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Table of Contents FOCUSED ON IMPROVEMENT....................................5 MAKING CCRPI STRIDES............................................6 FISCAL FINE-TUNING................................................8 RATE OF RETURN.....................................................10 Welcome to this edition of Irish Magazine. This first semester has been one of the most active, and successful, during my tenure as Superintendent. Over the past six months, we watched as our graduation rates outpaced state averages, two of our schools earned “Exit Priority” status, our CCRPI totals increased in several areas, and we were able announce that our deficit reduction efforts were ahead of schedule. We were also fortunate to engage in new partnerships with Rotary International, Fort Valley State University and kicked off an innovative apprenticeship program at our Heart of Georgia College and Career Academy with international industries, Erdrich USA and AWEBA. Innovation is showing itself across our district, as teachers and administrators throughout our P-12 campuses further embrace our Charter System status and use the accompanying broad flexibility to better meet the needs of our students. Speaking of our Charter, we are proud to announce that both our Charter and AdvancEd accreditation were approved for another five years, meaning we are in wonderful position to further pursue everything necessary to ensure High Achievement and Success for All Students. Enjoy this edition, but more importantly, use it as a springboard to jump into a roll in changing the lives of our students. In doing so, you’ll guarantee a positive change for our community…and the world. Dr. Frederick C. Williams Superintendent


FITTING FAREWELL..................................................11 A DATE WITH MATH................................................12 BEYOND GRADUATION...........................................14 CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT................................18 REACHING FOR GREATNESS....................................20 FULL STEAM AHEAD................................................22 SOLAR STUDY GROUPS..........................................24 BUSINESS PARTNERS.............................................25 TEACHABLE MOMENT.............................................26 EMOTIONAL SEND-OFF...........................................28 COLLABORATIVE PLANNING.................................33 MEMBERS ONLY MULTIPLIER...................................35 FROM IB TO EMORY...........................................36 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.............................38 HOLIDAY


CONSULTATION CREW...........................................44 CAREER PAPER TRAIL.............................................47

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11 EDITOR Jason Halcombe Irish Magazine is a publication of Dublin City Schools. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.



ON THE COVER: Kaderious Jordan and Connor Rozier show Georgia School Superintendent, Richard Woods, the mechanics behind operating their hydraulic scissor lift constructed from tongue depressors and syringes. (Photo by Jason Halcombe)


HIGH ACHIEVEMENT AND SUCCESS FOR ALL STUDENTS At Dublin City Schools, it’s what we strive for: Every. Single. Day.

The Dublin City Schools Board of Education is comprised of a seven-member board including a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer and four regular board members. Each is elected from either one of four districts (wards) or three at-large posts. Currently, John Bell serves as Chairman, James Lanier as Vice-Chairman and Laura Travick as Treasurer. Additional board members include: Nelson Carswell, IV, Peggy Johnson, Bill Perry, and Kenny Walters. We are proud to be a four-time award winner with the Georgia School Boards Association, earning Quality Board honors in 2013, Distinguished Board honors in 2014 and Exemplary Board honors in 2015 and 2016. Each of us works collaboratively with our Superintendent Dr. Fred Williams to stay current on the latest trends and focus areas of ed-

ucation, all with High Achievement and Success for All Students in mind as detailed in our Strategic Plan. We hope you will take time to visit one of our five campuses, meet with faculty, staff and students to see all of the innovative education practices at work in (and out of) our classrooms. You can reach us by clicking on the Dublin City Schools Board Governance System link found under “Board of Education” in the Departments top link at, or by submitting your question/concern/compliment to our “Let’s Talk” form located on the main page of our District site. We value your input, and look forward to hearing from you. Go Irish!

Dublin City Schools welcomed its two newest board members in January, when Nelson Carswell IV (l) and Kenny Walters (r) took their oaths of office at the January BOE meeting.


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Susie Dasher, DMS among 61 schools on state’s Exit Focus, Priority List The Georgia Department of Education announced in December that 61 schools exited the Priority and Focus Schools lists, due to recent across the board CCRPI increases and Georgia’s rising graduation rate.


Dublin City Schools is pleased to announce that Susie Dasher Elementary School and Dublin Middle School were among the schools that met the Focus exit criteria. “This news exciting in so many ways,” said Dublin City Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Fred Williams, “and is a true reflection of the great work being done by both our students and teachers. Our hope is to continue to build upon these successes to reach one of our ultimate goals of having all our students College and Career Ready and Globally-Competitive.” As part of Georgia’s ESEA waiver, which granted flexibility from some provisions of No Child Left Behind, the GaDOE was required to identify Priority and Focus Schools. Priority Schools represent the lowest performing 5% of Title I schools based on achievement data, plus schools with a graduation rate below 60% for two consecutive years. Focus Schools represent the lowest performing 10% of Title I schools based on achievement gap data. That data examines the gap between a school’s lowest performing 25% of students and the state average, and the progress those students are making. “We continue to see that under-performing schools can improve and move the needle for their students, even when they face difficult odds,” Superintendent Woods said. “And we’ve seen once again that intensive, intentional partnerships between schools, districts, communities and our Department can equip schools with the resources they need to improve student achieve- staff and with Georgia RESAs, and their leaders and teachers deserve immense credit for the progress they’ve made. We view school improvement as a ment. primary responsibility of our entire agency – not just the school improvement “These schools worked directly with our DOE division – and with that focus guiding us, I’m confident we’ll continue to see schools making gains.”


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MAKING CCRPI STRIDES Dublin City Schools shows increases in CCRPI totals, EOG scores at schools

The Georgia Department of Education released College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) totals for the 2016-17 school year, and Dublin City Schools continued to show improvement in overall school totals at two campuses and saw gains within the five individual assessment areas at every school.

Susie Dasher Elementary School

Showed the greatest improvement within the district, improving its CCRPI total by eight points from 65.8 in 2016 to 73.8 in 2017. In the five (5) areas of CCRPI (Achievement, Progress, Achievement Gap, Challenge Points, and School Climate Rating) Susie Dasher showed improvement in three areas and scored the same as in 2016 in two areas. Other areas of improvement for Susie Dasher included:


• Students scoring at the Proficient and/or Distinguished Level on the EOGs – Up from 14.286% in 2016 to 24.286% in 2017 (10 point increase) Extra Achievement Notes of Significance • Fourth (4th) Grade ELA EOG Results – From 55.738% in 2016 to 68.750% pass rate for 2017 (13.012 point increase)

Dublin High School

Improved by nearly five points from 2016 to 2017, scoring 76.4 in 2017 as opposed to its 71.8 total in 2016. In the five (5) areas of CCRPI (Achievement, Progress, Achievement Gap, Challenge Points, and School Climate Rating) DHS showed improvement in two areas and scored the same as in 2016 in three areas.

Other areas of improvement for Dublin High School included: • Third Consecutive year with a Graduation Rate of 90% or higher Susie Dasher Elementary im- • Saw an increase in 10-of-18 achievement indicators. proved its CCRPI total by eight • Saw an increase in 2-of-2 progress indicators.

points and Dublin High School increased its overall score by nearly five points. The district’s overall total remained relatively unchanged at 62.094, down less than 0.9 points from its 62.984 total in 2016. Hillcrest Elementary and Dublin Middle School each saw minute changes in their scores from 2016 to 2017.


• Graduates completing a Capstone Project – From 7.634% in 2016 to 95.798% in 2017 (88.164 point increase) • Graduates earning an National Industry Accreditation and completing a CTAE Pathway – From 14.634% in 2016 to 56.667% in 2017 (42.033 point increase) • Graduates earning a CTAE/IB/Advanced/or Fine Arts Pathway – From 58.730% in 2016 to 84.746% in 2017 (26.016 point increase) • Physical Science EOCT Results – From 20.126% in 2016 to 40.819% pass rate in 2017 (20.690 point increase) • Ninth (9th) Grade Literature EOC Results – From 43.275% in 2016 to 53.438% pass rate in 2017 (10.163 point increase) • Algebra EOC Results – From 26.266% in 2016 to 53.438% pass rate in 2017 (27.172 point “We are a data-driven district,” increase)

said Superintendent, Dr. Fred Williams, “and the data derived through the CCRPI process allows us to gauge areas of strength and areas where we can improve. “I was most impressed by the number of double-digit increases in Georgia Milestone End-of-Grade (EOG) test scores,” Williams added. “These totals show that students are advancing to the next grade with the tools and understanding necessary to not just survive but thrive. As the No. 1 Goal area on our Strategic Map states, we are con-


Progress • Students scoring at Typical/High Growth in ELA – From 65.614% in 2016 to 74.306% in 2017 (8.692 point increase) • Students scoring at Typical/High Growth in Math – From 54.448% in 2016 to 61.301% in 2017 (6.853 point increase)

Moore Street School

Areas of improvement for Moore Street School included: • High School Graduation Rate (4 Year Cohort) – From 14.815% in 2016 to 51.351% in 2017 (36.536 point increase)


• Ninth (9th) Grade Literature EOC Results – From 7.143% in 2016 to 33.333% pass rate in 2017 (26.190 point increase) • American Literature EOC Results – From 0.000% in 2016 to 16.667% pass rate in 2017 (16.667 point increase) • Economics EOC Results – From 0.000% in 2016 to 20.000% pass rate in 2017 (20.0 point increase) • Eighth (8th) Grade ELA EOG Results – From 33.333% in 2016 to 100% pass rate for 2017 (66.667 point increase)


stantly looking to attain ‘High Achievement and Success for All Students,’ and these scores indicate that we are making headway in that direction.” Susie Dasher Elementary School showed the greatest improvement within the district, improving its CCRPI total by eight points from 65.8 in 2016 to 73.8 in 2017. In the five (5) areas of CCRPI (Achievement, Progress, Achievement Gap, Challenge Points, and School Climate Rating) Susie Dasher showed improvement in three areas and scored the same as in 2016 in two areas.

“This year’s CCRPI data shows our compass is closer to that true north than ever before.” —Dr. Fred Williams Dublin Middle School

• Saw an increase in 4 of 9 achievement indicators at the middle school level.


• Eighth (8th) Graders completing a 20or more Career Inventories and an Individual Graduation Plan (IGP) – From 81.461% in 2016 to 100% in 2017 (18.539 point increase) • Students With Disabilities (SWD) served in general education classes at least 80% of the school day – From 60.294% in 2016 to 74.242% in 2017 (13.948 point increase) • Social Studies EOG Results – From 34.990% in 2016 to 39.375% pass rate in 2017 (26.016 point increase)

According to CCRPI Coordinator, John Strickland, “Due to the new configuration of grades Pre-K through fourth grade being located at the elementary schools, this score is based on data from third and fourth grade.”

Extra Achievement Notes of Significance • Seventh (7th) Grade Math EOG Results – From 61.765% in 2016 to 71.942% pass rate for 2017 (10.177 point increase) • 7th Grade ELA EOG Results – From 51.176% in 2016 to 55.714% pass rate for 2017 (4.538 point increase) • Fifth (5th) Grade Students scoring at 850 or better on the Lexile Scale – From56.921% in 2016 to 61.988% in 2017 (5.697 point increase) • 5th Grade Math EOG Results – From 70.253% in 2016 to 78.113% pass rate for 2017 (7.86 point increase) • 5th Grade Social Studies EOG Results – From 57.325% in 2016 to 64.327% pass rate in 2017 Dublin High School improved (7.002 point increase)

by nearly five points from 2016 to 2017, scoring 76.4 in 2017 as opposed to its 71.8 total in 2016. In the five (5) areas of CCRPI (Achievement, Progress, Achievement Gap, Challenge Points, and School Climate Rating) DHS showed improvement in two areas and scored the same as in 2016 in three areas.

Hillcrest Elementary saw a less than one-half point decrease in its total between 2016 and 2017, moving from 68.4 in 2016 to 68.0 in 2017. In the five (5) areas of CCRPI (Achievement, Progress, Achievement Gap, Challenge Points, and School Climate Rating) Hillcrest showed improvement in one area and scored the same as in 2016 in one area.

Hillcrest Elementary School

Saw a less than one-half point decrease in its total between 2016 and 2017, moving from 68.4 in 2016 to 68.0 in 2017. In the five (5) areas of CCRPI (Achievement, Progress, Achievement Gap, Challenge Points, and School Climate Rating) Hillcrest showed improvement in one area and scored the same as in 2016 in one area. Other areas of improvement for Hillcrest Elementary included: • Saw an increase in 2-of-7 achievement indicators.


• Students With Disabilities (SWD) served in general education classes at least 80% of the school day – Up from 33.333% in 2016 to 61.765% in 2017 (28.432 point increase) Extra Achievement Notes of Significance • Third (3rd) Grade Math EOG Results – Up from 74.074% in 2016 to 91.209% pass rate for 2017 (17.135 point increase)

reveals that its new 5-8 configuration created three totals for the school, including a middle (57), elementary (52.4) and a composite score of 55.7.

In the five (5) areas of CCRPI (Achievement, Progress, Achievement Gap, Challenge Points, Dublin Middle School’s scores and School Climate Rating) DMS showed imdipped slightly by 1.7 points, provement in two areas and scored the same as down to 57 in 2017 from 58.7 in 2016 in one area. in 2016. A deeper inspection of Dublin Middle School’s data “The 2017 elementary score and the 2017 com-


posite score will be used as our new baseline data since this is our first year receiving these scores,” Strickland said. “The journey toward improvement is a never-ending one, but one we gladly walk in step with our teachers and students in hopes of transforming every one of our nearly 2,400 children into successful and productive members of our community,” Williams said. “This year’s CCRPI data shows our compass is closer to that true north than ever before.”

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FISCAL FINE-TUNING Dublin City Schools exceeds estimates, decreases deficit more than $2.1 million

Dublin City Schools is pleased to announce that preliminary figures for June show that Dublin City Schools was able to apply in excess of $2.1 million toward its deficit reduction plan in FY17. This figure is nearly $400,000 more than previous high-end estimates of $1.7 million and nearly $600,000 greater than low-end estimates of $1.5 million. Beginning in the spring of 2016, Dublin City Schools initiated a deficit reduction plan that included a reconfiguration of its campuses, and intense scrutiny of spending across the district. As part of the reconfiguration process, Dublin City Schools transformed its two remaining elementary schools into Pre-K through 4th grade campuses and opened a Fifth Grade Academy at Dublin Middle School. “This is a proud moment for everyone in our district,” said Superintendent Dr. Fred Williams. “Every single employee has been involved in some form or fashion in helping us reach this first milestone in our deficit elimination process. By exceeding estimates, we are showing that Dublin City Schools is committed to keeping its promise to City of Dublin residents, and to hold true to our Strategic Plan objectives to be fiscally responsible through the ‘Efficient and Effective Use of Environments and Resources.” “We plan to continue to scrutinize our spending moving forward in hopes of eliminating our deficit as quickly as possible,” said Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Finance, Christi Thublin. “I would like to thank all our stakeholders for their continued support throughout this process,” Williams said.




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Dublin City Schools’ graduation rate outpaces state average, DHS maintains 90-percent rate The Georgia Department of Education released graduation rates for the 201617 school year, and Dublin City Schools showed gains in several areas including a nearly 40-point increase at Moore Street School. “We continue to see improvements in our four-year cohort rates,” said Superintendent Dr. Fred Williams. “These figures clearly illustrate that the work being done by our students and teachers is translating into tangible results in the form of more students receiving their diploma on time.” Dublin City Schools saw close to a 10-point gain in the district’s 4-year cohort graduation rate, rising to 82.036, up from 73.316 in 201516. This total is close to two points higher than the state average.

posted at least a 90-percent graduation rate,” Williams said. “These current totals are down slightly from the previous two years, but we feel confident this is not indicative of a trend and are merely reflective of fluctuations common for schools the size of DHS.”

Dublin High School continues to lead the way with a greater than 90 percent “As we said last year, we had a graduation rate, posting high volume of students who a 90.769 rate for the dropped out of the virtual school 2016-17 school program that includyear. ed students from across

Moore Street School saw the greatest individual gains in the district, improving its graduation rate by

Dublin City Schools saw close to a 10-point gain in the district’s 4-year cohort graduation rate, rising to 82.036, up from 73.316 in 201516. This total is close to two Melissa Fincher, Deppoints higher than the state uty Superintendent for Assessment and Accountaverage. ability, said this is the fifth 36.536 year of improvement in the state’s cohort graduation rate.

“We’re excited to know we have been consistently outperforming the state average at individual schools,” Williams said, “and now we are doing the same as an entire district. This is something to celebrate.” Dublin High School continues to lead the way with a greater than 90 percent graduation rate, posting a 90.769 rate for the 2016-17 school year. Dublin High School graduated 118-of-130 possible graduates. This rate is down slightly when compared to the 2015-16 totals of 96.324. “Dublin High School has consistently


Graduation rates are the result of a formula that includes all students who have passed through a system and did not transfer to another system prior to dropping out. According to the GaDOE, the four-year high school graduation rate defines the cohort when the student first becomes a freshman, and the rate is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years.

points between the 2015-16 (14.815) and 2016-17 (51.351) school years. Moore Street School graduated 19-of-37 possible graduates in 2016-17. The actual total number of graduates at Moore Street was 27 students, but some of those students did not count toward the state’s cohort determination. “I regularly tell people that if you’ve never been to a Moore Street School graduation, then you’re missing out on a real treat,” Williams said. “The stories behind these student successes are real, and made even greater by the fact that more of them are walking across the stage to receive their diplomas than in years past.”

the state, and were therefore counted against our Moore Street graduation rate totals,” Williams said. “This year’s totals offer a clearer vision of what is taking place at Moore Street, and our hope is to continue to see improvement at that school under the guidance of our administrator, Brian Howell, and his staff.” Among sub-groups, Students with Disabilities, Asian and Multiracial students posted 100 percent graduation rates at DHS, while 82.530 percent of Economically Disadvantaged students across the district graduated within the cohort period. “We consistently talk about ‘High Achievement and Success for All Students,’” Williams said, “and we stand by that charge. We will continue to do what is necessary to ensure students receive the standards-based instruction necessary to make them college and career-ready and globally competitive and, ultimately, assure positive outcomes in the way of more students leaving our district with a diploma in their hand, ready to tackle the challenges of the real world.”



SURPRISE! That’s what met outgoing Dublin City Schools’ Board Member, Rev. Richard Sheffield, as he walked through the Dublin High School Auditorium December 13. Sheffield, who stepped down after 20 years of public service, was thrown a special surprise farewell party in honor of his dedicated service to our students and to our community. We couldn’t have asked for a better mentor, leader, and supporter of Dublin City Schools than Rev. Sheffield. Sheffield was further recognized by the City of Dublin during its first regular meeting of 2018, when Mayor Phil Best read a proclamation honoring Sheffield’s dedicated service to the children of Dublin City Schools. Rev. Sheffield, we wish you well in retirement, and hope you don’t become a stranger!


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DMS teacher uses innovative ‘Math Speed Dates’ to inspire students Mornings in Ms. Bouyer’s math class look more like the start of an eHarmony commercial than a lesson on mixed numbers and improper fractions.

the perfect match. Bouyer checks them off, usually giving a smile or an “awesome sauce” on their success and then splits the students up to speed date one more time.

Students in the Dublin Middle School seventh grade class split up into two groups and head to opposite sides of the room, dashing, two-to-a-desk, when Bouyer says “Go” to kick off the first of four or five, 30-second, “dates.”

Unlike the adult version, where the expedited ice breakers are designed to lead to soul mates and “forever after,” Bouyer’s math equivalent is intended to help students use their peers to breach problem-solving barriers.

A couple of speed dates in, students begin to find their way in front of Bouyer’s Promethean Board to signal they’ve found

“I know about speed dating,” Bouyer said, “so I thought about finding something they would enjoy. This is middle school, so you


know they are all talking to different individuals and are getting interested in dating people. So what I did is say, ‘Why don’t we speed math dates?’ Because I tell them they need to date their lessons.” This particular morning, the class had to solve a word problem tied to the rise and fall of stock values, turning an addition problem between a negative and improper fraction into a mixed number solution. Boys and girls paired up and were deep in conversation, something usually reserved for recess or lunchroom tables, but these exchanges were less about middle school melodramas and more about turning a mixed number into an improper fraction and frequent reminders not to “forget to


use your butterfly rule.” “They absolutely love it,” Bouyer said. “It opened a door for them to know how to talk to their peers about their lesson and ask questions on how to do something. At this age, they kinda tend not to want to ask each other ‘How do you do’ something. It really opens up that communication with them.” Seventh grader Antonio Benjamin said he looks forward to his math speed dates every day.

to my peers,” Benjamin said. “Usually when we’re in the class, she tries to make it as active as she can. I’m a hands-on learner, some people are visual learners but I’m a hands-on learner…She’s very serious about it (but) she tries to make it as fun as she can.” Classmate Jeremiah Gilmore agrees.

home with his younger siblings. “It’s just like basically the same thing,” Gilmore said. “If you have peers at home, you do it just like you do at class. Just act like your sister or brother is one of your classmates. You teach it to them so they’ll know it when they get older.”

“There’s a certain way Ms. Bouyer teaches to us…it’s just fun,” Gilmore said.

That, says Bouyer, has shown her these speed dates are here to stay.

The math speed dates have been so much fun for Gilmore that he’s started holding impromptu versions at

“They’re having fun, and they’re learning,” she said, “and that’s all I could ever ask (for).”

“I think it’s a wonderful experience and I get to talk

(At left): Lanaysia Mitchell and Jerzee Tate begin work on a problem that (above) Desmond Gilbert and Jerzee Tate eventually completed.


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DHS holds transcript and college fair to help students, parents plan The low voices, discussion of this number and that number, and pointing with pencils, fingers and hands at various sheets of paper made the stage at the Dublin High School Auditorium look more akin to a loan office at a local bank than a place for theater and assemblies. The purpose of the October morning meeting between DHS guidance teams, students and parents, however, wasn’t about interest rates or terms. Instead, the morning-long visits were all designed to show students


and parents the rate of return on excelling in the classroom, and how the dues paid today in the form of hard work and higher grades could translate into greater college and career opportunities following graduation. “This is just a second step in preparing our students for the future,” said principal Dr. Toney Jordan. “We had an initial conversation around the first or second day of school, and we talked about this process for graduation and this process for great-

ness. That means making sure we’re all on the same page.” DHS officials paired the transcript overviews with a college and career fair in the auditorium lobby in between lunch waves, to further drive home the point that success is an investment made over time. A total of 15 colleges and universities, and all four branches of the military, had representatives on hand to meet with students to discuss the possibilities that await students upon graduation. A second college and career fair is slated for January, where Jordan said a greater emphasis will be applied toward career options available to graduating seniors.


School counselors were joined by teachers and administrators, who met with every senior and their parents concerning how each child was tracking toward not only graduation, but beyond graduation. Dr. Jordan said he hoped to have every senior on a path to college, trade school or the military following Christmas break.

The combination had a great impact on students, some of whom said the combination helped to keep them focused on their goals and dreams after high school. “It’s very helpful. It helps to see where you’re at,” said senior Bruce Guyton, who is hoping to earn an athletic scholarship to either Kennesaw State or Middle Tennessee. “It helps you get back on track to where you’re supposed to be going.” For fellow senior, Isaac Newton, computer sciences and not sports are his primary motivator to keep his grades up and in line with college standards. “It showed me what my grades are up until this point, and that I have a little more work to do,” said Newton, who plans to major in Information Technology at either Georgia Southern, Middle Georgia State or Georgia State universities. “It showed me that I’m on a good path and have a good support system behind me. It (also) gives the parents an opportunity to see how their children are doing in school.”


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That was exactly the sentiment shared by mom Linda A. Williams, who said she and daughter Adrianna Lee began having talks about college when Adrianna was still an eighth grader at Dublin Middle School.

When students concluded with their transcript review, a college fair was set up in the auditorium lobby with representatives from close to 20 colleges, universities and the armed forces.

“I think it’s very important,” Williams said. “Right now, this is the rest of her life. Right now she’s making the decision. She doesn’t have to be grounded, but to plan ahead for some form of secondary education.” “I’m very proud of her, as a parent,” added Williams. “I’m glad she’s interested in things like that. I’m glad our school showed so much interest in our children. And the staff here are very helpful and supportive.” Jordan said he doesn’t want that support to stop when students leave his campus. Instead, he said he hopes to make DHS another resource for alumni to use to ensure that they attain high achievement and success not just in school, but for the rest of their lives. “It’s not just about graduation but beyond graduation,” Jordan said. “It doesn’t end at graduation, it ends when they graduate college. If they’re a sophomore in college, we need to be another resource where they can call back. That starts now. And I think they’ve bought into what we’re trying to sell...Hopefully we will get these students prepared for greatness.”




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Allen lauds elementary schools, offers student inspiration Congressman Rick Allen (R-12) visited Hillcrest and Susie Dasher Elementary schools during a tour of the Emerald City held on Aug. 25. Allen had a lot to say about his visit during a subsequent interview with our Lead Learner, Dr. Fred Williams. Here is an excerpt from that interview:

“And, also the excitement of your teachers. The passion they have to teach. We know that is critical. These young people are the future of the country, and we want to make sure they have every opportunity.

“I’m very privileged to be here, and to witness the great progress you’re “What I said to (the students) was, making here. ‘I want every American to have the opportunity to live that American "So this is my time to be in the dis- dream.’ Don’t think you’re stuck. You trict, to learn (about) these great can accomplish whatever you want to things you’re doing out here like accomplish… critical thinking, and talking about building structures and foundations. I don’t remember talking about that “…I’m excited about what you’re gowhen I was in elementary school. I ing to do for education in the future am very impressed with everything for the City of Dublin. Congratulayou’re doing here. tions on your progress." PAGE 18



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Breaking Barriers Dublin City Schools was proud to play host to Heart of Georgia RESA’s poverty training session by national expert Dr. Donna Beegle. Beegle, president of Communication Across Barriers, a consulting firm dedicated to building poverty-informed communities that are armed with tools to break barriers, works directly with children and adults currently in poverty, educators, justice professionals, health care providers, social service agencies, faithbased communities, business leaders, elected officials, and others who want to make a difference for those living in the crisis of poverty. Beegle spoke on a variety of topics, including creating a new paradigm to grow a deeper understanding of poverty and those who live in it. (Pictured below): Dr. Williams (left) speaks with Dr. Beegle (right) during an episode of his YouTube Series, “Lead Learner Updates” which can be found at:


REACH-ing for Greatness

Congratulations to Zachary Collins and Miracle Evans, the latest Dublin Middle School students to sign $10,000 Georgia Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) scholarships in October. A REACH Scholar must meet all State of Georgia and Georgia Department of Education requirements to graduate from high school and receive a high school diploma. 1. A middle school REACH Scholar must maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average of at least 2.5 or better as calculated by the School System. Currently in 103 school systems throughout the state, REACH Georgia’s goal in three years is to be in all 180 Georgia school systems and support more than 3,000 students throughout Georgia, as well as aggressively targeting our foster youth students. (To watch the signing ceremony, go to: (GaDOE)


Dublin City Schools is proud of the work being done by our City of Dublin Youth Council representatives. You continue to inspire all of us to dream a little bigger, reach a little farther and expect so much more for our community and the world.

Kaderious Jordan and Connor Rozier show Georgia School Superintendent, Richard Woods, the mechanics behind operating their hydraulic scissor lift constructed from tongue depressors and syringes.


Innovative partnerships spurring growth at Susie Dasher Elementary COVER STORY


he tongue depressors crissed and crossed like so many Xs in a one-sided game of Tic Tac Toe and then, in an instant, they collapsed in a heap on top of their cardboard placeholder all thanks to a syringe powered by a tiny pair of hands.

Morgan details plans for the school's Tinker Yard, which include raised vegetable gardens and a STEAM-based outdoor classroom.

“It’s the pressure, it makes the hydraulic lift move up and down,” Connor Rozier said as classmate Kaderious Jordan watched alongside one very special visitor. “Oh really?” the special visitor posed, rhetorically, before asking the follow up, “And what are hydraulics?” “It’s the pressure,” Rozier repeated. “The fluid starts in the syringe, then it gets pushed in the tube and makes the other syringe push it up or down.” “Very good,” the special visitor exclaimed before moving on to another table. For the students in Shayna Morgan’s STEAM SMArt Lab at Susie Dasher Elementary, visitors are a fairly common thing. So it wasn’t much of a surprise that class went on as usual as this particular special visitor—Georgia State School Superintendent, Richard Woods—extracted more and more details about the class lesson on hydraulic scissor lifts.

beds will be located.”

hummed overhead in the distance.

In the middle of Morgan’s details concerning the school’s Tinker Yard, Dr. Mark Latimore, FVSU Extension Administrator, signaled for the school’s drone to head skyward to collect aerial surveys of the plot. Latimore and FVSU agreed in June to partner with Dublin City Schools to help connect students with skills and opportunities that could lead to postsecondary options with the Wildcats years from now.

“I want to make sure our students are prepared for real life,” Woods said during a lunchtime stop at Dublin Rotary.

Moments after leaving a second table full of future engineers, Woods marched out the back door with Morgan and an assembly of additional visitors who are all partnering with Dublin City Schools on various projects.

This includes helping with the construction of the Tinker Yard, field trips to FVSU to explore possible degree options for students and regular visits from faculty and graduate assistants to reinforce concepts and ideas learned in the classroom.

“This is where we plan to place our hanging rainwater garden,” Morgan pointed towards a wall about 20 feet to the left of her door. “And this is where the raised

“We really want to start at the high school and drive it down deep,” Latimore explained to Woods as the drone

That was music to the ears of the Rotarians, whose District Governor, Dr. Hamsa Thota, had served as the other “special visitor” at the Susie Dasher stop earlier in the day. Thota charged local Rotary clubs to pursue a new entrepreneurship initiative designed to connect students with tools, skills and information designed to increase their business acumen. Dublin Rotary tapped Susie Dasher for this project, hoping to take the garden goodies grown in the Tinker Yard and sell them at the local Downtown Farmers Market. As Thota detailed to Woods, helping students understand how work in the Tinker Yard could translate into business success at the market is foundational to breaking the cycle of poverty and inspiring the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. “We recognize how life-changing this can be,” Thota said. If all of the plans discussed following the scissor lift hydraulics lesson come to fruition then, as Woods told Rotary there is an “Infinite ceiling of success” waiting for not only Susie Dasher and Dublin City Schools’ students but all of Georgia’s children.

Woods stands alongside the assembly during his visit in November.


“All of Georgia is investing in education,” Woods said.

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(Above): Hillcrest students and staff celebrated the Total Solar Eclipse, August 21 with a host of astronomical activities centered around the dance of the earth, moon and sun. Some students made eclipse crowns, while others created pinhole eclipse cameras out of cereal boxes. Even principal, Dr. Sherrell Edmond, got into the action by sporting a pair of eclipse shades to witness the historic event.

(At left): Dublin High School food and consumer science teacher Denise Strickland asked, "What do you do during cooking class when there is a solar eclipse?” You let your students make "Blackout Brownies" and then enjoy the view and the food.


Dublin Rotary taps Susie Dasher for Entrepreneurship program Students at Susie Dasher Elementary have applied engineering concepts learned in the classroom to build everything from bridges to carriages and airplanes.

initiative,” said Superintendent Dr. Fred Williams. “STEAM-based learning is the future of education, and things like the Tinker Yard will allow us to drive STEAM-related concepts even deeper into students’ minds and lives.”

Now, through an innovative partnership with Dublin Rotary, those same students will have the ability to build figurative bridges between that STEAM-based learning and the entrepreneurial concepts espoused by Rotary in hopes of putting them even closer to High Achievement and Success in the classroom and in life. Dublin Rotary tapped the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) school as its partner for Rotary International’s Entrepreneurship Task Force project. As part of this project, Dublin Rotary will utilize its members and resources to help Susie Dasher expand on its current STEAM offerings including its SMArt Lab, STEAM nights and work to implement new initiatives such as a proposed STEAM-themed playground or “Tinker Yard.” “Project-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach used in STEAM classroom settings that has a major product or project at the center,” according to the school’s STEAM flyer. “Through PBL,

Thanks to a grant from Georgia SNAP-Ed, Susie Dasher Elementary School’s Tinker Yard is one step closer to becoming a functioning garden and STEAM sanctuary.

Rotary District Governor, Hamsa Thota, speaks with Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods about partnership plans at Susie Dasher and how they will impact students' lives.

STEAM instruction tackles real-world problems and challenges often connected to students’ community. For example, students won’t just learn about cities…they will BUILD one from the ground up, integrating all of the subjects learned in school – from mathematics of engineering bridges to the art of designing objects that will go in their cities.” “As a fellow Rotarian, I am so proud to have our local club partnering on this


The grant, similar to the one employed near the Market on Madison, is designed to help connect students to the growing process in hopes of teaching them healthy eating habits. The long-term hope for the gardens, according to SMArt Lab coordinator, Shayna Morgan, is to sell vegetables grown in the beds at the Farmers Market this spring. This will help tie the project to a recent entrepreneurship initiative between Susie Dasher and Dublin Rotary, where students will learn fundamental business skills in hopes of inspiring future entrepreneurs. Special thanks to T. Lake Environmental, and Rotarian Tim Lake, for installing the beds and irrigation system, and to the City of Dublin for the top soil.

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(Below): Gay (left) is all smiles as Bouyer receives District Teacher of the Year honors during the January 18 ceremony. (At right, l-r): Superintendent Dr. Fred Williams, DMS Principal Jaroy Stuckey, DCS Teacher of the Year Amanda Bouyer, DHS Teacher of the Year Chris Brantley, DHS Principal Dr. Toney Jordan, SDE Teacher of the Year Sarah Wyatt, SDE Principal Lakeisha Fluker, Hillcrest Teacher of the Year Janice Glass, Hillcrest Principal Dr. Sherrell Edmond, MSS Teacher of the Year Adrian Allen, MSS Principal Brian Howell and DCS Teacher of the Year program coordinator Pat Edwards.

Teachable Moment

Mentor’s surprise appearance highlights Bouyer’s Teacher of the Year selection



Congratulations to all of our Teacher of the Year recipients! Our district is blessed to call these caring, compassionate, dedicated and determined men and women part of the Dublin City Schools family.


he table just inside the banquet hall entry had filled almost to capacity, with only one chair left empty minutes prior to the start of the Dublin City Schools Teacher of the Year celebration. Call it serendipity, fate or simply a perfect circle, but the chair was already spoken for and its occupant en route, ready to change the world of its neighbor just as she had nearly 30 years prior when she inspired everything leading up to the January reception. “Oh my God,” rolled over Amanda Bouyer’s rising hands and below the first sign of tears as she attempted to comprehend that Susan Gay—her seventh grade math teacher, mentor and Bouyer’s ultimate reason for pursuing a career in education—was walking through the door to take her place in that last chair and watch her former student complete a journey from foster care to fostering a similar love for math among her own students. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” said Gay, her words cascading off Bouyer’s back as the two embraced for what seemed like an eternity. “How did you know?” Bouyer said. A ruse had been put in place, with Gay

saying she had come to attend a retired teacher’s luncheon next door and someone spotted her and asked if she would skip the meeting for the Teacher of the Year banquet instead. As Bouyer learned later, though, the real reason behind Gay’s attendance was to watch her former pupil earn the highest distinction in the school system—District Teacher of the Year. “She has worked so hard for this,” said Gay, referring less to the award Bouyer was about to receive and more for the education that had allowed Bouyer to follow in her mentor’s footsteps. For most of the program, the two were either talking and laughing, or holding hands and leaning side-by-side almost like long-lost friends finally reunited. A single, seminal moment was behind the entire day as Bouyer later pointed out in a brief video highlighting her nomination, and it was all thanks to Gay. “One day Mrs. Gay said, ‘Amanda, you can be anything you want to be.’ And when she said that, I said ‘I’m going to be a seventh grade math teacher at Dublin Junior High’...I just love her so much. I just wanted to be just like her."


Degrees from Middle Georgia State University and Mercer University got Bouyer in the classroom door, but according to principal, Jaroy Stuckey, the true testament of Bouyer’s value to DMS and its students goes much deeper than fractions and variables. “I think Ms. Bouyer showcases the passion we ask all of our teachers to have for their students,” Stuckey said. “She truly cares for the students. She’s led our school wide theme of ‘All the Way Up.’ She truly does a great job, and we’re just happy to have her here at Dublin Middle School.” The ultimate goal for Bouyer is to get to pop into a similar assembly a few decades from now and complete the circle of success started by Gay so many years ago. “Being in the classroom gives me the opportunity to reach somebody like myself,” Bouyer said. “Growing up in family foster care, it was something where I struggled as a student. And to have a teacher like Mrs. Susan Gay tell me I could be anything that I wanted to be, I wanted to let another child have that same feeling I had when she told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. So everyday I come here, I come with the expectation of touching a child.” “There isn’t anyone more deserving,” Gay said. “I am so proud of her.”

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Moore Street graduate, Jamia Linder, begins to tear up as she receives her diploma from principal, Brian Howell. Linder was one of 10 students to graduate during Moore Street's Fall Commencement Ceremony.



EMOTIONAL SEND-OFF Ten receive diplomas at Moore Street Fall Commencement


oore Street School celebrated the graduation of 10 seniors during its Fall Commencement Ceremony held Dec. 14 in the Dublin High School Auditorium.

cole Harvey, Xzaveus Jaquon Henderson, Jalin Treva Antwon Hooks, Jah’Mya Alexus Linder, LaKeisha Monique Mitchell, Octavious Damante’ Plummer, Haley Johnson Roberson and Michael DeShun Stephens.

Half of this graduating class have already Congratulations to each of the fol- been accepted into post-secondary education lowing graduates: institutions or the military, a point highlighted by Principal Brian Howell. LaQuintavia TKearra Ashley, Kaziah Tiquez Ellington, Curteisha Ni- (continued on next page)


Page 29

Mr. Willie Linder made the call to order, followed by the invocation by Octavious Plummer. LaKeisha Mitchell offered the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Wanda Wilcher. Curteisha Harvey provided the welcome, followed by the introduction of guests by Jah’Mya Linder. Jalin Hooks recited an inspirational poem, followed by the introduction of guest speaker Paul Conyers. Conyers offered the candidates a challenge to, “Take these values with you not just for tonight but into your future.”


“Find your dream,” he said, “(and if) Do it, and do it robustly… All those things you’re seeking you can do…You still have a future that is bright, and it is yours.” Conyers, a DHS alumnus, told of his own challenging circumstances and how, “Many of us didn’t have folks telling us to be doctors and lawyers.”

“I had teachers who supported me,” he said. He closed with telling the candidates to ask the right question. “The question is not ‘Who is going to let me?’ The question is, ‘who is going to stop me?” he said. “Let nothing or no one stop you…We wish you nothing but success as


Prior to the traditional turning of the tassels (below), Moore Street students heard words of encouragement from DCS alumnus, Paul Conyers (bottom, left).

“Find your it, and do it robustly… All those things you’re seeking you can do…You still have a future that is bright, and it is yours.” —Paul Conyers, Keynote Speaker you embark on this journey.” Dr. TaKeshia Thomas certified the graduates, followed by the presentation of seniors for diplomas by Ms. Toni Sampson. Diplomas were awarded by members of the Board of Education, Howell and Superintendent Dr. Fred Williams. Mr. Jeff Puckett ordered for the change of tassels, followed by the presentation of yellow roses to parents by each of the 10 graduates. Closing remarks were offered by Dr. Williams before the graduates marched out for the recessional.


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WELL READ WIN! Congratulations Jamani Ricks! At the end of the 2016-2017 school year Dublin City Schools launched a summer reading program targeting the upcoming Pre-K students at Susie Dasher Elementary and Hillcrest Elementary. The goal was to encourage Pre-K children and their parents to begin reading together over the summer in order to help jump start student reading skills prior to school starting in August. DCS partnered with the Laurens County Library for this program. Each child who read 25 or more books had his or her name entered into a drawing once for a chance to win the tablet. Our system-wide winner was Jamani Ricks, a Pre-K student at Susie Dasher Elementary. Our corporate sponsors for the inaugural year of this program were YKK and All Star Bounce. (Inset): Pictured L-R are Catina Puckett (DCS Leadership Academy), SDE Principal Lakeisha Fluker, Jamani mom Nawanda Hatcher and dad Jatavius Ricks, Toby Gould (YKK Corporate Sponsor), Kristi Garrett (DCS Leadership Academy) and Pamela Lee (DCS Leadership Academy).



COLLABORATIVE PLANNING Dublin City, FVSU partnering to bring more opportunities to students

CTAE Director, Eric Cannada (l), and Dr. Williams (c), learn about various growth systems schools can employ as part of a collaborative partnership meeting with FVSU.


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As Fort Valley State University Provost Dr. Ramon T. Stuart prepared to leave a morning visit to Dublin City Schools in March, he and Superintendent Dr. Fred Williams both talked about their desire to forge a partnership to benefit students and both institutions. The culmination of that conversation came to fruition at a boardroom table on the third floor of the C.V. Troup building Thursday afternoon. Joined by three school principals, the district CTAE Director, HR Director and Director of Public Relations, Dr. Williams and his staff heard from a group of FVSU deans and directors about a variety of projects, plans and initiatives that could introduce concepts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), Career, Technical and Ag Education (CTAE), Broadcast Media and teacher training and cultivation. “We’re in the business of cultivating Wildcats,” Stuart said, “and we’d like to get more Dublin City School students into our University.” The most recent statistics show that 20 Laurens County students are enrolled at FVSU, with 80 percent enrolled as fulltime students majoring mostly in criminal justice or psychology. “We received 27 applications from Dublin High School last year, and 31 this year,” said Calandra Wright, Director of Admissions. “So we’ve seen an increase, but obviously we’d like to see that grow.” Elementary principals Dr. Sherrell Edmond and Mrs. Lakeisha Fluker discussed STEAM, garden and Ag exposure opportunities with Dr. Govind Kannan, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology.

Kannan said FVSU can collaborate on the Susie Dasher’s planned implementation of a “Tinker Yard” garden, as well as welcoming both Susie Dasher and Hillcrest Elementary classes to FVSU for campus tours of the on-site animal farm and gardens. “It’s called Life on the Farm,” Kannan said. “We take students to site and introduce them to Ag, It really tells the kids what farming is about.” Both schools are also in talks to participate in other programs including “Ag Discovery” which is a veterinary science-focused collaborative with the USDA, while high school students will meet with extension specialists and agents through the “Team Success” program. “We would like to come visit your school, see your setup and develop a plan,” Dr. Mark Latimore, Extension Administrator and Director of Land-Grant Affairs. “This

is a conversation we need to have on how we can collaborate…” “I see some great opportunities,” Latimore added. “We are also into drone technology and solar technology.” “Because of the interest and collaboration, we can increase our presence of our ‘Life the Farm’ program’ with the elementary students,” Kannan said. Professional development was another area of discussion, with Dr. Jerry Mobley sharing how FVSU would like to pair with Dublin City Schools to identify potential education majors and work with them to complete their undergraduate studies and hopefully return back to the community. “We would work with you to spot students and cultivate them and bring them back as faculty,” Mobley said. “We have our teachers in training at your place, what you’re looking for, and we work together and

(Above): Aquaponics, like those shown above, are being employed at Dublin High School in the near future. FVSU's Dr. Mark Latimore (at right) brought one of the university's drones to highlight degree field opportunities for students during a "STEAM" Night at Susie Dasher.



Dublin High School’s 48 new members helped it earn “National School of Distinction” status.

Members Only Multiplier Dublin High School’s Beta Club held its 2017 induction ceremony on November 11th in the DHS auditorium. This year, 48 new members were inducted into the 201718 National School of Distinction Beta Club, setting the record for the highest amount of Beta inductees. The guests were greeted and seated by ushers, India King, Alyssa Stanley, Alexis Stanley, and Desmond Lindsey. The 2017 Induction Chairwoman, Mason Spitzmiller, began the ceremony with the welcoming of guests followed by the Pledge of

Allegiance by Karter Wood. The Introduction was given by Alexus Matthews, and the Inspiration by Lauryn Metzdorf.

Next, the 2017 officers of the Beta Club, Meridith Page (President), Nyia Mainor (Vice President), Ayanna Wright (Secretary), and Issac Newton (Treasurer), were inducted as well. Finally, all 48 of the new inductees, announced by Sydney Price, were successfully pinned by current members of the Beta Club. After the pinning ceremony, the en-

tire Beta Club recited the Senior Pledge led by Audrie Charles, pledging to act accordingly to the rules of the Beta Club and officially inducting the new members. Closing the ceremony, Senior Beta members were recognized by Dublin High School’s Beta sponsor, Mrs. Amber Donnell, followed by closing remarks and an invitation to the guests for the reception from Dishil Patel. ​ —Article courtesy Amber Donnell, DHS Beta sponsor

sculpt them to your needs. Data has shown that if you have a geographic connection to a community, you’re liable to stay there. The bigger picture is pretty significant.” “We’re real eager for field experienced student teachers, and we’re ready to take advantage of that,” Dr. Williams said. The schools are in talks to solidify campus tours for middle and high school students beginning this fall, as well as on-site campus visits from FVSU undergraduate and graduate students to showcase real-world application of concepts and curriculum to SDE and HES students. “I want to thank you for the vision, and your willingness to take that vision and not only share it with your leaders and make sure we start to dot the ‘Is’ and cross the ‘Ts’,” Stuart said. “We’re going to look at taking this one step at a time and moving this forward.”

“This is wonderful,” Williams said. “Partnerships like these only stand to benefit our students in the short and long term will open up countless opportunities to


our children with the hope of helping them realize their dreams and goals when they reach the real world.”

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Kennedy Blackwell-Lewis, Dublin High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian, returned to a packed house at the January 8, 2018 Dublin City Schools Board of Education meeting to share with everyone in attendance what it means to be an International Baccalaureate World Scholar. Along with earning certificates in seven areas including: English Language, History of the Americas, Spanish Language, Math Studies, Extended Message, Theory of Knowledge and CAS, Blackwell-Lewis was also awarded the prestigious Georgia Department of Education’s Bi-Literacy Seal. Congratulations Kennedy, we couldn’t be more proud of you, and good luck at Emory!



“It’s very important not to forget where you came from, because the people in those communities give to you, and what’s important to me is to give back to my community. I thank all of you from your support to helping me get to where I needed to be, to encouraging words, to Mrs. (Tammy) Howard teaching me, As Dr. Thornton mentioned, the IB program is very rigorous…I want to thank all the board members for making it possible for us to have IB. It has opened a lot of doors. I’d like to encourage anyone in here to consider joining the IB program to get to that level.”







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Chamber partner program is connecting students with real career opportunities

As Elmonte Richardson and his classmates strode one-by-one through the revolving door of the century-old former Downtown Dublin U.S. Post Office, an immediate juxtaposition popped up in the form of computer monitors intermittently flashing diagnostic information for a pair of IT technicians sitting in the back of the room.


It wasn’t until Alterra Networks owner, Jeff Davis, walked up and began detailing the inner-workings of his cyber-security and asset management firm that Richardson’s eyebrows popped up in an, “Oh, I get it,” moment and he zeroed-in on the real purpose of his visit to the Downtown Dublin: a career in IT.

The visit was part of the Dublin-Laurens Chamber of Commerce’s semiannual, “Students in Business,” initiative with Dublin City and Laurens County schools, designed to introduce students to the diverse career opportunities that exist in Dublin and Laurens County. Just as the oak mail slots and turn-of-thecentury radiator counterbalanced the bigscreen TVs and miles of fiber-optic cable in the basement, Richardson’s interest in IT was the complete antithesis to his healthcare focus during last fall’s event. “I felt like I had learned all I needed to learn about the healthcare field over the last year,” Richardson said, “so I wanted to see what else was out there and whether or not cyber-security was an option for me.” Richardson wasn’t alone. A septet of stu-


(Above): High School seniors from DHS, ELHS, Trinity and WLHS learned about career opportunities ranging from IT to industrial fabrication, healthcare, construction and retail management. (At left): Students tour BMC. (Below): Students tour the Carl Vinson VAMC.

dents joined the Dublin High schooler, while much larger groups found themselves at H.A. Sack Company, BMC, Carl

Vinson VAMC and Erdrich USA.

for people like your school district,” Davis said. “They’ll come to us and want to redesign their IT infrastructure, and we’ll help them develop a plan. We’re more than just cyber security.”

“We’re dealing with high-tech solutions


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Classmate Amariana Lamb took a similar approach, realizing her primary focus of internal medicine or as an athletic trainer could be supplemented by computer science work similar to that done at Alterra. “I feel like coding and network security will help me,” Lamb said. The Students in Business program wasn’t limited to the site tours at the five area businesses and industries, though, with Chamber CEO, Heath Taylor, and Heart of Georgia College and Career Academy Co-CEO, Eric Cannada, bringing in guest speakers to offer input on everything from soft skill necessities to post-secondary options. Fred Hill, Human Resources Manager for H.A. Sack Co., spoke about how something as simple as poor attire could keep a college-educated, competent person from finding gainful employment during his soft skills seminar. “I had a lady walk up to me in bedroom shoes looking to get a job,” Hill said, “and I had a young man in a T-shirt that said ‘Big Baller’ walk up to do the same. They didn’t realize they were making a bad first appearance for a future employer.” Hill also focused on issues like attendance, respect, drug awareness and social media. “I had someone tell me how they had two of the sharpest kids apply for a job, but he only had one position,” Hill said. “He said, ‘I checked out their Facebook pages and made my decision.” “You have to realize the choices you make today will


(Above): Davis (right) speaks to DHS students about how his firm manages data for companies far and wide. (Clockwise, at right): Students at Erdrich USA headquarters; Students touring H.A. Sack Co.; Hill speaking to students; Taylor recapping the day’s visits; Students posing at BMC.


“The purpose of this program was to get (them) out in the workplace and see the conditions and opportunities waiting for them.” —Heath Taylor (at right) President, Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce

affect your future tomorrows,” Hill added. That future, said Taylor, could be bright both professionally and financially if the students used the day to glean as much as possible about the various career opportunities discussed at the stops Thursday. “(They learned today) we have jobs with starting salaries at 30, 40, $50,000. We stopped one person at the VA who made over $200,000,” Taylor said. “The purpose of this program was to get (them) out in the workplace and see the conditions and opportunities waiting for them.”

“Yes,” Cannada added. “I hope they found out something about a career they may eventually take an interest in. They need to know that companies want them to come work for them. And many of them need young workers.” Tityana Payne hopes to be one of those young workers as soon as she graduates from high school. “I eventually want to become a pediatrician,” Payne said, “but going somewhere like Alterra really opened my eyes. I’m hoping I could come work there part time


while I’m in college, and learn to manage IT accounts so I’ll be able to do more as I go through school.” “That lets me know today was a success,” Cannada said. “To hear students share those types of stories tells me that they understand what today was about. It wasn’t about getting out of class for the day, it was about beginning to make those plans for the rest of their lives. I can’t wait to see what these students are able to do in the coming months and years.”

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ask present/ improve

“Teachers need flexibility to provide the education each child needs, rather than adhering to a standardized model. We need to make sure our kids are reading on grade level by third grade, engaged in meaningful STEAM instruction and equipped to begin a meaningful career after high school or college.�


-Richard Woods Ga. School Supt.



create Susie Dasher Elementary Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math

STEAM-ing ahead PAGE 42



And the winner is... RASHAUNDRA LATTIMORE!!! Congratulations to Rashaundra and all of our 10 winners in this year’s Superintendent’s Christmas Card Contest. Lattimore’s winning entry served as the district’s Christmas card, which was sent out to our various community partners and stakeholders. Dublin City Schools had 140 entries from our elementary and high schools, and even Georgia Department of Education Supt. Richard Woods agreed that the artistry and creativity was “wonderful.” Here are the names of our other nine winners in order: 2. Mason Spitzmiller 3. Ayanna Wright 4. Malhalyn Foreman 5. Alexus Matthews 6. Megan Haywood 7. Robert Haywood 7. Kyla Brown 9. Dyllon Metzdorf 9. Tykeasia Stanley Special thanks to all of our wonderful sponsors (middle, left) including: Yates Insurance and Real Estate, Inc., Golden Corral, Zaxby’s, McDonald’s, Marco’s Pizza, Little Caesars, Williamson’s Bakery, Brian’s Subs, Dublin Trophy, Fort Valley State University, Capital City Bank Oconee Fall Line Technical College, Chick-fil-A Dublin, Georgia Military College Dublin Campus, and Fairview Park Hospital.


Students were presented prize packs at the December Board of Education meeting. Thanks to everyone for making this the best card contest yet! (Students pictured (l-r) in winning order)

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CONSULTATION CREW Superintendent’s Advisory Councils offer up insight for improvement in a variety of areas Dublin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Fred Williams announced the members of his 2017-18 Student and Teacher Advisory Councils. Throughout the year, these councils meet with Dr. Williams to discuss how well the district is meeting student needs as outlined by the Strategic Plan and offer suggestions to the superintendent on how to better adhere to the district’s Vision and Mission statements.

The councils will also discuss other issues connected to education, and will serve as Dr. Williams’ ambassadors at their respective schools. “Positive Stakeholder Engagement and Support isn’t limited to parents and community members,” Dr. Williams said. “The members of these councils comprise our greatest stakeholders, which is why it is so important that I hear from them on the areas where we are getting it right as well as the areas where we can improve. I am very excited to begin this journey with each of these councils.” Members were selected from the district’s more than 2,400 students and staff were chosen based on a variety of criteria including: leadership, campus engagement and exemplifying the Vision and Mission of Dublin City Schools. “These students and teachers are the torchbearers for our district,” Williams said, “and I know they are going to help shine the light on Dublin City Schools in a very real and impactful way.”

Hillcrest Elementary School K: Ariel Calvin 1st Grade: Wreign Sparger 2nd Grade: Kelis Lawrence 3rd Grade: Jakeno Lamb 4th Grade: Aziah Attwell/TyTravion Washington

Dublin High School 9th Grade : Elijah Davis 10th Grade : Melody Todd 11th Grade : Janyah Oliver 12th Grade : Hannah Allison

Susie Dasher Elementary School K: Ilyse Redd 1st Grade: Kamia Hardy 2nd Grade: Stephen Keebler 3rd Grade: Morgan Allen 4th Grade : Connor Rozier

Dublin Middle School 5th Grade : Phallen Fields 6th Grade : Cheyenne Fennell 7th Grade : Karizma Moore 8th Grade : Jordan Williams

Moore Street School Valencia Montgomery LaVonte Grimes

Each of the Student Advisory Council members will also have the opportunity to serve as the Superintendent’s apprentice, and will issue a report to the Board of Education during the Superintendent’s Comments portion of the BOE meeting. “The Superintendent’s Advisory Council is a great example of two way communication,” Williams said as he met with his elementary council members on January 9. Williams offered up information concerning the district’s recent work toward Ad-


Dublin High School Kristi Garrett Whitley McCloud

Dublin Middle School Shannon Roberts Markeisha Smith

Hillcrest Elementary Cile Best Janice Glass

Susie Dasher Elementary Leslie Holmes Shayna Morgan

Moore Street School Toni Sampson Adrian Allen


vancED and Charter-System Foundation renewal, before opening up the meeting to hear on what their schools did well, where they could do better and what they could do differently to improve student outcomes

and experiences. Suggestions were made concerning lunch times, menu options, leisure activities for students and implementing additional technology into classroom settings. Teachers offered up suggestions tied to more flexibility in student scheduling as well as showcasing remediation techniques that were succeeding at Dublin High School. Meetings of the Advisory Councils were set for September 25, October 10, January 9, 2018, March 6, 2018 and May 15, 2018.


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CAREER PAPER TRAIL Dublin High School Senior Jarrett Timmons secured a job at Differentiated paper and packaging solution manufacturer, WestRock, through Dublin High’s Work-Based Learning program, and our CTAE Advisory Board connections! Jarrett began working with WestRock’s Engineering Department in January. His initial duties are making copies of blueprints, filing, and entering data in Excel. What a way to start a great career...keep it up Jarrett!!


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Profile for Dublin City Schools

Irish magazine 2018 Winter Edition  

This magazine is a biannual reflector of events, achievements and activities tied to Dublin City Schools—a five-school district—in Dublin, G...

Irish magazine 2018 Winter Edition  

This magazine is a biannual reflector of events, achievements and activities tied to Dublin City Schools—a five-school district—in Dublin, G...