GCSS Community Update

Greene County School System News & Notes for the Community

In this Issue

  • Message from the Superintendent
  • Strategic Planning Update
  • STEM Highlight
  • REACH GA Scholarship Signing Day
  • GCPS wins GAESP School Bell Award
  • College Tours Around the State
  • Veterans Day Recap
  • Career Coach Spotlight
  • How to Get Involved
  • Upcoming Events & Important Dates

From the Superintendent

Greetings! This November, we have so much to be thankful for here at the Greene County School System, and I'd like to start by thanking the community for passing the ESPLOST last week. This funding will help us with a variety of critical projects such as roofing and HVAC repairs, purchases of new school buses and the latest technology for our students, paying off LOA facilities, and constructing the new Greene County Elementary School building. The best part of the deal is that because 65% of ESPLOST dollars actually come from visitors to our community rather than from county residents' pockets, we get the biggest bang for our buck with this measure. Thank you for your support!

I would also like to give a shout-out to several of our athletic teams who have been outstanding this fall. Our Tiger Football team finished its season by making it to the playoffs and was the region runner-up. Congratulations on a great season! I would also like to congratulate our Adapted Sports Special Education 3v3 Basketball team for winning first place at the Area 5 tournament in Athens last week and proceeding to the State Games in January. Go Tigers! I encourage our whole community to come out and support our JV and varsity Basketball teams as their seasons crank up for the winter.

I am also thankful for our community's continued involvement and investment in our schools through many volunteer hours and donations. From those who handed out candy to our primary school students at their Halloween Trick-or-Treat event, to Dave Thillen and all of our career coaches who are at our high school daily mentoring students on their paths toward great accomplishments, we appreciate the commitment you all show to our students, who are truly the future of our community.

Please share this newsletter with your communication circle and encourage them to sign up on this form so we can include them on our mailing list for future updates, and thank you for helping spread the word about the great things going on in Greene County Schools. As always, we appreciate your support as we strive to educate, inspire, challenge, and support Greene County’s students.

2028 Strategic Planning Process Update

The Greene County School System's 2028 Strategic Planning Process in partnership with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government will continue on Nov. 29th with a Economic Development Retreat that will involve leadership from all Greene County's governmental agencies. At the Economic Development Retreat, faculty from the Carl Vinson Institute will facilitate discussions designed to engage a group of Greene County leaders in the following proposed topics:
  • Define economic development;
  • Understand the economic process;
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of the partners involved in economic development;
  • Assess the role of K-12 education in economic development;
  • Evaluate data and information needed for attracting and retaining companies; and,
  • Discuss best practices, tools and approaches for a successful economic development plan.

On Oct. 27th, educational leaders from around the county met for an all-day Strategic Planning Education Summit where participants worked together to identify where we are today, where we wish to go over the next 5 years, and how best to navigate the journey. Participants focused on goals and challenges such as community involvement and engagement, new initiatives, and game-changer ideas, and used cross-cutting working groups to enhance integration and cross-fertilization of ideas. The Greene County Board of Education and district leadership continue to be grateful for the community's involvement and engagement in our strategic planning process.

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STEM Highlight: MIT Program Coordinator visits GCHS

MIT program coordinator and GCHS graduate (’09) Marcus Mundy returned to Greene County on Monday, Oct. 31st to present to GCHS’s junior class about the MITES program (Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science), a rigorous six-week residential summer program that introduces promising minority high school seniors to engineering and science. The program stresses the value and rewards of pursuing technical degrees and careers. Mr. Mundy shared about his own education and career journey from the graduation stage at GCHS to Valdosta State, UGA, and eventually MIT. He stressed to students the importance of having a plan and clear goals, as well as tips and best practices for applying to MIT's programs. Following the presentation, Mr. Mundy stayed to answer questions and speak one-on-one with students who are interested in pursuing careers in computer science and other STEM fields. Thank you for giving back to your community, Mr. Mundy!
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2023 Class of REACH Georgia Scholars

Congratulations to our 2022 REACH Georgia Scholarship cohort! TiraJai Heath, Jamari Johnson, Justin Robertson, and Torriah Stinson from Anita White Carson Middle School and Jack Alvarez from Lake Oconee Academy make up the Greene County School System's sixth class of REACH scholars since the school system joined the program in 2017. REACH scholars are selected in 8th grade via a rigorous application and interview process and must demonstrate an interest in higher education and a verified financial need. The funding for each GCSS REACH scholarship stems from private donations by Greene County individuals, companies, and organizations. Each local donor sponsors a REACH scholarship with a contribution of $1,000, which the state matches with a $9,000 and many participating postsecondary schools donate $10,000-$20,000 for each student. Congratulations again to the GCSS REACH Georgia Class of 2027 scholars! Click here to read more about this year's class of REACH Georgia scholars on our website.

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GCPS wins School Bell Award from GAESP for innovative RISE reading program

Greene County Primary School has received the School Bell Award from the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals (GAESP) for its innovative work in reading comprehension with second and third grade reading students through the RISE Program (Reading Inspires Students to Excel).

Each year, the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals grants awards that highlight exceptional practices in Georgia schools. The goal of the RISE program was to take students who are below grade level in reading and raise their reading level by as much as two grade levels through intensive, small-group tutoring in vocabulary, comprehension, and other goal areas that make up a well-rounded reader. Throughout the course of the program, the RISE teachers for each goal area evolved and adapted their lessons based on the students’ progress in order to design an individualized learning plan for each student. Another important element of the program was a literacy partnership with the parents’ students, who participated in a family RISE night at the school to learn the reading strategies taught in the RISE classrooms in order to practice at home with their children.

The results show success: at both the second and third grade levels, roughly two-thirds of students who entered RISE grew to reading on grade level after just 8 weeks of the program. Click here to read more about the GCPS RISE Program and the School Bell Award on our website.

GCHS Students Tour Colleges Across the State

GCHS students visited Augusta Technical College on October 24th, where they learned about admissions, tuition/fees, grants and other financing options. They also enjoyed hearing from two current students. Additionally, students got to visit different departments around the campus including Healthcare Science, Welding, Automotive, Business, and Early Childhood Education.
GCHS culinary arts and dual enrollment students also visited Savannah State University and the Savannah College of Art & Design during a visit to Savannah over Fall Break. At SCAD, the students met up with GCHS alum Ricquaria Griggs for a campus tour and visit to her job at Vel. And on Nov. 1st, another group toured the Georgia Southern University main campus in Statesboro.

GCPS hosts Veterans Day program for local vets

Greene County Primary school hosted a Veterans Day program for local veterans on Friday, Nov. 11th. The veterans were treated to a dance performance from the Dancing Tiger Cubs, and choral numbers such as "Grand Old Flag" from the school chorus. Thank you to all our veterans for answering the call to service and sacrifice for our nation!

Career Coach Spotlight: Mike Daniel

Education: DVM, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia
  • Spending time with family; I am married to Joyce, whom I affectionately refer to as AJ (Amazing Joyce). We enjoy time with our two children and their families.
  • Business and organizational start-ups.
  • River and Sea kayaking; hiking; camping
Career: Veterinary practice; Ag business; Animal health biotech business
Note to students: Learn to think about how you think; Positive attitude and habits for success can be learned and formed into the daily norm. God has gifted you. With work and help from others you can grow and develop those gifts into something special.
Note to parents: I believe in your child and will offer the best I have to carry out my role as his/her career coach. I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you.

How YOU Can Get Involved

Volunteer - Reading Buddies (GCPS & CMS)

Help a 2nd grader at Greene County Primary School or a 4th grader at Carson Middle School by becoming a Reading Buddy! You can make a REAL difference with just 1 hour per week by sparking conversations, building relationships and social skills, and helping children foster a love of reading. Interested? Contact Beth Thomas at beth.thomas@greene.k12.ga.us or 706-347-0750.

Volunteer - After School Enrichment (CMS)

Want to help students learn golf, tennis, or sewing? We'd love to have you join our After School Enrichment Program to help students master these skills or to get involved with our Robotics program or Pollinators Protectors club! For more information, contact Beth Thomas at beth.thomas@greene.k12.ga.us or 706-347-0750.

Donate - Wraparound Program (GCHS)

Focusing on the “whole child”, GCSS Wraparound Services address student needs that exist or occur outside the classroom but may impact the student’s ability to be successful in the classroom. These may include physical needs such as clothes, food, hygiene products, and bedding, or other types of support such as mental health counseling. You can donate to our Care Closet by bringing clothing and shoes, backpacks, school supplies, and hygiene products to the school. For cash donations, you may make a check payable to GCHS with Wraparound in the memo. Thank you for your support!

Upcoming Events & Important Dates

November 17, 2022

Board of Education Regular Monthly Meeting

The Greene County Board of Education will hold its October Regular Meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room located at 101 E. Third St. in Greensboro. To view Board of Education agendas and minutes, please click here.

November 21-25, 2022

Thanksgiving Break

This week is Thanksgiving Break for all students, faculty, and staff. The District Office will be closed.

We want to hear from you!

Some of the sections in this newsletter were topics suggested by your fellow community members. What subjects would you like to read more about in this newsletter? Please share your feedback by emailing us at gcsscommunications@greene.k12.ga.us.

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