Education

32 apply for Jackson County Community Outreach Scholarships

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Five apply for new Tech College Industrial Scholarships

Thirty-two Jackson County area high school seniors applied for 2016 scholarships to be awarded by Jackson County Community Outreach, says JCCO president Jim Scott.

Of the 32 applicants, five applied for the new Tech College Industrial Scholarships, targeted for specific critical skillset training.

“The applicant pool was extremely encouraging,” said Scott, “because it consisted of 12 from East Jackson Comprehensive High School, four from Commerce High School, nine from Jackson County Comprehensive High School and seven from Jefferson High School.

New JCCO scholarship committee chairwoman Elaine Roller and co-chairwoman Mary Burley deserve credit for their diligence and hard work, contacting the interview team and scheduling the interviews for student applicants.

“Their first year in these positions and their work reflects greatly on their dedication to the mission of JCCO,” said Scott.

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Braselton 13-year-old collecting books for Belize community

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Alina Rodriquez returns again to help orphanage from which she was adopted

Alina Rodriquez, in pink dress, has been returning annually to the Belize orphanage from which she was adopted as a toddler as a part of her Alina Gives Back charitable efforts. The 13-year-old Braselton resident is hosting an April 30 book drive to collect new and used books for this summer's outreach effort near the orphanage.

Alina Rodriquez, in pink dress, has been returning annually to the Belize orphanage from which she was adopted as a toddler as a part of her Alina Gives Back charitable efforts. The 13-year-old Braselton resident is hosting an April 30 book drive to collect new and used books for this summer’s outreach effort near the orphanage.

What began as a child’s question about other children without toys remaining in the Belize orphanage from which she was adopted has become an ongoing mission of a Braselton family.

Alina Gives Back is a nonprofit which annually finds that child, Alina Rodriquez, now 13 and a 10th-grader Georgia Cyber Academy student, returning to Belize to not only deliver toys and toiletries and host a dinner meal at the orphanage but host a summer day camp.

After Dominique Rodriquez and her husband had struggled for years to conceive a child and began to explore adoption, her mother, who was born in Belize and returned there after her retirement, joined the mission to find them a child. One day, the couple got a call from her mother.

“I have found your daughter,” she said of the darling orphaned toddler she found and took home with her, and the lengthy formal process began to adopt Alina and bring her home to the United States. The big bond between grandmother and granddaughter developed as Alina lived with Dominique’s mother for several months.

Alina was in kindergarten when she asked about the children she had known at the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center in Belize. She remembered the simplicity of the surroundings compared to what she was enjoying in her Georgia home, and she wanted to share with others.

“This all happened by accident because of my daughter,” said Dominique, who began asking store managers for donations for Alina’s goal of providing for the children she left behind in the orphanage. Before long, it was Alina making the requests.

“She is my little angel,” says Dominique of her daughter, who was recently accepted to the Governor’s Honors Program in English with math as her minor. She is one of a few 13-year-olds selected to participate in this summer’s residential program at Valdosta State University for gifted and talented high school students who will be rising juniors and seniors during the program. Applying for Governor’s Honors is an arduous process and Georgia Cyber Academy instructors assisted.

The day after she returns from Governor’s Honors, Alina will be headed to Belize. While there, in addition to conducting the summer day camp, she will also be tutoring kids a few hours a day almost until school starts back.

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Winder-Barrow High principal: Community has always put high value on education

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Winder-Barrow High School principal Al Darby was introduced by Barrow County Historical Society president Ray Mattison at the recent spring meeting of the society held at the Statham Community Center.

Winder-Barrow High School principal Al Darby was introduced by Barrow County Historical Society president Ray Mattison at the recent spring meeting of the society held at the Statham Community Center. The crowd enjoyed a buffet dinner catered by The Master’s Table. See LeAnne Akin’s photo gallery of scenes from the evening below.

Winder-Barrow High School principal Al Darby, a 1992 graduate of W-BHS and featured speaker at the April 19 spring meeting of the Barrow County Historical Society, said it has been an honor and a privilege to return to his alma mater.

At the meeting hosted in the Statham Community Center, he was introduced by Ray Mattison, president of the historical society.

Darby played basketball and baseball at Limestone College and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Georgia in 1996 before pursuing a Master’s at Clarke Atlanta University in 2003 and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership in 2010.

He noted that the average service of a school’s principal nationally is two and a half years and 1.9 years for a superintendent, but Winder-Barrow High School’s principals developed a culture, a climate at the school that goes hand in hand with the values and purpose of what education is doing.

While the community grew up along the railroad tracks and textiles, “Barrow County has always put education at the top of the list,” said Darby, who pointed to points of pride tied to the agricultural roots: Statham having Georgia’s first FFA chapter and Winder’s being the 68th. “And FFA is one of those organizations that still make a difference,” he said.

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BULLI offers opportunities to get involved, connect with others

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Bulli_Summer16_Page_01Are you looking for a chance to be engaged and involved, sharing your time with others while sharing ideas and fueling off each other’s energy? BULLI for you.

Brenau University Learning & Leisure Institute (BULLI) is a 21-year-old volunteer run organization focused on continuing and expanding opportunities for BULLI to enrich the lives of community members. The BULLI slogan is “Where Intellectual Curiosity Meets Friendship and Fun.”

A chance to learn more about BULLI and summer offerings will be Tuesday, May 3, at Mayfield Dairy Visitors Center at 1160 Broadway Ave., (Highway 124) in Braselton. Beginning with a 5:30 p.m. social gathering, you can scoop up some information about how members have enjoyed previous BULLI classes while enjoying some Mayfield Dairy ice cream. What a sweet treat!

Registration activities get under way at 6 p.m. with instructors and facilitators, who are university professors, community experts or qualified BULLI members sharing their knowledge and expertise,   insight into what their courses will entail for the summer session. Courses are non-credit with no exams.

Courses are $40 each and you can take as many as desired. Short courses are priced by length. Registration is first-come, first-served so attendance at the registration event is encouraged. You can also register at Braselton Town Hall through May 13 or call Braselton Town Manager Jennifer Dees at 706-654-5720.

Summer registration is May 5-13 for programs in Braselton as well as on the Gainesville campus, and the required membership fee for the remaining quarter of the academic year is only $60. That membership also gets you connected to available BULLI classes, newsletters, discounted Brenau Fitness Center membership, Brenau Trustee Library privileges and access to social events and field trips as well as international travel opportunities.

Braselton courses for summer will include Contemporary Watercolor for Newbies and Stayin’ Alive, a basic handgun course with Braselton Assistant Police Chief Lou Solis. Braselton short courses will feature Tea Time in the Mud and Social Media 101.

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JCCHS Winds are WGI World Champs

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JCCHS Winds are world champions.

JCCHS Winds are world champions.

The Jackson County Comprehensive High School Winds won first place in the Winter Guard International World Championships, themed “Caged,” on April 17 in Dayton, Ohio.

With the highest score of the season – 91.25, JCCHS, under the direction of Nick Golding, assisted by Matt Tinnell and Akeem Marable, was competing for the second straight year. At the first WGI winds competition, JCCHS won third.

Both JCCHS and Mill Creek High School, which brought home second place with a score of 88.5, bested the reigning champ, Nova High School of Davie, Fla.

Last year was the first year that WGI held the winds competition and JCCHS came in 3rd last year.

 

 

Nick Golding is the director.

Nick Golding is the director.