EDUCATION NOTEBOOK: Mercer freshman named top speaker at national parliamentary debate tournament

Mercer University freshman Jaz Buckley made history at the National Parliamentary Debate Association tournament March 14-17 in Kansas City, Kansas. Buckley became the first freshman and the first African-American to be named top speaker at the nation’s largest parliamentary debate tournament.

Buckley’s teammate Kyle Bligen, also a freshman, was rated the fourth-best speaker and second-best novice. The team of Buckley and Bligen, a politics, philosophy and economics major from Long Island, New York, finished in the top 16, as did Mercer’s other team of seniors Lindsey Hancock, an English major from Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, and Hunter Pilkinton, a political science and communication studies major from Tifton. Hancock was rated the 10th-best speaker.


The Bibb County school district will host a kindergarten registration roundup for the 2015-16 school year throughout April and May. Parents should register new students at the child’s zoned school.

Parents must provide the school with the following information to register their child for kindergarten:

A certified birth certificate, which shows the child will be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2015;

A Social Security card;

An updated Certificate of Immunization on Form 3231 (Shot record from the health department or doctor);

Certificate of dental, vision and hearing screening on Form 3300;

Two documents validating proof of residence.

For help finding which neighborhood school is your zoned school, visit For answers to questions about kindergarten registration, call 478-765-8711.


The Master Gardeners of Central Georgia is accepting applications for its 2015-16 college scholarship program. Four scholarships are available to graduating high school seniors and currently enrolled college students.

Applicants must be Georgia residents from one of the following counties: Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach or Twiggs. Additionally, applicants must have applied to, or been accepted at, or currently attend an accredited institution of higher learning (university, college, technical college, etc.) on a full-time basis located in Georgia.

For more information and to download an application, visit the MGCG website at Send any questions to

All applications must be postmarked no later than May 1.


Now through May, St. Joseph’s Catholic School will hold a weekly event known as “walk through Thursdays” for prospective families. Prospective parents are encouraged to tour the school and observe active teaching and engaged learners in a caring environment.

For more information, visit


For the fifth year in a row, the Bibb County school district nutrition program will oversee the USDA Summer Food Service Program, which makes sure children throughout the county receive meals during a critical time when school is not in session.

In an effort to reach as many children as possible this summer, the program will host a summer meals sponsor fair Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the district’s Welcome Center Annex, 2007 Riverside Drive in Macon.

This is a drop-in event where community members can receive more information or ask questions about the summer meals program and sign up to be a sponsoring site for the program.

For more information, call 478-779-3595 or email Bernice Tukes at

Writers Oby Brown and David Schick contributed to this report.