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Board of Education Recognizes STAR Student and Teacher, Approves School Security Update

News Editor

The Trenton-Dade Optimist Club named Leonard Riby as the 2023 Dade County High School STAR student, and the board of education officially recognized Riby at the board’s April 24 meeting.

The STAR Program, organized by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, recognizes seniors at Georgia public schools who achieve high scores on the SAT while also ranking in their school’s top ten. STAR students then select one teacher who has had a significant impact on their education and development.

Riby selected Tonya Gatlin (CTAE director) as his STAR teacher, saying, “Ms. Gatlin is always supporting me, no matter when, how, or why. It keeps motivating me.”

Gatlin noted that Riby is an excellent student, and she believes they will remain in touch for years to come.

Riby explained that he plans to attend Georgia Tech this fall to study chemical engineering. He is one of DCHS’ 2023 top ten students, and he is the only male in the group.

Superintendent Josh Ingle then noted the success of the second annual career fair, hosted in conjunction with the Alliance for Dade. He noted, “The businesses have already given us feedback and said, ‘Why not include sophomores next year?’”

Ingle explained that seniors also heard from Dale Alexander, a certified financial planner and speaker, during the career fair. Students received a free copy of his book “The Talk (About Money)” and heard Alexander’s explanation of the 70-20-10 method: Live off of 70% of your income, invest 20%, and save 10%.

Ingle said, “He was very engaging. He had the students’ attention. Several of them had questions.”

Susan Reyes, director of special programs, then highlighted the Dade Games which took place on April 21 at the New Salem Community Center. A total of 42 students with special needs from all grade levels participated in the games.

Several volunteer students also helped with the event as part of the Best Buddies Club, a program at the high school that pairs students together to support special needs students.

Reyes also explained Project SEARCH which has placed three seniors at CHI Memorial in Fort Oglethorpe to gain work experience and build a portfolio of job skills. According to Project SEARCH’s website, the program works to prepare “young people with significant disabilities for success in competitive integrated employment.”

Ingle then recommended updating the Centegix security system, using funds designated by Governor Brian Kemp for school security. Kemp signed a bill which allotted up to $50,000 per Georgia school to be used for school security.

Ingle explained, “Our current system is set to expire this year. My recommendation is to update.” The quote for all four schools totaled $208,250. The board approved this update.

The personnel report is as follows:

  • Resigned: Chris Chance, Heather Chance, Gavin Tierce
  • Hired: FY ’24 Certified Staff, Jonah Browder, Katie Burrows, Lisa Davidson, Hannah Monday, Shawn Peek, Jessica Coates, Emma Luke, Kaelin Dupree, Caitlyn Emmett, Jenna Ridge, Kalah Newsome
  • Substitute Teachers: Courtney Case
  • Other: Jimmy Gallman – Transfer Request to DES

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