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The Bibb County School District Newsletter

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September 29, 2016

Governor Leads Celebration of 8 Bibb Middle School Students Committing to College Readiness

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal joined the Bibb County School District for a REACH Signing Ceremony for 8 students from Appling and Ballard-Hudson Middle Schools on Tuesday, September 20, at the Hutchings College and Career Academy. The Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Scholarship Program was launched by Gov. Deal in 2012 and is a needs-based mentorship and scholarship program designed to encourage students, starting in middle school, to persist in their educational pursuits. Students are provided with the academic, social and financial support needed to graduate from high school, attend college, achieve post-secondary success and be prepared for the 21st century workforce.

During the District’s 2016 REACH Signing Ceremony, Superintendent Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr. and the local community welcomed 8 eighth grade students into the REACH Scholarship Program for its inaugural year in Bibb County. Students and their families signed contracts to uphold program requirements, such as academic achievement.


Alivia R. Johnson

Cody L. Mason

Kennedy M. Randall

Amari R. Stubbs


Amauri N. Cotton

Jasmine E. Martin

Altanese D. Palmer

Anaya N. Patterson

Community partners from the Mentors Project of Bibb County and GEAR UP ~ Create Your Future are assisting with the program’s development in Bibb County. For more details about the REACH Program, please visit http://reachga.org.

Lt. Gov. Joins District for Opening of Hutchings College and Career Academy at the Dr. Robert J. Williams Complex

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On September 1, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle joined the District for a ribbon-cutting and dedication for the Hutchings College and Career Academy at the Dr. Robert J. Williams Complex. The program is located at 1780 Anthony Road.

In December 2014, it was announced that Hutchings College and Career Academy was chosen by the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to receive a $3.11 million grant. The funding was used to bolster Hutchings College and Career Academy’s partnership with Central Georgia Technical College by renovating space at the Dr. Robert J. Williams Complex. The move of the Hutchings program this summer from its Riverside Drive location to Anthony Road will allow the District to offer more career pathways and dual enrollment opportunities for students throughout the District in a building that has been designed as a true workplace environment aligned with industry standards.

“Being able to have the college and career academy in partnership with Central Georgia Technical College will allow us to fully prepare students for college and career. It will allow us to have a workplace environment along with the rigor that is in college to ensure that students are ready for the emerging workforce,” said CTAE Dr. Cassandra Miller-Washington.

Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Robert J. Williams

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On September 27, the District was joined by family members and the community to honor the memory of former educator Dr. Robert J. Williams with a portrait unveiling. The naming of the Dr. Robert J. Williams Complex, 1780 Anthony Road, was approved by the Bibb County Board of Education on June 18, 2015. The complex houses the Hutchings College and Career Academy and select programs of Central Georgia Technical College.

Although Dr. Williams trained for a business career, he would go on to spend 41 years of distinguished service in education within the Bibb County Public School System. Dr. Williams began his career at the age of 22 as a teacher of mathematics and business education at Ballard Hudson High School. He continued his career within the Bibb County Public School System as a teacher of mathematics, guidance counselor and administrative assistant at Ballard Hudson High School; principal at Ballard Hudson Junior High School; supervising principal of the Central High School Complex; deputy superintendent; and interim superintendent.

While Dr. Williams broke barriers in Bibb County education, helping students learn was always his chief concern. He believed the total process of education should be to assist the individual in developing into the best possible contributing person in society. When students graduated from high school, he felt they needed to be in a position to take the next step, whether it was technical school, college or a job. He felt they also needed to be functional, not wondering what they were going to do tomorrow to establish themselves.

Three Bibb County Students Selected for State School Superintendent's Student Advisory Council

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Congratulations to Weaver Middle School students Jordan Lowe (above, right) and Shemitria Risper (above, left), and Academy for Classical Education student Benjamin Trofemuk! They were selected to serve on State School Superintendent Richard Woods' Student Advisory Council.

Superintendent Woods selected 108 Georgia students from a pool of more than 800 to serve on his 2016-2017 Student Advisory Council. Throughout the school year, these middle and high school students will meet with him to discuss the impact of state policies in the classroom. Members of the Student Advisory Council also will discuss other issues related to education, serve as the Superintendent’s ambassadors to their respective schools, and participate in service projects to benefit schools and students.

Howard High Senior Attends GRAMMY Camp in New York

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Congratulations to Howard High School senior Ashley Pointer for being selected to attend the GRAMMY Camp in New York this past summer! We’re excited to share a video from GRAMMY Camp that features Ashley performing with her fellow campers: https://vimeo.com/182476713.

Ashley was the first violinist and first Maconite ever to attend the GRAMMY Music Camp. Read more about her in our original feature here: https://www.smore.com/8489u.

District Celebrates Longtime Educators with the Naming of the Martin-Whitley Educational Complex

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The District hosted a dedication ceremony celebrating the naming of the Martin-Whitley Educational Complex on Riverside Drive. The naming of the Martin-Whitley Educational Complex was approved by the Bibb County Board of Education on August 20, 2015 in honor of Dr. Riago J. Martin and Dr. Wallace C. Whitley, two former administrators in the Bibb County School District. The complex is home to the Professional Learning Center, SOAR Academy, School Nutrition, Technology Services, and the District's Employee Wellness Center.

During his esteemed career as an educator, Dr. Martin was employed by the Avery Institute, Lincoln Academy, Henry County Training School and Central High School in Waycross, Georgia. He was recruited to Bibb County as the principal of Ballard High School and was later named as the principal of Ballard-Hudson Senior High School, where he served as its only principal from 1949-1970. In 1972, Dr. Martin became one of the first elected African-American members of the Bibb County Board of Education, where he served for 12 years.

Dr. Whitley began his career in education as the principal of a small country school in Alabama. He started in Bibb County as the principal of Dudley Hughes High School. In 1970, Dr. Whitley was given the awesome task of assisting in the desegregation in southwest Macon by being selected complex principal of the newly formed Southwest High School. Because of his interpersonal and communicative skills, he was able to lead a nervous community into a smooth transition during very difficult and uncertain times. Dr. Whitley retired from the school district in 1980, but continued to be an active supporter of Southwest High School. Also, he served as the representative for south Macon on the Macon City Council for 22 years.

Reading FUNdamentals: Making Gains in Literacy

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Ballard-Hudson Urges Students to Read 25 Books

The teachers at Ballard-Hudson Middle School dressed up as their favorite book characters to celebrate the kickoff of the school’s “25 Books” initiative. Ballard-Hudson’s goal is to get as many students as possible excited about reading 25 books this school year. The school will conduct celebratory benchmarks throughout the year to reward students.

Strive for Five: District Kicks Off Attendance Awareness Month by Encouraging Fewer than 5 Absences a Year

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The Bibb County School District kicked off Attendance Awareness Month with a celebration highlighting and connecting the importance of regular, punctual school attendance with academic success Thursday, September 1. The kickoff was held this year at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.

The District is challenging all students, faculty and staff to “Strive for Five,” and aim to have under five absences for the school year. Last school year, 43.6 percent of students missed more than five days of school, a decrease from 50 percent in 2014‐2015.

More District Attendance Awareness campaign events throughout the month included perfect attendance pep rallies, the Kona Ice for Attendance School Tour, perfect attendance pizza parties, an attendance awareness lunch and learn session and STEM-tastic attendance activities. Also, teachers at the school with the best faculty and staff attendance for September will win mini massages for the staff.

In addition, students throughout the District were invited to participate in PSA Contest promoting the importance of regular and punctual school attendance. The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Top Finalists for Bibb County Teacher of the Year Named

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The District recognized the 2016-2017 Teachers of the Year at its Board of Education meeting on Thursday, September 15, and announced five finalists for the 2017 Bibb County Teacher of the Year. This year’s finalists are, above from left, Dominique Nichols, Westside High School; Marissa Rondina, Rutland High School; Darryl Silas, Northeast High School; Connie McCain, Rutland Middle School; and Ronny Fuerniss, Heritage Elementary School.

The 2017 Bibb County Teacher of the Year will be named at the Bibb County Teacher of the Year Banquet at Mercer University’s University Center on Monday, October 10, at 6 p.m.

The complete list of Teachers of the Year for 2016-2017 is below.

· Pollyanna Roe, Alexander II Magnet School

· Christian Abrams, Barden Elementary School

· Chevonne Coons, Bernd Elementary School

· Marquita Tatmon, Brookdale Elementary School

· Tangela Turner, Bruce Elementary School

· Vivica Lynn Gray, Burdell-Hunt Magnet School

· Ronna Demichiel, Carter Elementary School

· LaTasha Little, Hartley Elementary School

· Courtney Hale, Heard Elementary School

· Ronny Fuerniss, Heritage Elementary School

· Tamikia Johnson, Ingram-Pye Elementary School

· Melanese Parker, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School

· Amy Phillips, Lane Elementary School

· Rosa Coley, Morgan Elementary School

· Julia Chambless, Porter Elementary School

· Bridget Smith, Riley Elementary School

· Kerrie Welch, Skyview Elementary School

· Latisha Williams-Bacon, Southfield Elementary School

· Denise McIntosh, Springdale Elementary School

· Opal Taylor, Taylor Elementary School

· Kuwana D. McKenzie, Union Elementary School

· Lindsay Crisp, Vineville Academy of the Arts

· Pamela Rivers, Williams Elementary School

· Terrence Redmond, Appling Middle School

· Beverly Williams, Ballard-Hudson Middle School

· Alecia Ervin, Howard Middle School

· Lavonda Ross, Miller Magnet Middle School

· Connie McCain, Rutland Middle School

· Christine Lastinger, Weaver Middle School

· Hannah Freel, Central High School

· Louisa McDonald, Howard High School

· Darryl Silas, Northeast High School

· Marissa Rondina, Rutland High School

· Wanda O’Neal, Southwest High School

· Dominique Nichols, Westside High School

· Lorenzo Harris, SOAR Academy

· Billie Mallory, Elam Alexander Academy

· Stephen Neil, Hutchings College and Career Academy

· Barbara Schultz, Northwoods Academy

· Media Specialist of the Year – Brandi Malloy, Alexander II Magnet School

Internationally Acclaimed Musician Visits Vineville Academy

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Internationally acclaimed pianist Spencer Myer performed for Vineville Academy of the Arts students while in town to perform with the Macon Symphony Orchestra! He even signed their piano to mark the occasion.

Building Strength of Character with PBIS and Leader in Me

District Celebrates Opening of New Veterans Elementary School

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Veterans Elementary School has been officially dedicated! On September 8, the District celebrated a ribbon-cutting for the new Veterans Elementary School at 4901 Faubus Avenue in Macon. Construction of the school was funded by the 2010 Capital Program’s Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST). The new elementary school was built on the site formerly occupied by Morgan Elementary School. Students from Morgan Elementary and Barden Elementary School are now zoned to attend Veterans Elementary School.

National GEAR UP Week Celebrates College Readiness

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The Bibb County School District GEAR UP Program, Create Your Future, celebrated National GEAR UP Week 2016 this month. The celebration began with a kickoff at Southwest High School.

National GEAR UP Week commemorates the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program providing students and families with the resources they need for college success. Since its inception in 1999, GEAR UP has improved educational outcomes for millions of students across the United States.

GEAR UP: Create Your Future commemorated National GEAR UP Week 2016 by sponsoring numerous events at high schools throughout the week that celebrated the success of students, parents, staff, volunteers, partners and the community. At the kickoff Monday, Keith Brown, one of the nation’s leading motivational speakers, inspired students to achieve their “I AM Possible” dreams for college. Mr. Brown also spoke at the other high schools in the District, as well as SOAR Academy.

GEAR UP: Create Your Future is a partnership of the Bibb County School District, Robins Financial, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Georgia, Communities In Schools, Legacy Builders Foundation, Fort Valley State University, the Mentors Project of Bibb County, Mercer University, Wesleyan College, and the Museum of Aviation Foundation. Currently, the GEAR UP Grant provides services to 11th and 12th grade students and will celebrate its first graduating cohort in May 2017. GEAR UP students benefit by receiving support services such as tutoring, mentoring, summer camps and college tours designed to increase the number of students graduating from high school ready for college or career.

“We are excited to begin our first cohort graduation year as we celebrate the students, parents and community members who have diligently worked with us to help increase our graduation rate. For 6 years, the GEAR UP Grant has provided supplemental activities for students and parents to become more involved in the process of planning and preparing for a post-secondary education,” said Dr. Janice Flowers, GEAR UP Project Director for the Bibb County School District.

Become a Reading Tutor and Change a Child's Life

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Former professional football and baseball player Brian Jordan read his book "I Told You I Can Play!" to students at Bernd Elementary School late last month. His visit was sponsored by the United Way of Central Georgia, and GEICO donated a copy of Mr. Jordan's book to each student at Bernd! Learn more about becoming a reading tutor at www.readunitedcg.org.

Victory In Progess (VIP) Continues!

Schools and departments are celebrating milestones of Victory In Progress (VIP) with pinning ceremonies to recognize faculty and staff with at least one or more years in Bibb schools.

Crowds Cheer on Eastside at Parade Celebrating Northeast

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Northeast High School's "Coming to the Eastside" 2016 Homecoming Week and GEAR UP Week celebration was a success! Students, faculty, staff, alumni, feeder schools, and community guests participated in a parade, live broadcast and pep rally hosted by Power 107.1 FM. AJ the DJ helped to emphasize the importance of regular attendance at school. The "Coming to the Eastside" homecoming 2016 culminated with Northeast's homecoming football game against Bleckley County High School, where the Raiders were victorious, 41-6!

Community Partners Make Donation to Southfield

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Thank you to AT&T Business Division in Macon. Employees donated school supplies to Southfield Elementary School at the beginning of the school year to ensure students are always prepared for success!

Bibb County School District


Each student demonstrates strength of character

and is college or career ready.


The Bibb County School District will develop

a highly trained staff and an engaged community dedicated

to educating each student for a 21st century global society.

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

The Bibb County School District newsletter is a monthly digital publication that serves to inform all stakeholders of District initiatives that manifest the District Mission and Vision:

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Please email all content for consideration to Stephanie.Hartley@bcsdk12.net

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