Students, staff recognized by school board

Published 8:30 am Saturday, November 20, 2021

This week was filled with recognitions at the Troup County Board of Education as students and teachers were featured at Monday’s work session and Thursday’s board meeting. Monday’s recipients included the REACH scholarship participants and the district-wide essay winners. Thursday’s recipients included the 25 nominees for Teacher of the Year.

The REACH scholars were recognized by Mr. Jonathan Laney, Secondary Education and CTAE Director, and aims to “ensure that Georgia’s academically promising students have the academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school, access college, and achieve postsecondary success.”

The five students recognized were: Fredrick Andrews from Callaway Middle School, Liala Reed and James Uzar-Lemus from Gardner Newman Middle School, and De’Asia Ligon from Long Cane Middle School.

The students took part in an official signing and committed to their scholarships as Laney asked for confirmation from both students and their parents.

“Will you commit to keeping good grades, attendance and behavior, meeting with your mentor and academic coach, graduating from high school and college?” Laney said. “Parents and guardians, will you commit to supporting your students as they progress through the program? Will you also commit to attending REACH events, meetings and programs, contacting your student’s academic coach or counselor if there are issues you believe should be addressed?”

Tanya Jones-Cameron, school board member, acknowledged the specific aid given by Ted Beason and the Beason Fund in helping these five students. 

“This year’s REACH scholarships for Troup County Schools were made possible through the generosity of a grant from The Beason Fund,” said Jones-Cameron.

The winners of a district wide essay contest were recognized on Monday as well. The students wrote their essay’s during October for Family Engagement Month in the second annual district-wide writing contest for grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. The topics varied depending on grade level, but the theme for the essay was family.

The winners were: J’siyah Tucker a first grader at Franklin Forest Elementary, Mary Reagan Monroe, a second grader at Hollis Hand Elementary; Darden Brown, a third grader at Long Cane Elementary; Joshua Ngafoe, a fourth grader at Rosemont Elementary; Aniyah Jackson, a fifth grader at West Point Elementary; Hannah Kim, a sixth grader at Gardner Newman Middle; Melissa Lara, a seventh grader at Long Cane Middle; Alise Gentile, an eighth grader at Virtual Academy; Hana Edenfield, a ninth grader at Troup High; and Devin Dents, a twelfth grader at LaGrange High.

On Thursday night, the 25 nominees for Teacher of the Year were recognized at both the elementary and secondary level. 

The recipients were: April Todd of Berta Weathersbee Elementary School, Ginger Bishop of Callaway Elementary School, Rebecca Stewart of Clearview Elementary School, Samuel Sykes of Ethel W. Kight Elementary School, Sabrina Barintine of Franklin Forest Elementary School, Alicia Bilbo of Hillcrest Elementary School, Katie King of Hogansville Elementary School, Cindy Lanier of Hollis Hand Elementary School,  Amy Goodson of Long Cane Elementary School, Caley Yeary of Rosemont Elementary School, Chloe Bridges of West Point Elementary School, Samantha Cotton and Christine Wicklund of Callaway Middle School Monica Cameron and Marcus Blandingburg of Gardner Newman Middle School, Katina Ross and Jeremy Cross of Long Cane Middle School, Shelby Holcomb and Justin Williams of Callaway High School, Rebecca Davis and Jessica O’Neal of LaGrange High School, Tishana Hines of The HOPE Academy, Judy Robinson andLinda Wood of Troup High School and Jayne Pauley of THINC College & Career Academy.

Superintendent Brian Shumate said that he enjoyed watching the nominees be recognized for all of their hard work.

 “Just to be nominated from your school, is an honor in itself. So it’s just fun to watch. And I certainly have a lot of respect for the work,” Shumate said.

The board approved the retention supplement for all TCSS employees on Thursday. They also approved a Microsoft software renewal, the purchase of a bark blower, bottle filling station installation, Administrative Service Center renovations, and the purchase of the Callaway High School hitting facility building.

Shumate said the school board will continue to be proactive to address the issues of TCSS and to learn from the pandemic that shaped the last two years.

“We’re trying to build back to what we’re working on. We’re also trying to build the fine arts programs and increasing pathways all the way around,” Shumate said. 

“We’ve learned a lot through the pandemic about how to improvise, modify and adjust on the fly and become very nimble in how we do business. That’s something that we’re trying to embed into our culture because this world of education is ever changing.”