Of the roughly 200 teachers and administrators working at four high schools who were made to sign memorandums of understanding recently by the Bibb County school system, all but one signed the contracts, said Cathy Magouyrk, deputy superintendent of teaching and learning.
“Only one resigned,” Magouyrk said.
Principals, assistant principals and teachers who work at Northeast, Rutland and Southwest high schools and Hutchings Career Center, signed agreements last month to be held accountable for their students’ growth and commit to “laser-like” focus, or be removed.
The school board unanimously voted to require staff at those schools to sign memorandums of understanding. The four schools will receive federal grant money to help turn them around.
“In order that there be no misunderstanding about the expectations of the school district and the obligations of its employees in these four schools, a memorandum of understanding ... has been prepared,” Magouyrk said at the time. “They are being instructed if it’s not signed, they must submit their resignation.”
The Bibb County school system will receive $24 million over three years in federal stimulus funds. Georgia is to receive $122 million to give schools that haven’t been able to turn around performance more resources and tools.
Macon YDC holds graduation
Five students at the Macon Youth Development Campus received a high school diploma or GED during a ceremony held Thursday.
The Macon YDC is the only long-term juvenile facility in the state for females.
Cheryl Banks, senior assistant district attorney with the Dublin Judicial Circuit, delivered the commencement address. She told the graduates that her slogan of “dream it, believe it and achieve it,” applied to them.
Macon YDC principal Jerry Jones also had a message for the students and family members at the graduation, according to a news release from the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice.
“We can’t give up on them. If we believe in them, they will believe in themselves, eventually,” Jones said.
The Georgia DJJ is Georgia’s 181st school system and has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. All DJJ teachers are certified. Students receive 330 minutes of instruction each day year-round. Students in DJJ schools can achieve a GED, high school diploma or special education diploma. All academic and vocational credits awarded are transferable upon their return to the community.
FPD graduate earns scholarship
Plum Creek awarded a $2,000 scholarship to First Presbyterian Day School graduating senior Ryan Albright.
Plum Creek awards college scholarships to high school seniors who demonstrate academic excellence, involvement in school and community activities and overall achievement throughout their high school careers.
Albright plans to attend the University of Georgia to study business. He was a member of FPD’s wrestling team and worked at Chick-fil-A while attending school. His father, Craig, works as a staff forester in Plum Creek’s Macon office.
This year Plum Creek awarded 122 scholarships to high school seniors around the country totaling $167,000.
Plum Creek Timber Company Inc. is the largest private landowner in the nation with about 7 million acres of timberlands, including 767,000 acres in Georgia, according to the company’s Web Site.
Schools gain Kroger grants
Kroger’s Atlanta Division donated a total of $16,000 to two Macon-area graduating high school seniors and 11 elementary and middle schools that earned the grocer’s Earning Plus Learning rewards. The program asked the schools and graduating seniors to creatively demonstrate how they stay active mentally, physically and within their communities.
“Kroger is committed to education,” said Glynn Jenkins, Kroger’s Atlanta Division spokesman. “It is no secret that the education system and families have been negatively affected by the economy and we hope these funds can at least fill some gaps. These students and schools have really earned these rewards.”
Graduating seniors William Walton, of the Westfield School in Perry, and Andrew Bennett, of Rutland High, earned $1,000 scholarships.
Heritage Elementary in Bibb, and West Laurens Middle School in Dublin each earned $2,500.
Alexander II Magnet, Carter, Skyview and Springdale Elementary in Macon, Feagin Mill Middle in Warner Robins, The Westfield School in Perry, Hubbard Elementary in Forsyth, and Southwest Laurens Elementary and Trinity Christian in Dublin all received $1,000 each for their schools.
Monroe County students to attend Duke summer program
Monroe County students Evan Owens and Rachel Pope, both rising eighth-graders, earned state recognition by Duke University Talent Identification Program recently.
The Duke program identifies students in 16 states who have scored in the 95th percentile on a grade-level achievement test.
As part of the program, the students also take SAT or ACT college-entrance exams to learn more about their abilities. As seventh-graders the students’ SAT or ACT scores were equal or better than half of college bound seniors who took the same tests.
They were recognized at an award ceremony at Georgia Southern University.
Owens is a student at Bank Stephens Middle School and Pope attends Hubbard Middle School. Both students have been invited to participate in Duke’s Center for Summer Studies. The three-week sessions challenge students to think critically.
Compiled by staff writer Julie Hubbard.