Education Notebook: Mercer, Georgia College win newspaper awards

The newspapers of two Middle Georgia colleges each received several awards from the Georgia College Press Association at its annual conference Feb. 4-5.

The Colonnade, Georgia College & State University’s weekly student newspaper, received the first-place award for General Excellence in its division for the sixth consecutive year, according to a school news release. Georgia College competes against four-year colleges with less than 7,000 students, including Berry College, Augusta State University and Macon State College.

The school placed first in the following categories: Improvement; General Photography Excellence; Layout and Design; Advertising Excellence; Best Campus Community Service -- Sports; Best Feature Photograph, Chelsea Thomas, “Shapes, shadows and skin.” It placed second in Best Campus Community Service -- Editorial; Best News Article Based on Investigative Reporting, Allison Bramlett, “GCSU braces for budget cuts”; and Best News Photograph, Charmaine Tesina. It earned third place in Best Campus Community Service -- Features; Best Sports Story, Scotty Thompson, “International athletes continue influence”; Best Sports Photograph, Drake Simons.

The Cluster, Mercer University’s biweekly student newspaper, won or placed in eight categories against such other colleges as Georgia Tech and Georgia State University in the Four-Year College Division A,

Mercer’s student paper won first place in the Best Campus Community Service -- News, Best Campus Community Service-Sports, and Layout and Design categories. The school was also recognized in the following categories: Best Entertainment Story, Eric Brown, first place; General Excellence, second place; Best Campus Community Service -- Editorial, third place; Best Campus Community Service -- Features, third place; Best Column, Kathleen Quinlan, third place.

At the conference, co-editor-in-chief Elizabeth Bibb was also elected to serve as vice president for GCPA for the upcoming year, a news release stated.

Howard team second at robotics competition

Howard Middle School’s Kidgineers team earned second place at the First Lego League Robotics State Competition, advancing to international competition in the spring.

The three student team -- made up of eighth-graders Annsley Haynes, CJ Hammock and Trey Powell -- competed Jan. 29 at Georgia Tech. Another team from Howard Middle also competed at the event, said Michelle Hammock, the team’s coach.

The students were judged based on a robot they built for the competition and values such as teamwork, Hammock said. They also worked with students at Springdale and Alexander II elementary schools for Bibb County’s Technology Fair.

Howard’s Kidgineers team will represent Georgia at the North American Open Championship Tournament at LegoLand California in May.

‘If I were mayor’

The Georgia Municipal Association is hosting the “If I Were Mayor, I Would” essay contest for the state’s sixth-graders.

To enter, students must submit essays no longer than 350 words, starting with the prompt, “If I were mayor, I would ...” Essays must be sent by March 4. There will be 12 statewide winners and one overall winner among the group. The 12 will be awarded a $250 savings bond and other prizes.

A panel of city officials will judge the essays on creativity, grammar, clarity and sincerity of thought, according to a news release.

Visit for contest rules and entry forms.

Compiled by Telegraph staff writer Andrea Castillo.