By REBECCA HAZEN
Dade County Superintendent Josh Ingle recognized students at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Dec. 13.
Ingle recognized the Dade Middle School coed cross-country team, coached by Will Martin. Kailey Pardue finished third in the North Georgia Athletic Conference championship. The boys finished runner up as a team. Tanner Miller finished first in the NGAC tournament.
In addition, the team finished the season with five first-place finishes and seven top-ten finishes.
“I want to give a shout out to all the members of our team and for all of their hard work. We were only runner up by four points. It was very close as we all held our breath, but I am so proud of them and their work this season,” Coach Martin said.
Coach Martin surprised Gary Friske with a 2021 Wolverine Excellence award.
“We would like to thank a very special Wolverine who made our season a success. This gentleman drove the bus to our away meets and was an example for all of our kids about what a Wolverine means. He carried coolers, the tables, and the tent. He went above and beyond,” Martin said.
Ingle also recognized DMS students who finished their seasons with all NGAC honors for the football, softball, and volleyball teams.
Ingle recognized the Dade County High School one act play, led by teacher Jessica Wilson.
“This year they had a third-place finish in region competition, which was the highest overall rating in about 15 years,” Ingle said.
“It’s special that we are in this room being recognized because this is where all of our stories take place. I am so excited to share stories with Dade County and to direct students and create theatre here,” Wilson said. “Our third place win was a big win for us. We scored a 96 and first place scored a 98.”
In addition, Ingle noted that the DCHS girls’ volleyball team, coached by Carrie Morris and Tammy Stevens, advanced to the Elite Eight of the Georgia High School Association A/AA Volleyball State Championship this year.
“This group of girls has risen to the challenges. It is no surprise that the last two years in sports have been challenging. They have grown up, taking care of themselves and others. They have set the bar high, and we are so proud of them,” Coach Morris said.
The competition cheerleading team was also recognized, coached by Becky Goff, Josh Hurst and Molly Rogers.
“Our competition squad had several first place finishes throughout the year. They advanced to the GHSA Sweet 16 and came away with an overall 10th place finish,” Ingle said.
“We did a great job this year. We had a great group of girls. We’ve finished with the most first place results that we’ve had since I’ve been coaching,” Coach Hurst said. “We had a bunch of people there in Macon watching us. We did really well. I think it was the best performance of our year. We finished 10th which was the highest placement in my years of coaching.”
Hurst also noted that seven girls on the team are graduating this year, and that it would be hard to see them go, but he is looking forward to seeing new girls on the team.
Also recognized was the Dade County High School coed cross-country team. The cross-country team placed third place in the region and qualified for state.
“They run in August and September when it is brutally hot and humid. Sometimes they say, ‘Mr. Ingle, do you want to join us?’ No thank you. I have so much respect and admiration for what they do. They keep on plugging,” Ingle said.
“These kids, they pound the miles out. These kids are involved in a grueling discipline. These kids show their heart and their mental toughness with what they do. It had been 23 years since Dade County had a cross country team to go state, and now we did it two years in a row,” Coach Philip Bell said.
The Dade County High School football team, coached by Jeff Poston, was recognized. The team finished region runner-up this year.
“They hosted the first round of the GHSA State Playoffs, and they also defeated South Pittsburg, Tenn., who just recently won the state title in Tennessee,” Ingle said.
“We challenge them from the get-go, to not be afraid of anyone. Dade County kids don’t have to be second to anyone. We came just a few plays short of being regional champions. These kids turned our football program around,” Coach Poston said.
In other news, the Board of Education heard the financial report from Paula Stallings.
Stallings noted that the fiscal year is 41.66 percent completed. The ending balance of SPLOST V, for October 2021, was $2,740,800.28. Revenue that has been collected year to date is $7,227,405.97. Expenditures through November are $8,126,529.66
“We are a little over budget, and that is because of the one-time expenditures that come in like transportation and insurance,” Stalling said.
The board approved a bid from American Paper and Twine for copy paper, in the amount of $34.90 each for 440 cases.
The board also approved the 2022-2023 school calendar. The first day of school will be Aug. 5, 2022, and the last day will be May 24, 2023.
Ingle also announced that the Dade County High School Chorus has been invited to sing at Disney World on April 8. The chorus team would travel on Thursday, April 7. The students would have the opportunity to explore the parks on the April 8, 9 and 10th, returning on April 11, which is the start of spring break. The board approved the trip.
The next Board of Education meeting will be Jan. 24.