Greene Notes

News & Notices for Team Tigers - February 2023

From the Superintendent

Greetings GCSS Team,

The end of February marks 122 days of school, just over two-thirds of the way through the year. Throughout the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit each of our schools and attend events and activities that highlight the good work of our students and staff. It is amazing to me how quickly the school year progresses and how our students grow academically, socially, and emotionally. The growth I see in our pre-K and kindergarteners since the first day of school, for example, is especially exciting to witness. February is CTAE Month, and I recently attended the College & Career Expo at GCHS that attracted over 25 local businesses, organizations, colleges, and universities to engage with our students. It was great to see our students making professional connections, learning about the breadth of college and career opportunities available to them, and making plans for their next steps.

Coming up in April, we will also celebrate the annual district Spring Fine Arts Festival in downtown Greensboro at Festival Hall in partnership with the Oconee Performing Arts Society, yet another example of our community coming together to support and encourage our students. If you have not had the opportunity to experience this event in years past, I encourage you to attend and observe firsthand the talents of our students under the direction of our excellent fine arts faculty.

Congratulations to our Lady Tigers Basketball team for making it to the Sweet Sixteen Playoffs, securing their first playoff win since 2009, and receiving several all-region awards. We are proud of your achievements and look forward to how the team will continue to grow next year. Looking ahead to spring sports, baseball is already underway, and the Tiger Track season starts next week. Congratulations to all our athletes, not only for their success on the field, court, track, or lanes, but for maintaining a high academic performance. A special thanks to all of our coaches and staff who motivate our scholar athletes and drive the program.

The final 60 days of the 2022-2023 year are already upon us. Let’s finish strong!


Dr. Chris Houston

Update on the 2023-2024 Academic Calendar

The results of the recent staff survey regarding the 2023-2024 Academic Calendar spoke loud and clear: teachers and staff prefer to keep the currently approved version of the 2023-2024 calendar that was approved by the Board of Education in November 2021.

There were two main takeaways heard from teachers and staff in the comments area of the survey:

  1. They wanted to retain a week-long Winter Break in February;
  2. However, they also liked the idea of having more workdays built into the calendar, especially right before Holiday Break to get caught up and finish first semester grading.

Because Distance Learning Days may be set at the discretion of the Superintendent, Dr. Houston has designated Dec. 18-20th as distance learning days for students and workdays for teachers to ensure that all grades are submitted before Holiday Break begins. The first semester will still end on Dec. 20th, allowing families to receive their 2nd nine weeks report cards before Holiday Break.

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Chairman Mike Lynch retires from BOE, new Chairman and District 4 Rep Appointed

On February 15th, Greene County Board of Education Chairman Mike Lynch submitted a letter of resignation to Governor Brian Kemp—resigning from his position effective February 28, 2023. In his letter, Mr. Lynch stated “I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and I am getting to a stage of the disease that does not permit me to devote the quality time to the position that it requires. I have enjoyed the six+ years I have had the appointment, and I am very proud of the accomplishments of both our county’s traditional and charter schools during that period. I am also confident that the leadership that remains in place will continue the progress that has been made.”

At the BOE meeting on February 16th, the Board recognized Mr. Lynch for his dedicated and outstanding service and presented him with accolades. Following attorney advice and local Greene County law that calls for the BOE to make appointments to fill vacancies that occur with less than 2 years left in a term instead of holding special elections, the Board then appointed District 4 Representative Dr. Perry Lee to fill the Chairman position for the remainder of the unexpired term, and appointed community member and retired educator Dr. Maggie Kjer to fill the District 4 Representative seat for the remainder of that unexpired term. Dr. Kjer, who holds a Ph.D. in Education from Capella University, brings to the table 35 years combined experience in public education and educational support businesses. Prior to her retirement in 2021, she served as Sales Leader for Pearson, the world's largest education company, where she also served as voting member on Pearson’s Assessment Product Council as the practitioner/sales leader to guide new product development, technology, and resource investment. Prior to her time at Pearson, she worked as a Special Education administrator and teacher in the U.S. and abroad in Korea and Germany. She has also served as a reading specialist, EBD program coordinator, and curriculum committee member.

Senior Arkiyus Wright Signs with Cumberland University

Congratulations to senior Arkiyus Wright on signing with Cumberland University to play as a defensive back for The Phoenix in the fall! Arkiyus's mother, Pre-K staff member Jacqueline Evans, spoke at the ceremony, saying how proud she was of Arkiyus's hard work and thankful for the school community that has supported their family.
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CMS Students participate in regional drone competition

Six CMS students along with CMS staff members Charlton Ware and Morgen Gay, and GCSS STEM Coordinator Dr. Laurie Weaver, attended a RES Aerial Drone Competition hosted by Newton College & Career Academy and Georgia Power in early February. Our students had an opportunity to fly the drones through the course and observe how the competition was conducted. The object of the Piloting Teamwork Blackout mission was to attain a higher score than the opposing teams by owning goals, scoring bonus balls, and ending the match on a landing pad in the blackout zone. The students had an amazing time and are planning on competing next year!

GCHS students explore careers with businesses across Greene County on National Job Shadow Day

Not only is February 2nd Groundhog Day, but it is also National Job Shadow Day! On this day Greene College & Career Academy students had the opportunity to explore careers through shadowing people who are working in career fields they are interested in pursuing.

Students shadowed at a variety of local businesses, including Stair South, Athens Orthopedic (x-ray, physical therapy and surgeon), Metro Water Filter, Atlas Ministry, Russell W. Wall Law Offices, Greene County Primary School, GCSS Finance Department, Reynolds Lake Oconee, ProMotion Physical Therapy, Franks Chiropractor, Randolph Tax Services, Greensboro Main Street, Zapien’s Salon, and Moore Family Dentistry.

The students who participated in Job Shadow Day had incredible experiences! Many were able to jump in and actually do the work that is required of the job. Students observed things that they would not get to see otherwise. Students who shadowed at Stair South and Metro Water Filter were treated to lunch sponsored by Lake Oconee Area Builders Association and had the opportunity to talk with several local business owners. Overall, the day was a great learning experience for the students involved and expanded on what they are learning in the classroom in a very authentic way. Thank you to all of the businesses that opened your doors for our students on this day!

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Staff Spotlight: Jen Harper

"Ms. Harper is one of our standout new reading teachers in 3rd grade, who gave an impressive presentation on the 3rd grade team's current strategies at GCPS's Critical Action Plans Impact Check last month. I'm excited to see the impact that she continues to have at her school."

- Dr. Chris Houston

CMS holds first D.A.R.E. Graduation for 5th grade class

Congratulations to CMS's 5th graders on their D.A.R.E. graduation on Feb. 10th! D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a highly acclaimed nationwide program that teaches students effective decision-making skills and provides them with knowledge and tools to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives. SRO Sergeant Don Gause teaches D.A.R.E. at CMS, and this month's graduating class was the first group to complete the 10-week course under his leadership. At the graduation, students received certificates and awards, performed skits to demonstrate how the D.A.R.E safe decision-making model can be used to resist peer pressure, and showed a thank-you video they made for Sergeant Gause.

GCCA hosts College & Career Expo

More than 25 college, universities, businesses, and organizations came out to the GCCA College and Career Expo on February 15th. This event was designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of college and career options and offered a unique opportunity for them to connect with college representatives and professionals from a variety of industries. Students had the chance to learn about the latest educational and career trends, ask questions, and discover new possibilities for their future. Students also had the opportunity to meet and engage with experts in their field of interest, find out what it takes to succeed in their chosen career, and learn more about the college admission process and other important topics.

Upcoming Events & Important Dates

March 11, 2023

2nd Annual Parent Expo: Connecting Resources One disAbility at a time

This event is open to the parents and families of special education students in Greene County and the surrounding area. We will have a vendor fair, keynote speakers, and family activities. Come out and join us!

March 16, 2023

Board of Education Regular Monthly Meeting

The Greene County Board of Education will hold its March 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.

March 24, 2023

Distance Learning/Parent Conference Day

All students will learn from home, and schools will hold parent conferences.

March 31, 2023

Early Release/Staff PL Day

All schools will have early release for students, and staff will participate in a half-day of professional learning in the afternoon.

April 3-7, 2023

District Closed for Spring Break

All schools and the District Office will be closed for Spring Break.