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The Bibb County School District Newsletter

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April 30, 2021

Students Celebrate Earth Day

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On April 22, students across the District celebrated Earth Day. This annual observation is an opportunity for students to learn about our planet and how to take care of it.
“What we’re doing to our planet now is going to affect this generation,” Springdale Elementary teacher Kasey Thom said. “It’s important for us to realize now that recycling and taking care of our plants and animals, will help these kids when they get older.”
Thom's class did a campus cleanup and took a nature walk. At Lane Elementary, students planted vegetables while learning about the origins of Earth Day. Elsewhere, students completed indoor and outdoor projects related to the holiday.

VIP Academy to Serve as Virtual Option for 2021-22

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The Bibb County Board of Education approved the VIP Academy as a virtual school at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday. With this expansion from a program to a school, the VIP Academy will be the new home for all virtual learning for the 2021-2022 school year. Students will enroll in the VIP Academy just as they would any other school in the Bibb County School District. This option will be available through an application process to all District students in the fourth through 12th grades, which will be open through May 10.

Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones announced the District intends to resume normal operations – with safety modifications – for the 2021-2022 school year. This means all students not enrolled in the VIP Academy will attend classes in person five days a week next school year. There will be no remote option at each school as there has been during the 2020-2021 school year. Any students in grades 4-12 interested in virtual instruction for the 2021-2022 school year should apply for enrollment in the VIP Academy.

The Bibb County School District will host two virtual information sessions for parents and students regarding VIP Academy enrollment for 2021-2022. The virtual information sessions will be held Thursday, May 6, at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

CLICK HERE for more information and to apply.

Bibb County School District VIP Academy: A Parent's Perspective

Schools Name Teachers of the Year

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Help us congratulate and celebrate the 2021-2022 Teachers of the Year at the school level!

  • Shantel Holston, Alexander II Magnet School
  • Jodi Wokocha, Bernd Elementary School
  • Keia Simmons, Bruce Elementary School
  • Lacey Barnes, Burdell-Hunt Magnet School
  • Sheree Hyde, Sonny Carter Elementary School
  • Monica Harris, Matilda Hartley Elementary School
  • MiCaila Reid, Heard Elementary School
  • Antonio Riggins, Heritage Elementary School
  • Whitney Nunnally, Ingram-Pye Elementary School
  • Keisha Greene, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School
  • Brenda Hicks, McKibben Lane Elementary School
  • Mariah Puryear, John R. Lewis Elementary School
  • Shanita Bailey, Porter Elementary School
  • Brittany Cravey, Skyview Elementary School
  • Dwan Johnson, Southfield Elementary School
  • Cindy QuanHong, Springdale Elementary School
  • Andrea Lewis, Rosa Taylor Elementary School
  • Demetria Buckner, Union Elementary School
  • Anita Myrick, Veterans Elementary School
  • Heather Benton, Vineville Academy of the Arts
  • Letita Robinson, Williams Elementary School
  • Cheryl Davis, Appling Middle School
  • Maurice Major, Ballard-Hudson Middle School
  • Mitzi Heath, Howard Middle School
  • Elizabeth Finch, Miller Magnet Middle School
  • Patricia Woodward, Rutland Middle School
  • Chiquita Stanley, Weaver Middle School
  • Maria Rodriguez, Central High School
  • Susan George, Howard High School
  • LaTanya Clark, Northeast High School
  • Marissa Rondina, Rutland High School
  • Garnet Rochon, Southwest High School
  • Evelyn Vicioso, Westside High School
  • Kirsten West, Elam Alexander Academy
  • Stuart Hardy, Hutchings College & Career Academy
  • Erin Radney, Northwoods Academy
  • Leonard Riley, SOAR Academy

Horace Mann Recognizes Dr. Tanzy Kilcrease

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On April 6, representatives from Horace Mann stopped by to celebrate Chief of Staff Dr. Tanzy Kilcrease for her Women in Leadership Award from AASA, The School Superintendents Association. They honored Dr. Kilcrease with her cash prize and treats, and announced that Horace Mann had funded three Donors Choose projects for Bibb County teachers.

"I am humbled and honored to be able to represent the Bibb County School District," said Dr. Kilcrease. "This is about the hard work of us all."

Bibb Seniors Named Georgia Scholars

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A total of 323 graduating seniors from across Georgia have been recognized as 2021 Georgia Scholars, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced on April 29. Eight of those students are from Bibb County schools.

Through the Georgia Scholar program, the Georgia Department of Education identifies and honors high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life. Students eligible for Georgia Scholar recognition are high school seniors who exhibit excellence in all phases of school life, in community activities, and in the home. Each Georgia Scholar receives a seal for their diploma.

“As a state, we can all draw inspiration from the resilience and determination of the class of 2021,” Superintendent Woods said. “Like their counterparts in the class of 2020, they dealt with the sudden shutdown of in-person schooling in March of last year. Then they persevered through a school year that was, of necessity, unlike any we have ever seen before – and still, they found a way to excel. I am extremely proud of each 2021 Georgia Scholar and can’t wait to see what this outstanding group of students accomplishes.”

Congratulations to the following Bibb students for being named Georgia Scholars:

  • Skyler Poole, Central High School
  • Eunice Chon, Howard High School
  • Kennedy Randall, Northeast High School
  • Monique Christian, Rutland High School
  • Jenny Pyon, Rutland High School
  • Piper Riser, Rutland High School
  • Julianna Sales, Rutland High School
  • Jasmine Martin, Southwest High School

Hutchings Student Visits State Capitol for Award

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Daylen Lomeli, a third-year student at W. S. Hutchings College and Career Academy, recently visited the State Capitol to be presented Georgia’s College and Career Academy Student of the Year award. This award was presented by Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, and Daylen was joined by family as well as Hutchings representatives.

Howard Middle Students Donate, Volunteer at Warming Center

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Recently, the FBLA and DECA chapters at Howard Middle School participated in a "Take Change to Make Change" effort at their school. The students collected spare change from classmates, teachers and school staff, and then donated more than $1,300 to the Brookdale Warming Center as a result.

"It means a lot when we have young kids that step up and do the right thing," said Macon+Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller.

After presenting their donation to the Warming Center, the students volunteered in serving lunch to the residents.

"From this, I learned a lot, from being a leader to how to help those in need," said eighth-grader Ryan Rodgers.

Board Names New Administrators

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At the April meeting of the Board of Education, the following administrators were named to new positions:

  • Sharon Roberts, Chief Financial Officer
  • Dr. Cynthia Jones, Williams Elementary School Principal
  • Dr. Meredith Byrd, Alexander II Magnet School Assistant Principal
  • Dr. Eric Fuller, Springdale Elementary School Assistant Principal
  • Asia King, Williams Elementary School Assistant Principal
  • Arlecia Sewell, Southwest High School Assistant Principal

Congratulations to each of these outstanding leaders!

CLICK HERE to read about all of the actions and information from April's Board meeting.

Carter Elementary Launches Saturday Reading Program

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Sonny Carter Elementary School recently started a reading tutorial program on Saturday mornings. Some skills that students are working on are alphabetic knowledge, sight words, fluency, and text evidence. This is an effort to close the knowing-doing gap by helping students develop the skills necessary to read on grade level and track student progress.

Westside Senior Named Griffith Scholar

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Congratulations to Westside High School senior Raj Patel on being named this year’s Griffith Scholar! The Griffith Scholar is given to a Macon-Bibb County senior headed to Mercer University in the fall with a full scholarship!

The Griffith Scholars program is funded by Mercer trustee, alumnus and Macon businessman Benjamin W. “Benjy” Griffith III and the Griffith Family Foundation. The scholarship enables gifted graduates of Bibb County high schools with demonstrated financial need to obtain the premier education available at Mercer.

The Griffith Scholars program was launched in 2010, with the inaugural recipient entering Mercer in the fall semester of 2011. As part of the program, the University matches each scholarship dollar awarded from the fund. Given the match by the University, the effect of this partnership between Griffith and the University is the equivalent of a $5 million endowed scholarship fund.

A Griffith Scholars candidate must be a senior who is progressing toward successful graduation from an accredited high school in Macon-Bibb County. The student must reside in the district and have been enrolled at a school in Macon-Bibb since at least ninth grade, have a minimum high school GPA of 3.25 and have demonstrated need.

High School Bands Receive Performance Honors

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The Department of Fine Arts & Magnet Programs would like to celebrate the concert bands of Howard High School (pictured) and Northeast High School (photo not available) for their recent performances in the Georgia Music Educators Association Band Large Group Performance Evaluation. The two schools both performed well in the virtual format with Howard High earning a Superior Rating and Northeast High earning an Excellent Rating. These two musical programs became the only musical programs within our District to participate in a Georgia Music Educators Association Large Group Performance Evaluation during the 2020-2021 school year. Congratulations to the directors, Keith Heard from Northeast and Emmanuel Johnson from Howard!

Spots Available in Central High IB Program

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CLICK HERE for more information about the program and to apply!

Winners Chosen for Art and Writing Contest

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Recently, District students were recognized for winning the art and writing “Clean Street Matters” competition sponsored by the Macon/Bibb Commission and Keep Macon Beautiful. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade participated in the Arts competition, and students grades 6 through 12 participated in the writing competition.

Art Contest (K-2nd Grade)

First Place: Mariya Campbell, Vineville Academy

Second Place: Finley Faircloth, Springdale Elementary

Third Place: Taanya Vemulapalli, Heard Elementary

Art Contest (3rd-5th Grades)

First Place: Merrill Long, Springdale Elementary

Third Place: Heard Elementary

Essay Contest (6th-8th Grades)

First Place: Adrienne Diggins, Miller Magnet Middle

Second Place: Nyla Belgrave, Miller Magnet Middle

Third Place: Tacoyia Braswell, Miller Magnet Middle

Essay Contest (9th-12th Grades)

First Place: Jayden Wright, Rutland High

Second Place: Elizabeth Aka, Howard High

Third Place: Charles Michael Spradin, Westside High

County Recognizes School Library Month

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Each year since 1985 schools across the nation have celebrated the many contributions of School Library Media Programs in April. School Library Media Specialists serve as an integral partner to modern education by providing access to information for students and staff, collaborating with teachers on information literacy skills, promoting the importance of reading, and planning activities and events that promote a love of reading.

This year, during a special event at City Hall, Macon Mayor Lester M. Miller presented a proclamation recognizing April as School Library Month in Macon-Bibb County. Dr. H. Ficklin read the proclamation as Mayor Miller made the presentation to representatives from the Bibb County School District. Present for the event was Director of Media Services, Michelle Lenderman, Media Specialists Diandra Walker from John R. Lewis Elementary, Raneqkua Mitchell from Ingram-Pye Elementary, Rebecca Erwin from Porter Elementary, and Leah Freeman from Rutland Middle.

PEC Coaches Host Guardianship Workshop

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PEC Coaches from the Program for Exceptional Children Department hosted a virtual Guardianship Workshop for parents of Students with Disabilities on, Wednesday, March 31. The guest speaker was Judge Susan Harris, the 2019 Outstanding Probate Judge of the Year. She shared valuable information pertaining both to Guardianship and Conservatorship. PEC Director, Ms. Jennifer Donnelly, thanked parents for their participation and desire to be informed as their children prepare for adulthood and post-secondary success.

District Honors Paraprofessionals on Special Day

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Paraprofessionals Appreciation Day was on April 7, and schools across the District took time to recognize these important members of our school teams. These individuals fill countless roles in our schools and classrooms, and we appreciate the work that they do each and every day!

Howard Senior Adds to Gates Scholarship to Honors

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Eunice S. Chon, a senior at Howard High School in Macon, was recently selected as a Jack Kent Cooke and Gates Scholar. Chon also is a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar, National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program Winner, Coca-Cola Scholar and National Advanced Placement Scholar who self-studied for five Advanced Placement exams last year. She will receive her associate degree in Core Curriculum from Middle Georgia State University this spring.

Chon is an aspiring journalist who plans to study sociology, religion or politics in college. Outside of school, she is passionate about finding ways to improve gender, racial, and educational inequity in her community and received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Freedom Fund Committee Community Service Award. She looks forward to using her college education to learn how she can make more impact on society.

Sheridan Honored for New Appling Building

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Recently, Sheridan Construction was recognized by the Associated General Contractors of Georgia for its work on the new Appling Middle School, which opened in August. This project, a partnership with Stafford Builders and Consultants, Inc., received first-place honors in the Build Georgia Awards for 2021. This was a well-deserved honor for an impressive facility and team!

Campus Police Officers Support Reading Initiatives

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Campus police officers have taken one of the District's six strategic priorities to heart - Priority 1: Get students reading on grade level. The officers have instituted a reading program initiative at the elementary schools. Officers visit with selected students to assist them with improving their reading Lexile scores and reading on grade level by allowing students to read to and with them. The pilot program began by targeting one school, and due to the level of interest, the program has expanded to other elementary schools within his area of responsibility.

The Campus Police team has collected books for students and has even explored the possibility of writing grants to broaden the program further into the summer months to help students maintain the progress made during the regular school year.

Ballard-Hudson Students Clean Up Campus

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Earlier this month, Ballard-Hudson Middle School Students participated in the "Keeping Macon-Bibb Beautiful Countywide Cleanup Day." These students collected trash and other debris from around the school's campus. Way to show pride in our surroundings!

Rutland Senior Promoted During Work-Based Learning

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Rutland High School Work-Based Learning (WBL) Senior, Hannah Newberry, recently received a promotion at FitCo, her place of employment. According to Newberry, WBL has afforded her the opportunity to work at a job that she enjoys and that fits her active lifestyle. Newberry started as a part-time employee working the front desk and working in the childcare area at the FitCo Health Club on Hartley Bridge Road. As a result of her hard work, she was recently offered a full-time team leader position.

“Being enrolled in the WBL program has been a very positive experience for me," she said. "It has taught me what it is like to work in the real world with people from all walks of life. I have learned that hard work and a good work ethic will always get you where you want to be.”

Newberry is in FFA, and advanced to the state level for her proficiency project. She also won reserve grand champion at the state livestock show as part of the show team. She has been on the varsity soccer team since ninth grade and played on the varsity volleyball team for one year, as well as keeping up with her studies enough to be an honor graduate.

Be a Substitute Teacher at Your Child's School!

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CLICK HERE for more information!
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Bibb County School District


Each student will demonstrate strength of character

and will be college or career ready.


The Bibb County School District develops

a highly trained staff and an engaged community dedicated

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