March 31-April 7, 2017
In This Issue

The year has been moving very fast, almost too fast to keep up. So I think it's important that we not miss many of the events and programs in which our students participate but that often don't get headline notice. In the past two weeks I attended career day at Kennedy Road Middle School and witnessed students quizzing local businesses and service providers on employment opportunities. The presenters did a great job tying job skill requirements to course work students need to take. More than one student was not shy about asking the ultimate question - "how much do you make?" Good information. At Rehoboth Road Middle, I attended Junior Beta Club Market Day. I was impressed in talking with the young "entrepreneurs" about the origin of their market idea, the research done to bring the idea to market and the analysis undertaken to determine a business model that would make a profit. Some used great visuals to attract attention such as a working cotton-candy machine. Who wouldn't walk over just to see that? 
Griffin High School hosted the JROTC State Color Guard and Drill Team competition one Saturday. Talk about impressive. Over 50 schools sent teams from across Georgia with a total attendance well in excess of 1,400 when you add parents and other spectators. State School Superintendent Richard Woods spent some time observing the competition and left impressed. The Griffin Lady Rifles did well including a third place finish in Female Exhibition Armed Squad and a fifth place finish in Female Exhibition Armed Platoon.  Thanks, GHS, Col. Pugh and the whole staff for making the day a special one.
First National Bank, continuing a 34-year partnership with GSCS, honored over 600 high school students who carry a GPA of 89.5 or higher. Outstanding is the best word I can use to describe the ceremonies. This is another in the series of events where student academic performance is front and center as it should be. Later in April and May there will be more band and chorus concerts, drama class performances and various spring sport wrap-ups. Our students do well in so many areas. Please support them.
I say all that to say this...we are entering "testing season." Our schools and district are judged on a format that puts way too much emphasis on one set of high stakes tests. Be that as it may, always keep in mind the range of activities we offer that truly transform our students into lifelong learners and passionate citizens. You won't find much about market day, drill team, athletic participation or drama performances on the state scorecard. But, those activities make our students who they are and will affect them throughout life.  Keep up the good work encouraged to make a difference and be agents of change everyday.  

Have a great weekend!
Jim Smith 
The Board of Education has approved a new organizational plan for 2017-18.  Linked below you will find the plan as approved. Please note the positions in yellow are re-worked from current positions and green indicates a position we hope to fill for the coming year. Of course, all actions are related to budget availability. The items in blue and gold will be phased in over time. Four of the positions are posted and can be seen on our website or in last week's Communicator.

Click HERE to view the new GSCS organizational chart.
Jordan Hill Elementary Media Specialist Dixie Johnston is the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) Library Media Specialist of the Year (LMSOTY).
The LMSOTY is awarded for individual excellence in the library media field through service to students, teachers and community at the K-12 level. First nominated by her Principal Anthony Aiken and then having her application receive the highest score by the judging committee, Mrs. Johnston was identified as the school system's candidate for the state competition.
Jordan Hill Elementary Principal Anthony Aiken stated, "Mrs. Johnston serves on and leads various committees for our school such as the leadership and technology teams. She also partners with staff, students, parents and community volunteers to promote effective and innovative media programs. Mrs. Johnston exemplifies what we strive for here at Jordan Hill Elementary and the Griffin-Spalding County School System as an exemplary media specialist."
Nominations are open for the Educator Fall of Fame. The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) established the Educator Hall of Fame in 2013, as a part of the school system's 60th Anniversary festivities. Now in the fifth year, nominations are open to induct more GSCS educators into this Hall of Fame.
Educators should be nominated for his/her outstanding and significant contributions to students, staff, parents and the community during their employment at GSCS. Nominees must have been employed at GSCS for a minimum of 10 years and be retired for at least five years.
Nomination forms are available on the school system's website, Nomination forms are due May 1, 2017, for the fifth class of inductees.
An independent panel of out-of-town judges will select those inducted into the Hall of Fame. The 2017 class will be inducted at a ceremony on
August 25, 2017 at the GHS vs. SHS football game. 
The first class to be inducted into the Educator Hall of Fame include Richard "Doc" Beaton, Marie Ann Lombardo and Frank Touchstone Jr. The second class included Elizabeth Watkins, Nina Melton Jones and Chappelle Wesley Calhoun. Nancy Gresham, Margery King, Juliette McCann and Lemuel (Lem) Watkins represent the third class of inductees. Cynthia Anderson and William Walker represented the fourth class of Griffin-Spalding Educator Hall of Fame inductees.

Click HERE for the nomination form. 

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

-Mother Teresa
On March 27, State Superintendent Richard Woods attended an award ceremony at Griffin High School to recognize GSCS for being the 2016 Family Engagement Month State of Georgia Video Contest Winner. The GSCS Family Engagement Department and the GHS student who produced the video, Katelin Ussery, were recognized for their achievement.

Pictured (L-R): Superintendent Jim Smith, GRCCA Director Laura Ergle, Federal Programs Director Ashley McLemore, GHS/GRCCA student Katelin Ussery, Family and Community Engagement Specialist Melinda Owens, Work-Based Learning Coordinator Lea Folds and State Superintendent Richard Woods.
2017 Open Enrollment will be April 24- May 5.

Benefit Meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, at 9:30 am OR 4:30 pm in the GSCS Learning Center.

* Stay tuned for more important information soon.
Megan Holt, a student at Spalding High School, was named the 11th grade winner of the 2017 Regional Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition. Her entry will now move on to the state-level competition. Megan was the only student from GSCS selected as a Regional winner.

The contest is sponsored by the Georgia Council of Teachers of English (GCTE) and is open to all K-12 students.

Teachers, are you interested in a paid summer internship opportunity for four-to-seven weeks that provides full immersion into hands-on applications of science and math? Summer internships are available through the Georgia Intern Fellowship for Teachers (GIFT) program! 

Learn more and  apply today! Applications will be accepted until Friday, May 5. However, a better pool of placement opportunities will be available based on teacher and sponsor preferences the earlier the teacher application is submitted and approved. 

* Please ensure that you email to notify us that you will be applying so that we can pull your application to place you in an internship with our AMP-IT-UP business/community partners and within the Griffin-Spalding area. Limited positions are available through the AMP-IT-UP grant.
Joy Connally
GSCS Transportation Department Safety and Training Supervisor
Joy has gone above and beyond her required duties. She is one of the first ones here and one of the last to leave. She has implemented the SOAR and Safe Rider programs and continues to work with students and drivers on bus discipline. We are thankful for all that she does to keep our students safe.