian puppet show and dramatic interpretations of poetry. She believes that high school lessons should be fun and exciting. Her students agree.

One of her former students wrote of Ms. Maule: "I will never forget, as long as I live, her inspiration and the enthusiasm I always see in her everytime I open her door."

Gifts and Sponsors

The Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet, and other recognition events run by the Georgia Department of Education, rely almost completely on donations from sponsors. Superintendent Cox and the GaDOE's Recognitions Program wish to thank the sponsors who made this year's event possible:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Washington Mutual, AirTran Airways, Intel, Lenovo, SMARTer Kids Foundation
  • Gold Sponsors: Blue Bell Creameries, L.P., Georgia Power Co., The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), The Coca Cola Co.
  • Silver Sponsor: Georgia Association of Educators (GAE)
  • Bronze Sponsors: Keith Plaques, Shaw Industries, The School Box
  • Copper Sponsors: Chick-fil-A, Nystrom, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rick Shrewsbury, The Kroger Company

Clayton State University Signs Faculty Exchange Agreement with Hunan University of Technology


Photo Caption: Standing across from one of the seven campuses of the Hunan University of Technology are (left to right); Dr. Zi Wan, HUT President Hanqing Wang, Dr. Thomas K. Harden, and HUT Vice President Taigang Liu.

Clayton State University President Dr. Thomas K. Harden and Assistant Professor of Marketing and Merchandising Dr. Zi Wan recently returned from the People’s Republic of China with a signed agreement that will open a new chapter in the University’s history.

Harden and Wan traveled to the city of ZhuZhou in Hunan Province to meet with officials of the Hunan University of Technology (HUT), returning with a signed agreement for an exchange of faculty members between the two institutions of
higher education. After a series of meetings with HUT President Hanqing Wang and HUT Vice President Taigang Liu, Harden and Wan finalized an arrangement whereby members of the Clayton State faculty will have the opportunity over varying periods of time to teach at HUT. In addition, HUT will later send faculty members to teach at Clayton State.

“Clayton State University is proud of our already-existing international flavor; including our international faculty, international students and the opportunities our American faculty and students have to teach and further their educations abroad through our Fulbright-Hays grants and our Study Abroad programs.,” says Harden. “This new relationship with the Hunan University of Technology promises to open some exciting new doors for both Clayton State and the region.”

Although Harden’s name is on the final document, he makes it clear that Wan’s efforts were vital to the success of this initiative. A native of Hunan Province who originally lived within 100 miles of ZhuZhou, and who speaks the same Chinese dialect as that spoken in ZhuZhou, Wan has been a faculty member in Clayton State’s College of Professional Studies since 2006, and is the coordinator of the University’s Chinese International Programs… a task she undertook almost as soon as she joined the Clayton State faculty, and a position she is uniquely qualified for, given her international background.

“As a graduate of universities in China, the UK and the USA, and having an extensive and strong network to work with many of the universities in Hunan Province, I am able to communicate, and to improve understanding between our university and HUT, which was critical in establishing the connection between the universities,” explains Wan. “If this connection is successful, it will allow us to go further with other Chinese universities.”

Wan previously worked for almost 10 years as a faculty member in the international education programs at Hunan University, one of the top universities in China and one of the oldest universities in the world. As a result of that experience, and through her background as an international student, she knows that China presents a huge international education market for Clayton State.

“I began to work and establish the cooperative international programs with China when I was first employed by Clayton State with the strong support of Dr. Harden and Provost Dr. Sharon Hoffman,” she says. “Without the support and help of Dr. Harden, Dr. Hoffman and Director of International Education Dr. Robert Welborn, all of whom put a lot of effort into the Chinese International Programs, we could not have had this achievement.

“I want to contribute to the benefit of both the USA and China, to promote closer international cooperation between the two institutions and to promote better understanding between the people of the United States and the People’s Republic of China through educational and cultural interchange.”

Wan and Welborn reported on their efforts to Dr. Richard Sutton, director of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia’s Office of International Education, in November 2007. Sutton noted at that time that, “this is a new model of international educational program in the University System of Georgia…”

The international educational partnership program between the Clayton State and HUT is on track to add another component, a curriculum agreement that would allow HUT students to finish their bachelor’s degrees at Clayton State. Shortly after returning to Georgia, Harden invited President Wang to personally come to Morrow to work out the final details of this second agreement.

“Someone has said, China is an IT society,” says Wan. “The people there are craving knowledge and information global-wide. In this sense, China is the biggest IT market globally. If we do not embrace the market, someone else will. The sooner we act, the better, if we believe that we have advanced knowledge or information.”

ZhuZhou is one of the most important transport hub cities in China, one of the first heavy industry cities developed after the founding of the PRC government in 1949. It has the population of 3,500,000 and it is located in southeastern China. Previously known as the ZhuZhou Institute of Technology, HUT has 35,000 students spread over seven campuses.

“Signing this agreement represents a substantive step in the cooperative international educational programs between Clayton State and HUT,” says Wan. “The signed agreement for the faculty exchange will no doubt enhance the communication and understanding between the two universities.”

Indeed, such is the understanding already that Harden and Wan have been honored by being appointed visiting professors of Hunan University of Technology. Because of her significant work in the Chinese International Program, Hoffman has also been honored by being appointed a visiting professor of Hunan University of Technology.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding, comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Cartwright: Graduates Need to Build on Education With Experience

Newly commissioned second lieutenants and ensigns need to use their knowledge from college, but also must be willing to pick up more knowledge through practical experience, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here yesterday.

Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, speaking at Norwich University, said the new officers will find themselves in unexpected situations in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.

The general recalled a time when local citizens needed assistance while he was on a relief exercise in Thailand.

"A farmer came up and grabbed me by the sleeve and said, 'We really need some help. Our elephants are stuck on a piece of high ground. They're sick, and we can't get any food to them.'"

After finding the location on a map and traveling to Bangkok to get some supplies, Cartwright and his sergeant major tracked down two young Army captains who had just been commissioned as veterinarians. "I don't think they had more than two months between them with their rank on their shoulders," the general said.

Cartwright told them what the circumstances were and got a local doctor to tell them how to take care of an elephant. The veterinarians were tasked with administering antibiotics to the elephants.

The next morning, two helicopters inserted the soldiers into the jungle, the general said. With Cartwright in one helicopter and the sergeant major in the other, they "roped" down, and the veterinarians followed.

"We sat there for a second to let them get their eyes adjusted," the general said. "About the time their eyes adjusted, you could hear a little bit of a meow from a tiger."

He said they felt the rustling of the brush and realized they had been set down in the middle of the area the elephants were in. Despite the circumstances, they carried out their mission.

"That night at the bar, they were heroes, but they had new shorts on," Cartwright jokingly said.

He said that type of unpredictable experiences await newly commissioned officers.

The general said much of the knowledge young officers need isn't taught in school. "A lot of what you've learned in school is going to be important," the vice chairman said. "But there are a lot of other things you have yet to learn. Don't throw anything away, because you never know when you're going to need it."

Author: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam M. Stump is assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Affairs Office

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Math Whizzes Show Talent at Competition

With pencils frantically figuring, fingers flying across calculators and brains firing with knowledge, students used all of their resources battling to become the winners of the 2008 Fayette County Elementary Math Bowl.

It took a total of 26 word problems to find the winning teams of the fourth grade bowl. Students fought hard to stay in the game, answering 11 tiebreaker questions beyond the regular 15 before winners were finally determined.

The 2008 winning teams for fourth grade are (first place) Oak Grove, (second place) East Fayette and (third place) Peachtree City. Fifth grade winners include (first place) Huddleston, (second place) Kedron and (third place) East Fayette.

Teams of three students work together to solve a total of 15 timed word problems. More problems are added in the event of a tie. Students qualify for the county tournament by winning their school-based math competitions.

“All of these students are already winners representing their schools and should be very proud of their accomplishments. We are very proud of them,” says Math Coordinator Lynn Ridgeway.
Each participant received a certificate of participation. Additionally, the first, second and third place winners are awarded a trophy to take back to their schools and each team member receives a math book to help get a head start on the next grade level of math. Also, the three winning teams from each grade level will have their names engraved on the plaque of champions that is displayed in the math coordinator’s office at the LaFayette Educational Center.

This marked the 8th annual Fayette County Elementary Math Bowl featuring math teams from each of the school system’s 17 elementary schools.

2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year Named

Leanne Maule, an English teacher from Cartersville High School, was named the 2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year Friday night.

Her selection was announced by State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox at the Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet held Friday night at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

"Congratulations to Leanne Maule and her colleagues at Cartersville High School," Superintendent Cox said. "Leanne is creative, has a passion for education and a heart for the struggling learner. She is an excellent choice for Georgia Teacher of the Year."

As the state Teacher of the Year, Ms. Maule will spend the 2008-2009 school year on special assignment, serving as an ambassador and advocate for the teaching profession. She will give presentations to other educators, as well as business and community leaders, and represent Georgia teachers at state and national conferences. She will also be Georgia's entry in the 2009 National Teacher of the Year competition.

Ms. Maule was one of ten finalists, who were chosen from a pool of over 140 district-level teachers of the year that applied for the state honor. The ten finalists were observed in the classroom and interviewed by a team of judges and then gave a speech during a luncheon held at Georgia Power Co. in March.

"I know this was a very difficult choice for the judges," Superintendent Cox said. "Any of the ten finalists would have done a wonderful job as Georgia Teacher of the Year."

ABOUT LEANNE MAULE
A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Ms. Maule began teaching in 1991 in Goose Creek, S.C. She came to Cartersville in 2000 and joined Cartersville High School in 2002.

In her application, Ms. Maule said her own experience as someone who struggled in school motivated her to become a teacher.

"I made a vow to myself that I would strive to become the high school teacher ... who saw every child's potential," she wrote. "My students know that I genuinely have their best interests at heart."

Ms. Maule's classroom is creative and interactive. She incorporates the arts into almost every lesson, including the creation of a Renaissance Festival, a Shakespearian puppet show and dramatic interpretations of poetry. She believes that high school lessons should be fun and exciting. Her students agree.

One of her former students wrote of Ms. Maule: "I will never forget, as long as I live, her inspiration and the enthusiasm I always see in her everytime I open her door."

GIFTS AND SPONSORS
The Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet, and other recognition events run by the Georgia Department of Education, rely almost completely on donations from sponsors. Superintendent Cox and the GaDOE's Recognitions Program wish to thank the sponsors who made this year's event possible:

- Platinum Sponsors: Washington Mutual, AirTran Airways, Intel, Lenovo, SMARTer Kids Foundation
- Gold Sponsors: Blue Bell Creameries, L.P., Georgia Power Co., The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), The Coca Cola Co.
- Silver Sponsor: Georgia Association of Educators (GAE)
- Bronze Sponsors: Keith Plaques, Shaw Industries, The School Box
- Copper Sponsors: Chick-fil-A, Nystrom, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rick Shrewsbury, The Kroger Company

Friday, May 9, 2008

Don’t Let Summertime Stop Learning

(ARA) – Perhaps it’s an idea carried from elementary school that leads us to believe that summer is a time when school and learning should be put on the back burner. The excitement of being outside, of course, can squash the desire to pursue educational activities, but do we have to choose physical exercise over exercising our brains?

Summer education offers the opportunity to keep the brain as active as the rest of our body, but it doesn’t have to mean sitting inside watching the world go by. There are many options available to students of all ages that allow for the combination of fun and learning.

“Summer learning should be fun. It’s a great time to check out the neighborhood library and help your child make a Read and Watch program,” says Ronald Kar, Ph.D., program chair of Instructional Leadership for Argosy University, Sarasota Campus.

Neighborhood libraries are filled with books children love and movies based on those books. Children can go to the library, check out the book and then, when they have read the book, watch the movie version. Librarians are parents’ best friends and will help children and parents identify age appropriate books and movies. Parents can then talk to the child about the surprises and differences from book to movie and spend quality time reading, watching and talking with their child.

“It’s important to understand the relationship between reading and talking. And the best way to get children talking is to begin a conversation with ‘Tell me about...’” says Kar.

Dr. Kar emphasizes the importance of physical activity during the day, with long breaks for reading. He encourages children and parents to watch the book-based movie together in the evening.

He also recommends visiting museums and talking with children about the exhibits. “It is important for parents to encourage their children to talk about what they see and experience. One of my favorite suggestions to parents is turn off the car radio and engage their children in conversation about the world around them.”

For older students or professionals seeking to expand their knowledge, online and blended learning offers students the option of spending less time in the classroom while still gaining a quality education.

“Those taking courses online have the option of completing coursework anywhere, any time -- even while sitting on the beach in the summer sun,” says Marcy Trew, Department of Education chair at Brown Mackie College -- Akron.

During the summer, many schools offer traditional courses in more condensed versions, giving students the opportunity to complete a full course in half the time.

No matter what your age, learning can, and should, be fun any time of the year. Many opportunities for learning that summer provides -- both formal and informal -- could be missed if people save education for the fall.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Clayton State Commencement Ceremonies Saturday at 9 a.m. and Noon

Clayton State University’s will hold its 38th Annual Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 10, 2008.

As has been the case for the past several years, Clayton State will hold two ceremonies. The first, starting at 9 a.m., will be for graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences. A total of 195 graduates are expected to participate. The second ceremony, scheduled for a noon start, will be for the graduates of the School of Business, the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, the College of Professional Studies, and the School of Nursing. A total of 207 graduates are expected to participate in the second ceremony. Both ceremonies will be held in the University’s Athletics and Fitness Center.

The Honorable Michael Baird will serve as the commencement speaker. Baird was a member of the first baccalaureate class of Clayton State University, earning a B.B.A. in Management (1989). He is also a 1992 graduate of the Georgia State University College of Law where he earned a Juris Doctorate. A native of Clayton County, Baird worked his way through college as a police officer with the Lake City Police Department.

He served as a prosecutor in Clayton County after graduating from law school. In 1996, he was elected to serve as the chief judge of the Magistrate Court of Clayton County and served in that capacity until January of 2005 when he was appointed a senior judge. Baird served as the chairman of the Georgia Magistrate Court Training Council and on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education at the University of Georgia. In addition to his duties in the court room, Baird taught in the School of Business at Clayton State for 13 years.

The University’s senior faculty member, and a 37-year veteran of Clayton State, Professor of English Dr. Thomas V. Barnett, will once again serve as the faculty marshal for both ceremonies.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.


John Shiffert
Director of University Relations
Clayton State University

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

State School Superintendent Kathy Cox: Teacher Appreciation Week.... More Teachers Needed!

Over the last five years, I have visited more than 500 schools, including at least one in every Georgia school district. I’ve discovered that each of our schools is unique and has its own character and its own challenges.

But there is one thing that every great school in Georgia has in common: Great teachers!

May 4-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time that we set aside each year to say an extra special “thank you” to our educators and reflect on the power they have in our lives.

Ask any successful person you know and they can name at least one teacher who had a huge impact on them and influenced the direction their life took. Whether it is a corporate CEO, a political figure or a community leader, there’s a good chance they will name a teacher as one of their personal role models.

This week is also a time for us to reflect on the future of teaching.

The truth is that Georgia – like much of the nation – has a serious teacher shortage, especially in some of our most critical areas, like science, mathematics and special education. A few statistics to consider:

- About one-third of our new teachers leave the profession in the first five years.

- About one quarter of Georgia’s teaching workforce has more than 20 years experience meaning they are rapidly approaching retirement.

- While demand for mathematics and science teachers continues to rise, not enough of Georgia’s college students are going into these fields of education. For instance, by 2012, we will need well over 1,000 new science teachers. Yet, in 2007, only 96 graduated from the University System of Georgia.

The good news is that the groups who prepare, certify, train and employ teachers are all sitting at the table together to solve this problem. We are talking about beefing up our teacher preparation programs and looking at alternative ways to bring teachers into the classroom. We are collaborating to give our teachers the best professional development possible. And we are working on new evaluations that will give teachers the feedback they need to become even better.

We are also exploring new, innovative ideas for recruiting and retaining high quality teachers. For instance, we are developing new induction programs that would give teachers on‐going support and training during those all‐important first years of teachers. But we need your help.

If you are a student or someone who is contemplating a career change, consider becoming a teacher in Georgia. It is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling professions in the world. If becoming a teacher isn’t for you, consider volunteering at your neighborhood school or offering your assistance to a teacher you know.

And this week, take a moment to thank a teacher. Send your child’s teacher a card or an e‐mail to express your appreciation; or find the address of a teacher that had a big impact on your life and just send them a quick note of thanks.

A small gift or token of appreciation is nice, too. But for a teacher, there is no greater reward than hearing from a student or a parent that you made a difference in someone’s life.

To all of Georgia’s teachers, thank you for everything you are doing for our students. We appreciate you!

Kathy Cox, a parent and a veteran classroom teacher, is Georgia’s Superintendent of Schools.
---
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
---

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fayette County Public Library Hosts Free “Career Choices” Information Session for Parents on Saturday, May 10 at 11 a.m.

The Fayette County Public Library is hosting a free information session on “Career Choices” on Saturday, May 10, from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. The session is designed for parents whose children are currently college students or recent high school graduates.

The workshop will be presented by Amy Anderson, a life direction coach and founder of Your True You. Ms. Anderson will talk to parents about “Future Directions,” a program designed to build confidence and self-esteem in students as they make important choices about college and career.

Amy Anderson brings 17 years of work/life training to her coaching practice. A graduate of Michigan State University and Coaches Training Institute, she is certified to work with the Highlands Ability Battery assessment tool. According to Ms. Anderson, the Highlands Battery has proven reliable in providing direction to students while creating focus on personal and professional fulfillment.

The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administration complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways #85 and #54. For additional information about the Career Choices presentation, please contact the library at 770-461-8841 or visit online at http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/public_library