SEPT. 27, 2016
STATE BOE BACKS
GOV'S SCHOOL PLAN
TIFT BOE HAS NO POSITION ON BALLOT PROPOSAL
Georgia state Board of Education (BOE) has
Nathan Deal's Opportunity School District (OSD) Amendment on the
Nov. 8 ballot.
At its meeting last Thursday, the state school board passed a resolution backing
the OSD "in order to improve the education of Georgia children trapped in failing schools."
If voters approve the amendment to the state Constitution, the governor gets sweeping new powers to take over schools determined failing by their performance on state tests. The governor may take over failing schools and place them and their local funding under an appointed OSD superintendent. The schools may then be reconstituted, turned over to charter management or closed.
"I commend the members of the
state Board of Education for their formal resolution in support of the
Opportunity School District,"
Deal said in a statement released by his office.
"There is a shared mission between the proposed
Opportunity School District and the state school board, which is to establish an environment where every
public school in
every child can
thrive. Students across our state have been
left behind to
for far too long, and I believe
must do better
Not everyone supports the proposed amendment. A group
called "Keep Georgia Schools Local" is fighting the governor's plan.
"The state Board of Education, a board comprised completely of political
appointees, acted against the interest
of parents across the state," the group's spokesman,
, told the
Atlanta Journal Constitution
"By passing the governor's school takeover resolution, the state Board of Education is telling Georgia parents, students and teachers that they support gutting local control of our schools. The school takeover is a power grab that would silence parents by handing over our public schools to an unelected political appointee. The appointee could fire teachers without cause, close schools or give schools to out-of-state, for-profit corporations, all while taking $13 million from school budgets for 'administrative operations.' "
Tift County BOE
not taken a position
on the matter.
"At this time, Mr. Atwater, nor the board, has an official position on the Opportunity School District. They are simply encouraging all voters to thoroughly read the legislation, not just the ballot language, and understand exactly what is being proposed before voting," said Stacey Beckham, Tift schools' spokesman.
LACK OF RAIN HELPED, EXPERT SAYS
high for this year's
Georgia pecan crop, says
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist
Despite Hurricane Hermine's visit Sept. 2, which led to damaged pecan trees throughout South and Southeast Georgia, Wells
this year's crop to
100 million pounds
one of the better crops we've had in a while," Wells said.
One reason is Georgia's
lack of rain this summer, which meant a sharp
decline in pecan scab disease. Scab results from a fungal pathogen. When temperatures rise in the spring, the fungus becomes active and produces new spores, spread by rain and wind.
drought-like conditions this
summer meant few, if any, spores were spread from one tree to another.
"As long as the farmers had irrigation,
many places actually benefitted from the
lack of rain because they didn't have much scab and they didn't have to go out and spray as often," Wells said.
It was dry until the first days of
Hurricane Hermine moved through and dropped more than five inches of rain in some areas. Wells said the storm damaged pecan trees on a path starting in
Thomasville, then went east and north as far as
Screven County. Wells said
Berrien experienced the most damage.
"There were some growers in the
Berrien County area who had more than
1,000 trees laid down because of the wind," Wells said. "Most of these trees were
15 years old and younger."
However, the wind doesn't have to blow the tree over to cause damage.
"Most of the growers I've heard from have reported about
30 percent of the
nuts being blown or shaken out of the tree by the
wind," Wells said.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
The sweet sound of
jazz from Dr.
Thomas Heflin on
trumpet will serenade the audience at
7 p.m. Oct. 4 at the season's opening night for the
First Tuesday Concert Series at
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
, assistant professor of jazz in the School of Liberal Arts, will be on stage in the Chapel of All Faiths as the popular series kicks off with
"A Night of Jazz Music."
This concert is
open to the public
First Tuesday series, now in its
15th year, features regional professional artists on the first Tuesdays of five months during the year.
Heflin will be joined by other ABAC jazz faculty including Brandon Robertson on bass, Rob Walker on guitar, Miles Bozeman on drums and special guests. The lineup for the evening includes a mix of jazz standards and original compositions.
Heflin placed second in the
Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in
Seattle. He has released
three albums as a leader on Blue Canoe Records, the last of which was a collaborative CD with
Ron Westray, former lead trombonist with
Wynton Marsalis and the
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
A former member of the
Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Heflin has served as the
Central Greenough artist-in-residence in
Western Australia as well as an
artist-in-residence with the
Always on Stage Festival in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
2009, he received his doctorate in music performance with a jazz emphasis from the
University of Texas. Shortly after, he moved to
New York City and served as
program manager and on the
jazz faculty at the
Manhattan School of Music precollege division.
For information on the
First Tuesday Concert Series,
MONDAY, OCT. 3 ~ 5:30 p.m.
Veteran's Park Amphitheater
Remembering Victims, Celebrating Survivors and Honoring Those Who Dedicate Themselves to the Protection of
Family Violence Survivors
Executive Director of
The Liberty House,
a non-profit agency in Albany providing services for
domestic violence victims, their children, families and friends
Presented By Ruth's Cottage & The Patticake House in Tifton
TCHS STUDENTS WIN AT FCCLA MEETING
FAMILY, CAREER & COMMUNITY LEADERS OF AMERICA
Tift County High School students attended the
FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference near
Cynthia Vargas, TJ Acree and
Leonela Hernandez participated in
leadership sessions and networked with other students from across the state.
TCHS students also came home as
Membership Display Board, seen above, received
third place. Also,
Vargas passed the
FCCLA Statesmen Test, which tests a student's knowledge of FCCLA from the past to now. She had to receive an 85 percent or above to pass.
FCCLA -- Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
-- is a national career and technical student organization that provides personal growth, leadership development and career preparation opportunities for students in Family and Consumer Sciences education.
TRUCK & TRACTOR PULL
ROLLS IN OCT. 6-8
The 2016 AET Truck and Tractor Pull, sponsored by the Agricultural Engineering Technology Club at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, will take place Oct. 6-8 at the ABAC Pull track.
On Oct. 6, ABAC students and the community may participate in amateur night beginning at 7 p.m. The admission fee will be $5 per person. Participants may enter their vehicles for a cost of $5 per pull. Children six and under get in free.
At 7 p.m. Oct. 7 and 6 p.m. Oct. 8, the Southern Pullers Association and Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League will feature their professional pullers. Admission will be $15 for adults; $10 for children six-10 years of age; $10 for students with an ABAC I.D.; and free for children five and under.
DOWNTOWN TIFTON'S UNIQUE ADDRESS
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1 Bath Apartment @$850
& 2 Bedroom/ 2 Bath
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Both with Marble Countertops;
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All Appliances, including Washer & Dryer; Secure Entry; and Ample Parking
MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION DIRECTOR
HELPS OTHERS -- JUST LIKE SHE WAS HELPED
PAYING IT FORWARD
For young Olga Contreras Martinez, the process was simple: Pick oranges out in the Florida sunshine. Put them in the basket. Tomorrow, it would be grapefruits or tangerines or kumquats. As the seasons change, her family moves to Georgia to harvest peppers, squash, eggplants and green beans.
Martinez no longer picks fruits and vegetables for a living, but she is harvesting young minds and preparing them for productive futures through her new role as
multicultural education program director at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
"I am just here to pay it forward," Martinez said. "I am so grateful for all the people who helped me along the way."
In her new role, Martinez has responsibility over the High School Equivalency Program (HEP), the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), the Upward Bound Program, the African-American Male Initiative, and the Consortium Migrant Education Program.
An ABAC employee since 2001 when she was hired as HEP coordinator, Martinez was promoted to the HEP associate director in 2011.
"I finally get my wish to be associated with the CAMP Program," Martinez said. "They used my story and my struggle when I was a student here in 1994 to write the first CAMP grant."
Martinez was a sophomore at Atkinson County High School in 1992 when she participated in a two-week Migrant Education Leadership Program coordinated by Dr. Rosemary Johnson, former ABAC counseling director.
"She talked about college, but I never really thought that plan was for me," Martinez said. "Then, when Dr. Harold Loyd was president of ABAC, he came to speak to 20 students in the group. He told me to make plans to be an ABAC student one day. I'll never forget what he said: 'If it is to be, it is up to me.' That really affected me."
A 1994 graduate of Atkinson County High School, Martinez began attending ABAC that fall. Marshall Harper, a migrant education program coordinator, helped pave the way.
"My mom wanted me to ask Mr. Harper how much we owed him for helping us," Martinez remembered. "He said that if you really want to pay me, do the same thing for others. Now I get to do that every day."
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EDUCATION FOUNDATION AWARDS
OMEGA SCHOOL FOR READING
Paige Keith, center, liaison to
Omega School for the
Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence, presents a check for
Accelerated Reader points earned at the
Summer Reading Center to school Principal Dr.
Victoria Melton, left, and media specialist
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