Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
Excellence in Teaching award recipients gather Tuesday night with representatives of the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence, the Tift County School System and the Tifton Rotary Club. Front row from left are: Superintendent Patrick Atwater, teachers Laura Pritchett, Tori Bennett, Marisol Griffis, Amanda Barksdale, Gwen Robinson, Rotary President Marion Curry and Education Foundation member Mike Davis. From left on back row: Education Foundation Director Mike Brumby, teachers Danielle Hunt, Wren Davis, Lisa Forshee, Amanda Lee and Jake Alley.
Ten  Tift County  public school teachers   were honored Tuesday night as  recipients    of the  2018 Excellence in Teaching Award  by the  Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence.

Each was presented a plaque and an honorarium at a banquet sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tifton at Springhill Country Club .  

The  teachers  honored were:  Lisa Forshee, eighth-grade math teacher at  Eighth Street Middle School Mandy Barksdale , fourth-grade teacher,  Charles Spencer Elementary Marisol Griffis , fourth grade,  G.O. Bailey Elementary Jake Alley , ELM, drama, Tift County High School Danielle Hunt , second grade,  Len Lastinger Elementary Gwen Robinson , third grade,  Len Lastinger Elementary Tori Bennett , kindergarten,  Annie Belle Clark Elementary Laura Pritchett , third grade,  Annie Belle Clark Elementary Wren Davis , kindergarten,  Omega Elementary ; and  Amanda Lee , first grade,  Omega Elementary.

The teachers were  nominated by a student, parent, peer or administrator. This is the    28th year that the education foundation has been  recognizing  teachers of  excellence  in Tift County public schools , bringing the total number of educator honorees to  293.
The Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce's 2018-2019 "T.A.L:K" class ( Tomorrow’s Aspiring Leaders: Kids ) visited the Capitol last week in Atlanta

The class left Tifton at 6:45 a.m. and got a photo with, front row from left, Sen. Greg Kirk , R-Americus; Linda Floyde , Chamber membership services director; Gov. Brian Kemp ; Rep. Penny Houston , R-Nashville; Rep. Clay Pirkle , R-Ashburn; Rep. Sam Watson , R-Moultrie; and Chamber CEO Brian Marlowe .

The local legislators spent time with the students after the photo, talking about the General Assembly session and answering any questions Houston reserved a spot in the House of Representatives for the students to see the Legislature at work. 

The Tifton students spent an hour or more touring the Capitol on their own and then went to lunch at The Varsity

T.A.L.:K is a leadership development initiative which identifies youth who are outspoken , hardworking students who get along well with peers and demonstrate good conduct . Throughout the school year, the students participate in various activities , such as service projects , learning about government and engaging with the business community .

The program's sponsors are Tift Regional Medical Center, Heatcraft, Georgia Power, Colquitt EMC, AT&T, Synovus Bank and South Georgia Bank .
Local officials and tree and forestry representatives plant a live oak tree on the UGA Tifton campus for Arbor Day.
A total of 58 live oak trees are being planted in Tifton's Historic District by the Tifton Tree Board in cooperation with the Tifton Heritage Foundation and the City of Tifton .

The tree planting is mostly complete, and most of the trees are planted along Ridge and College avenues between Second and 12th  streets . Some trees were planted on Sixth Street, and two on 12th Street . A few other locations are being found within the Historic District

The Tree Board’s intention is to recreate the canopied streets that previously existed within the Historic District. The Heritage Foundation covered the cost of purchasing and planting the trees .

In comments at Monday night's City Council meeting, Councilman Frank Sayles Jr. recognized the Tree Board and Heritage Foundation for its work in helping to improve the Historic District .

The city also proclaimed last Friday, Feb. 15 , as Arbor Day in Tifton . Vice Mayor Wes Ehlers read the proclamation Friday as t he Tifton Tree Board, Georgia Forestry Commission and Keep Tift Beautiful collaborated with the University of Georgia Tifton Campus to plant a live oak tree on the UGA Tifton campus to celebrate Arbor Day and commemorate the campus' centennial .
Country music artists Darryl Worley and Ray Scott took turns performing some of their songs Saturday night in Tifton , offering some background about their music and lives as country singers .

The performances were well-received on the Tift Theatre stage and also featured a set by Moultrie native Heath DeLoach and a surprise appearance from Tifton's own Chad Smith .

In the photo above, Scott , second from left, sings while accompanied by guitarist Matt Lee , left. At center right is Worley and his accompanist Mark Moree at far right.

Worley's No. 1 hits on the country charts include "I Miss My Friend," "Have You Forgotten" and "Awful, Beautiful Life." Scott is an independent artist whose popular songs include "Those Jeans" and "Drinkin' Beer." He has appeared 44 times on the Grand Ole Opry .
A portrait of Heriberto Avila at La Estrella Tienda Mexicana in Fitzgerald by photographer Juan Galarza.
Fitzgerald photographer Juan Galarza captures the lives and businesses of Ben Hill County Hispanic leaders in a new portrait series for his upcoming exhibit at the Carnegie Center in Fitzgerald .

An opening reception for Galarza’s work will be held 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Carnegie Center , sponsored by the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Arts Council . Exhibit openings are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available. The artist will be in attendance .

“I believe the Hispanic community has a lot to offer not only in Fitzgerald but also in surrounding counties ,” said Galarza . “I wanted to showcase areas where not many non-Hispanic citizens are familiar with and to let them know that they are welcome regardless of their ethnicity.” 

Inside churches , stores and restaurants , Galarza captured these leaders at work . Some serious, some jovial the dynamic portraits offer a thoughtful look at rural Hispanic communities. 

Galarza hopes the exhibit brings “ exposure to the Hispanic community and all that it has to offer.”
Beginning next Monday, Feb. 25 , Tift County will be closing E.B. Hamilton Drive from just west of West Haven Senior Village to Rutland Road while a road-widening project is underway .

Until the project is completed , drivers should use Eighth Street/Whiddon Mill Road , then turn left on Upper Ty Ty Road and then another left on Rutland Road to access the recreation complex area and Friendly City Park .

The construction project entails four-laning the road from Carpenter Road to the recreation complex and installing curbs, gutters and storm drains . This is a joint project of Tift County, the City of Tifton and the Ga. Department of Transportation , which is contributing $2 million toward it.
Training sessions begin Wednesday, Feb. 20 , for volunteers and potential volunteers at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village. 

Museum Volunteer Coordinator Lynn McDonald said the training sessions will be offered on both weekdays and weekends, and will consist of a site tour and an interpretation lesson .
The weekday site tour is 10 a.m.-noon on Feb. 20 , and the interpretation session will follow from 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 27. The weekend session will be 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 23 , followed by the interpretation session from 10-11:30 a.m. March 2.

Volunteers will receive a full site tour with the goal of becoming familiar with the Historic Village and seeing interpreters in action. The second part of the training focuses on how to interpret . All training sessions will be led by Gina Beckman , the museum's historic area supervisor.

“These sessions are in response to the request for additional training by our current volunteers,” McDonald said. “These classes will be a great start for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer .”

The training will be held in the east conference room of the museum's main exhibit hall . To attend, contact McDonald at  lmcdonald@abac.edu  or 229-391-5223.
Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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