By LYDIA BERGLAR
At the Oct. 24 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Josh Ingle noted several awards and recognitions, each department gave reports on successful projects (with highlights being CTAE and NASA Hunch projects), and this was also Chris Green’s last meeting with the board before retiring.
Ingle recognized individuals who demonstrated October’s character word, citizenship.
- Davis Elementary School: Jaden Sledge, Luke Helton, Gianna Wilson, Delilah Prutechinko, Ashley Gibson
- Dade Elementary School: Leanne Gibson, Harsh Sha, Clara Pitsley
- Dade Middle School: Chris Chance, Corbin Sutton, Michaela Dunn
- Dade County High School: Al Barton, Sandia Corcoran, Kelly Vine, Aiden Clark, Sean Corcoran, Avery Smith, Grayson Cates.
Ingle noted that the Dade County Board of Education was named a 2022 Georgia School Boards Association (GSDA) Exemplary Board.
Additionally, two of the teachers of the year were recognized. Justin Page (Elementary Teacher of the Year) and Molly Rogers (District Teacher of the Year). Notably, all four teachers of the year are Dade County High School graduates.
Regarding Page, Tracy Blevins said, “It’s my privilege to work with Justin everyday. I had the honor of serving as his home room teacher…He’s a great educator, and he’s a natural.”
Page said, “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be home. This is my alma mater. It’s great to make a difference in kids’ lives.”
Of Rogers, Brent Cooper said, “It excites me to see somebody get rewarded when you see behind-the-scenes how much work they put in. Molly’s always the last one at school, working in her classroom or in the cafeteria working with cheerleaders…We really appreciate her.”
Rogers said, “It’s such an honor to be an educator in a community that poured so much into me and to have the opportunity to give that back…I’m following in some very big footsteps.”
Tonya Gatlin reported on Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) and workplace learning, noting that the student enrollment in each career pathway is comparable to that of the last few years. The welding pathway, offering only two courses, is entirely full. Gatlin reported that they are rebuilding several programs and looking at data to decide if they should offer other pathways.
Additionally, by submitting a grant to the Georgia Department of Education, the CTAE program received about $19,000 for the mechatronics pathway.
Gatlin also highlighted that teachers voluntarily spent 200+ hours in professional development workshops and several completed 16 hours of “externships” with local businesses so they could bring topics back to the classroom and build connections for student internships. The school also brought in 17 industry guest speakers who presented to students.
Gatlin highlighted many learning projects in each CTAE pathway, including:
- Agriculture Pathway: FBLA field trip
- Broadcast Video Pathway: “What Advice Would You Give Your Middle School Self?” video project
- Business & Technology Pathway: Students placed 10th at state graphic design competition
- Healthcare Science Pathway: Field trip to Chattanooga Massage Institute; successful blood drive
- Mechatronics Pathway: Numerous NASA Hunch projects
- Nutrition & Food Science Pathway: Participation in Georgia Organics Farm to School
Gatlin also highlighted work-based learning opportunities for students, career-related field trips, and college/technical school visits. Board member Jayne Griffin asked about tracking placement post-graduation.
Gatlin explained, “With work-based learning, we do track students. It is hard to track some students. We had about 30% go to college and finish a degree in the last four years. I couldn’t get the two year data. We’re trying to figure out post-secondary, how many of our students go, how many survive within the first and second year.”
Shenea Hill gave an update on Dade County Schools Career & Technology Innovation. Teachers continue to guide students as they work on numerous NASA Hunch projects. Additionally, the Hunch Academy curriculum, which begins in 3rd grade, will follow students through 12th grade. About 75 middle and high school students are involved in NASA Hunch each year.
In Susan Reyes’ Pre-K update, she noted that Davis Elementary has one class that is fully enrolled with 22 students, and Dade Elementary has five classes with 85 enrolled. She highlighted that these programs are fully funded by the Georgia Lottery.
In Patti Johnson’s academics/testing report, she gave an update on the 2023 Cognia Review, noting that all materials for accreditation approval will be submitted by March 21 to the accreditation evaluators. Additionally, she highlighted student-led conferences which encourage students to take ownership of their education and also encourages parent participation.
Jennifer Bowden’s school nutrition report highlighted National School Lunch Week.
Jeremy Roerdink reported on federal programs and safety, noting that Title I meetings, which are required by federal law, have been held at both elementary schools. He noted the success of several scenario drills, such as active shooter training.
“We have a great law enforcement. They’re very active, very involved,” Roerdink said. “The threat is usually neutralized in these training scenarios within four to five minutes…Seconds matter, and we’ve communicated that.”
Additionally, Roerdink reported on the substitute teacher training in October, which had 25 participants. “We are in dire need of subs,” he said. “I know as a principal…usually you walk in first thing in the morning and it’s, ‘Where do I need coverage?’and you try to find that coverage.”
Chris Green gave a report on technology updates and projects. As he is retiring in the near future from the role of director of information technology & network services, this was his final board meeting. The board thanked him for his service, with Ingle noting that Green was always happy to help and ready to address issues quickly anytime Ingle called.
Loran Grasham gave the monthly financials report, noting that the school system is 25% of the way through the fiscal year. She reported, “In the total revenue for this fiscal year, we have $3,403,194.42, and that’s roughly 17.22% of our budget. We have expended $5,190,036.75. Over half – 69% – of our expenditures go towards instructions.”
She also reported that the Dade County Middle School gym project was paid in full as of Sept. 20, 2022.
- Resigned: Nikki Wright (teacher), Levi Binegar (lead mechanic), Breana Schupska (aftercare worker), Carla Kesler (aftercare worker)
- Hired: Jackie Guffey (lead mechanic), Kami Counts (community coach), after
- Substitutes Approved: Rita Lawson, Rebecca Smith, Victoria Payne, Taylor Alyx Case, Carrie Cross, Autumn Holden, Kristen Case, Sandra Lawrence (school nutritionist)
The next school board meeting will be Nov. 13 at 5 PM.