Saturday, January 30, 2010

Finalists Named for Fayette County Teacher of the Year

Friday is usually the favorite day of the week for most people, and for three teachers, it was a day that they will not soon forget.

The Teacher of the Year prize patrol made surprise classroom visits on January 29 congratulating the three finalists selected to vie for the 2010 Fayette County Teacher of the Year title. The three finalists are Sally Meyer, Crabapple Lane Elementary; Jamie Munoz, Bennett’s Mill Middle; and Carrie Collins, Peeples Elementary. The winner will be announced on April 22, 6 p.m., during the Teacher of the Year ceremony at New Hope Baptist Church, North Campus.

For Sally Meyer, a gifted teacher at Crabapple Lane Elementary, a career in education was not her first choice. She was a successful banker, a highly ranked employee who enjoyed her work, but was unsatisfied.

“Have you ever felt like a misfit? That’s how I felt. The corporate culture left me unsatisfied because every decision I made was impersonal,” she says.

She decided to change careers and become a teacher because school had always been a positive place where she felt successful. Now, she applies what she learned in banking to make real life connections to math and social studies.

Meyer creates her own teaching units that focus on the Georgia Performance Standards. Her original curriculum integrates subjects and links real life to school.

“I enthusiastically share my sense of wonder and love of learning through original units that require critical thinking, are based on my own learning adventures and make specific connections to real life outside of school,” she says.

Meyer has presented her original teaching units at annual conferences and some of them have received awards and honors from various organizations. They are also used as part of the curriculum for gifted students in the Fayette County Public School System.

Although she has received recognitions for her teaching accomplishments, she says the accomplishment that makes her most proud is the impact she has on children everyday.
“I see it in the excitement and pride shown when they have worked through their frustration and finally understand a concept. I feel it in my heart when I have to say good-bye or when I read the newspaper and learn that one of my former students accomplished a personal goal,” she says.
Meyer sets high expectations for her students and tells them that when a brain is stretched, it says “thank you.” When her students struggle, she praises their efforts and facilitates progress by tutoring, developing specialized lessons and sponsoring clubs.

Looking back on her decision to leave the corporate world to be become a teacher, Meyer says she has no regrets.

“Twelve years later, I still love teaching; it is the perfect career match for me. It has allowed me to make decisions with my heart, not just my head, and seeing the positive impact I have had on adolescents has been exceptionally rewarding,” she says.

Meyer has taught for 12 years in the Fayette County Public School System. She started her teaching career at Peeples Elementary and has worked at Cleveland, Tyrone and Robert J. Burch elementary schools prior to teaching at Crabapple Lane.

Like her colleague, Jamie Munoz, a science teacher at Bennett’s Mill Middle, didn’t dream about becoming a teacher when she was young. Instead see dreamed about a corner office with a wall of windows, a leather chair and a big executive desk. She was on her way to achieving this dream, majoring in accounting at the University of Georgia, when her dream started to change.

She volunteered for a nonprofit organization, Reading is Fundamental, and worked with second grade students at a local elementary school where she discovered she enjoyed watching them grow in their reading skills. A summer job as a camp counselor later solidified her decision to change her major to education.

Munoz says part of being a great teacher is the willingness to want to entertain students to help them learn. She says building relationships with students is integral to their success. Students learn more if they respect, enjoy and feel connected to the teacher.

“I am willing to stand on my head, to amuse, for the sake of students’ learning. If learning can be both educational and fun, why not capitalize on both,” she asks.

Much of the learning that occurs in her classroom is hands-on, interactive and collaborative. Students often work cooperatively within groups because the shared effort requires students to employ communication and critical thinking skills. She also utilizes students’ interest in music and technology.

“I teach students songs and raps with lyrics depicting scientific concepts, and I encourage students to take advantage of the innovative technology to access relevant science data and present their findings,” Munoz says.

Munoz loves watching students experience light bulb moments and delights in the fact that she is the reason they are able to grasp complex scientific theories.

“Although I may not have a corner office with a wall of windows as I had once planned, my classroom is on the corner of the sixth grade and main hallways, and the view into the delicate minds of our future is often breathtaking,” she says.

Munoz has been teaching in the Fayette County Public School System for 10 years. She began at Whitewater Middle as a science, math and reading teacher before moving to Bennett’s Mill.

Carrie Collins, a kindergarten teacher at Peeples Elementary, always knew she wanted to be a teacher, more specifically, a kindergarten teacher. She loved playing school with her sisters, but her real inspiration was her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Walker.

“She had a way of making me feel special in a classroom full of students needing the same attention. She was interested in my life and that made me interested in hers,” says Collins.
Collins tries to emulate Mrs. Walker in her classroom by forming relationships with students, motivating those who seem impossible to motivate and inspiring students that need the extra push to be all that they can and more.

“It makes me feel wonderful to reach a student who struggles academically, socially or behaviorally. I know I have made a profound impact when these types of students look forward to coming into my classroom, smile when they see me outside of school, and send me notes years after completing kindergarten,” she says.

Collins realizes that students learn at different levels; she sets up her classroom so that high performing students are challenged and those who need extra help are equally supported. One way she engages all learners is by creating songs with motions to teach everything from oceans and continents to money skills.

“I know all students can learn and achieve at high levels if given appropriate resources and adequate time,” she says.

She also believes that students need to feel safe and have a sense of belonging in order to learn. She says her students feel comfortable working, exploring, taking risks and learning because they think of the classroom as a second home.

“We often take time to acknowledge feelings, celebrate successes, comfort friends, and assist each other with problem solving,” she adds.

Collins has taught in Fayette County for 11 years at Peeples Elementary.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

DAR Presents Gift of History to OLV

Pictured (l-r) are Ann Eldredge, OLV Principal Grace, and James Waldrop Chapter DAR Regent Betty Harrah.


The James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution recently presented Our Lady of Victory Catholic School in Tyrone with a gift of history in the form of a DVD on the country home of George Walton.

George Walton was one of three Georgia men who signed the Declaration of Independence, and was one of the youngest signers at the age of 26. While born in Virginia in 1749, he moved to Savannah in 1769. He served the state of Georgia during the American Revolution in the state militia. After the war, he was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, a governor of Georgia and an United States Senator. In 1787, he moved to Augusta and built Meadow Garden.

In 1901, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution purchased the property. Meadow Garden was later deeded to the Georgia State Society of the DAR in 1961.

The James Waldrop Chapter DAR is chartered in Fayetteville, GA.

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Counselors Host Career Fair During National School Counseling Week

Approximately 1,800 eighth graders from the county’s five public middle schools will participate in the largest career fair held within the Fayette County Public School System.

Middle school counselors have organized the sixth annual 8th Grade Career Fair, slated for February 4-5 at Heritage Christian Church, in honor of National School Counseling week February 1-5. This special week honors school counselors for the important role they play in helping students examine their talents, strengths, abilities and interests.

The fair will showcase a diversity of career options ranging from photography, food service and truck driving to environmental engineering, health science and occupational therapy. By combining their efforts into one centralized fair, the eighth grade counselors are able to expose students to a larger variety of career fields than they would by organizing individual fairs at their schools. Each school was responsible for inviting members from the community to take part.
This year’s National School Counseling Week theme is “Celebrate School Counseling.”

Fayette’s school counselors make a positive difference in the lives of students everyday by providing a number of important services including character education, academic advisement and programs designed to develop personal and social skills. Their affect on the county’s educational program is evidenced by the high academic achievements, awards and honors earned by students throughout the school system.

School counselors are certified professional educators who work in conjunction with teachers and administrators to help reduce the barriers to learning and provide the support necessary for all students to achieve at their highest level. Fayette’s counselors provide the essential academic, career and personal/social skills to equip students with the knowledge and ability to excel in college and careers, and as parents and citizens.

“We are pleased and thankful for the efforts that our counselors make everyday. They are a vital support to our educational program here in Fayette,” says Barbara Serapion, director of pupil personnel services.

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Registration Day Set for Pre-K Program

Parents of students who will be eligible to attend the Fayette County School System’s state funded pre-K program for the 2010-2011 school year can register their children for a lottery drawing beginning in February.

Pre-K programs are being offered at Brooks, Crabapple Lane, Hood Avenue, Inman, North Fayette, Oak Grove, Peachtree City and Robert J. Burch elementary schools. Students must be four years old on or before September 1, 2010 to be eligible for the program.

Registration for the lottery drawing will held February 1-26 from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the schools offering Pre-K programs. Parents must present residency information (visit www.fcboe.org for acceptable documents) and their child’s birth certificate and social security card to register.

The lottery drawing will be held on March 1; a total of 20 students will be selected for each class. School personnel will notify parents of those students whose names are drawn.

If there are vacancies the first day of school and there are no students in the attendance area on a waiting list, students residing in any Fayette County school zone will be drawn from a second waiting list. In this case, parents are responsible for transportation to and from school.

Upon notification of admission, parents will need to provide the remaining documentation for registration. These documents are posted on the school system’s website, www.fcboe.org.

For more information about the school system’s pre-K program, contact Clarice Howard, 770-486-0149 or visit the Bright from the Start website, www.decal.ga.gov.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reading/Language Arts Textbook Adoption

The proposed textbooks for the 2010-2011 reading and language arts K-5 textbook adoption are currently on display for public review and comment.

The books are on display at the LaFayette Educational Center, located at 205 LaFayette Drive in Fayetteville, in the lobby of Building A. The books will be available for public review Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through February 5.

The Fayette County Board of Education will vote on the recommended textbooks at their regular monthly meeting on February 9, 7 p.m., in the boardroom of the Fayette County Board of Education.

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Young Fayette County Scientists Showcase Experiments

Have you ever wondered about the recovery time of pH in the human mouth, effect of a lacrosse stick’s length on velocity or the role of PGC-1 alpha in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease? These are just a sampling of questions on the minds of Fayette’s budding scientists that were explored at the 2010 Fayette County Science and Engineering Fair.

Students from middle and high schools across the county submitted projects for the fair. A total of 25 projects were awarded first place and will now advance to the Griffin Regional Science and Engineering Fair scheduled for February 26 at Griffin RESA.

Students entered projects individually or as teams. Middle school winners advancing to the regional fair are (Bennett’s Mill) Matthew Harmon, Monica Schwingshaki, Mamie Smith, Alisa Chapman and Tori Toth, Jamie DeCicco, Jordan Watson and Katy Lewis, Michael Koenig and Matthew Melatti; (J.C. Booth) Alex Marty; (Fayette Middle) Juan Munoz, Menaka Reddy; (Flat Rock) Helen Davidson; (Rising Starr) Connor Chewning, Stephanie Clark, Shannon McKillip.

High school first place winners heading for the regional competition are (Fayette County) Rebecca Otwell, Sonika Reddy, Sarika Reddy, Omar Martinez-Uribe and Landry Grymes, Tuure Pasto, Michael Martin and Sonya Jooma; (McIntosh) Karen Anderson and Nathan Pearson, Jackie Roshelli and Cara O’Brien; (Sandy Creek) Treijon Johnson, Jacob Renie; (Starr’s Mill) Hannah Feltner and Regan Chewning, Leslie Perez and Torie Legere; (Whitewater) George Harris.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recitation Winners Advance to District Festival

Reading and memorizing a poem is one thing, but making it come alive in front of an audience is a real feat and that is exactly what Fayette County’s elementary students did at the county’s annual Recitation Festival.

After months of memorization and practicing pronunciation, enunciation and diction, not to mention the countless hours spent rehearsing voice inflexions and facial expressions, students dazzled audience members at the 2010 festival. They were vying for the opportunity to represent the county at the district festival taking place in Griffin February 2-3.

The competitors advancing to the district competition are Jack Uszynski, kindergarten, Crabapple Lane; Elizabeth Wilson, first grade, Huddleston; Celeste Boullion, second grade, Cleveland; Ian Smith, third grade, Robert J. Burch; Connor Tebbe, fourth grade, Cleveland; and Dia Fortenberry, fifth grade, Fayetteville Intermediate.

Students qualified for the county competition by placing first in their individual school recitation competitions. The first place winners from the county festival advanced to the district level.
“I want to extend my congratulations to all students who participated in our recitation festivals from the classroom to the system level. It takes great courage and discipline to memorize a poem and recite it in front of an audience. I am so proud of each and every one of our students. There were truly some amazing recitations,” says Debbie Wheat, coordinator of K-5 language arts and K-12 reading.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fayette Middle Academic Team Wins Regional Tourney

The academic team at Fayette Middle School is the co-winner of the region 6 PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators) Academic Bowl for Middle Grades.

Students compete by fielding questions on subjects ranging from Georgia history to mathematics, science, literature and the performing arts. The questions are developed using the Georgia Middle School curriculum. Team members answer toss-up and bonus questions to score points. The program inspires students to excel academically, boosts student self-confidence and self-esteem through high achievement, and stimulates both a team and competitive spirit.

Fayette Middle was among 24 academic bowl teams that emerged as winners from regional competitions. Two winners are selected from each of the 12 state regions represented by PAGE, and are invited to participate in the semi-finals competition.

Lori Tallman, eighth grade language arts, and Carol Saboda, sixth grade language arts, are the team’s coaches.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Avenue Peachtree City Helps CARE for Fayette’s Students

The Avenue Marketing Manager Kim Tanalgo-Minshew (right) and The Avenue Peachtree City Merchant Relations Coordinator Lisa Hernandez (left) present the donation to CARE Coordinator Karen Spangler.

Generous shoppers visiting The Avenue Peachtree City in December donated over $650 to the Fayette County Public School System’s CARE (Children at Risk in Education) program.

Thanks to the shopping center, the CARE program will be able to offer more After School Program (ASP) scholarships to families who need a safe place for their children to stay after the school day ends, but are struggling to make ends meet. The scholarships pay for a portion of the ASP tuition for a limited number of weeks. Parents have to pay the other portion of the tuition in order to receive the scholarship.

The Avenue Peachtree City raised the donations through its carriage rides with Santa during December. Although the event was free, The Avenue Peachtree City allowed patrons to make monetary donations to benefit the school system’s CARE program.

“We are very grateful to The Avenue for their continued support of our CARE program. This donation will make a positive difference in the lives of our students and their families. Many parents who have been able to afford after school care in the past are now having difficulties providing for their families. The scholarships are a way we can take one worry off their plate,” says CARE Coordinator Karen Spangler.

The Avenue Peachtree City has other events planned for this year during which the shopping center will collect donations for CARE. Visit www.shoptheavenue.com for more information. In addition to ASP scholarships, CARE also provides other assistance to working families in need such as tutoring scholarships, school supplies and additional programs or services to help meet the educational needs of children.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

James Waldrop DAR Announces 8th Grade Winner of American History Essay Contest

Pictured (l-r) are 8th grade English teacher Kelly Lambert, Ann Eldredge, Cassandra Eldredge, American History Chairman Phyllis King, and John Eldredge.

The James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution recently announced Cassandra Eldredge as the winner of the American History Essay Contest for 8th grade. Eldredge, a student at JC Booth Middle School, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Eldredge of Peachtree City.

The James Waldrop Chapter DAR is chartered in Fayetteville, GA.

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New Tommy Hilfiger Store Opens in Fayetteville

Tommy Hilfiger Clearance Store has opened its doors in the Fayette Pavillion shopping center in Fayetteville. Located at 112 Pavillion Parkway, the new Tommy store occupies the previous Dress Barn location in the shopping center and is next to Rainbow Clothing Store and Ulta Cosmetics.

The clearance store is only one of its kind in Georgia and only one of several clearance stores in the United States. Tommy offers a full line of quality apparel for women, men and children at clearance prices. They also offer accessories, including women’s handbags, shoes, belts, and scarves. New shipments arrive on a regular basis.

Tommy Hilfiger Clearance store hours are 10am-9pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm-6pm on Sundays.


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Monday, January 18, 2010

Cap & Trade / Global Warming Talk at the Gathering Place, PTC

The Fayette-Coweta 9-12 Project and the Coweta Tea Party Patriots are co-hosting a Cap & Trade Clean Energy/Global Warming Meeting at the Gathering Place, 203 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City from 7:00 – 8:30 pm Tuesday evening 1/26/10. Open To The Public - Free Admission.

Speakers are: Ga. Representative Matt Ramsey, Ga. Senator Mitch Seabaugh, and Mr. Michael Whiteside, retired CEO of Coweta-Fayette EMC. What is the truth about global warming? Is it a myth? Was the scientific data manipulated? Will the Federal “Green Laws” push businesses and consumers further in the red?

You will learn about the proposed cap & trade legislation before Congress and how you will be affected. The speakers will discuss the economic impact this legislation will have on every American business, the large number of projected job losses that will occur, and the increases every one of us will see in our annual energy costs. A question and answer session will follow the panel presentations. For more information call Jim Richter @ 770-632-9618 or email him @ jimric314@gmail.com.

Eldredge Receives DAR American History Essay Award

Pictured (l-r) are John Eldredge, Maggie Eldredge, Ann Eldredge and American History Chairman Phyllis King.

Maggie Eldredge, a 5th grader at Peachtree City Elementary School in Peachtree City, was recently announced as the 5th grade winner of the 2010 American History Essay Contest sponsored by the James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. Eldredge wrote her essay from the viewpoint of a settler who was present on May 10, 1869, when a golden spike completed the First Transcontinental Railroad. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Eldredge.

The James Waldrop Chapter DAR is chartered in Fayetteville, GA.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fayette School Employee Ties Record for Years of Service

Annie Jordan takes a break from cooking to pose in front of the food line where she serves lunch to students at Fayette Middle School in Fayetteville.

Working several years for one employer is a monumental milestone these days, but imagine someone devoting 45 years of service to one organization – that is exactly what Annie Jordan has done.

Jordan, a food assistant at Fayette Middle School, has cooked and served countless meals to thousands of students throughout her career. In addition to Fayette Middle, she has worked at Fayette County High, J.C. Booth Middle, Peachtree City Elementary, and North Fayette Elementary. She also helps out at the LaFayette Educational Center from time to time.

Jordan says she sought a job in food services because she loves to cook and work with children.
“Sometimes this is the only meal these kids get. We work hard to make sure we give them a good meal everyday,” she says.

What Jordan likes best about her job is working with her colleagues and interacting with the students.

“I get along with everyone, but most of all I like the kids and serving them,” she adds.
Jordan is currently tied with a former employee for having the greatest number of years of service. Longtime educator Lettie “Boots” Ashworth retired in 2003 after devoting 45 years to the school system. Both ladies worked under seven superintendents, watched the county grow from a small rural town to the Atlanta suburb it is today and witnessed the addition of numerous schools.

Jordan is proud of her longevity at the school system and says she has no intention of retiring any time soon. If she has her way, she will break the record for being the longest employ
ed with the system.

“As long as I am able, I will be around. I’m not planning to go anywhere,” she says.
Jordan is also an active member of the Fayette County Food Service Association and is the county’s local co-chair for legislation effecting school food services. She travels to the Georgia State Capitol during each legislative session to discuss concerns food service employees have about retirement, sick leave, and funding for student meals.

Jordan likes to travel in her spare time. She and her husband are known for hopping on a Greyhound bus and heading off to fun places on Fridays, but she is always at work on Monday mornings, ready and eager to prepare meals and serve the students she loves.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Willowbend Road has been reopened to automobile traffic!

Peachtree City: The golf cart path will remain closed until the fencing has been installed, but path users can continue to use the bridge that connects Picnic Park/All Children's Playground to the lower level of City Hall and the Library. Thank you for your patience during this project.

Peachtree City Police Department's CERT Team Benefit Motorcycle Ride

The Peachtree City Police Department is hosting a Community Emergency Response Team benefit motorcycle ride. The following is the basic information on the ride. Please visit www.ptcpolice.org to download a registration form. It is located on the CERT page. You can also email Capt. Stan Pye at spye@peachtree-city.org for a registration form.

Date: March 27, 2010 Registration begins at 8:00—kickstands up at 10:00

Starting Location: Cooper Lighting parking lot on Hwy 74 S in Peachtree City

Route: Hwy 85 through Senoia to Warm Springs. Short stop in Warm Springs then continue on to Newnan.

Ending Location: Great South Harley Davidson

Pre-registration guarantees you:

ΠFree lunch
ΠT-shirt
ΠEntry in drawings for great prizes
ΠMusic by Mitchell DJ Services

Driver - $25 Passenger - $5 (or $10 for additional t-shirt)

Special thanks to our sponsors:
Peachtree City Police Department, Cooper Lighting, Great South Harley Davidson, Planet
Smoothie, Lizard
Pre-register by March 20
By phone at 770-487-8866 ext 1303 or email spye@peachtree-city.org
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Workshop for College Bound Students with Disabilities Set for February 9

Fayette County students with disabilities in grades 9-12, and their parents and educators, are invited to attend a workshop, Transition to Post-Secondary Options, on February 9 at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City from 7-9 p.m.

The workshop, designed to help students make the transition from high school to college, provides an opportunity for attendees to learn about the Georgia college/university application process for students with disabilities. During the workshop, participants will review the application process, discuss criteria and support for accommodations, as well as receive resources on post-secondary options and address concerns and issues. A portion of the workshop will be devoted to discussing assistive technology that students are able to access at college.

The Regents Center for Learning Disorders and the Metro South Georgia Learning Resources System (GLRS) are sponsors of the workshop. For more information, call Fayette County counselor Amor Kok, 770-900-1110.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Youth Track and Field Registration

The Fayette County Parks and Recreation Department is now accepting registration for the 2010 track and field spring season. This year’s program will be designed to teach the sport of track and field, promote youth physical fitness and provide fun learning experiences. The program is a recreation based program that is open to runners’ ages 7 to 14 years of age. Practices will begin February 2 and be held from 6:15 pm to 7:45 pm every Tuesday and Thursday nights. Track meets will be scheduled on Saturdays. The registration fee for this year’s program will be $100 per person. Birth Certificates and Proof of Residency will be required prior the District track meet. Anyone interested in registering should come by the Parks and Recreation Department on Redwine Road from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Monday through Friday. Deadline to register is January 22. For more information please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 770-716-4320.

Fayette Middle School Cubs Have Undefeated Season


The Fayette Middle School 8th grade girl’s basketball team finished the year undefeated. Pictured (L-R) are (back row) Coach Kimberly Woodrum, Cassady Ross, Whitney Williams, Kayla Smith, Nina Mbonu, Latia Styles, LeeAnna Vu, Nikki Mercer, (front row) Rachel Fowler, Christa Jones, Taylor Grant, and Mayan Booker.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Fayetteville Bank of America Robbed

On Saturday, January 9, 2010 the Bank of America located at 326 Highway 314, Fayetteville, Georgia 30214 was robbed.

At approximately 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 9, 2010 two black, males entered the Bank of America wearing black sweatshirts, mask and gloves. The two men displayed hand guns and ordered everyone to get on the ground. After robbing the bank the two men fled the area on foot.

Some of the money was recovered in the parking lot by police. Surveillance video also shows that money was also picked up by customers in the parking lot. Police are reviewing video to identify the robbers, witnesses and customers that recovered money. Anyone that has any information or that recovered any of the money is asked to contact the Fayetteville Police Department at 770-461-4441.

Georgia Recognizes 15 Fayette County Schools for High Academic Performance

Over 50 percent of Fayette County public schools have been recognized by the state for promoting excellence in student achievement.

Out of the county’s 28 schools, eight elementary, two middle and all five high schools received award designations of platinum, gold, silver or bronze based on the number of years the school has made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), the percentage of students exceeding, and the percentage meeting and exceeding academic standards.

Awards were given in two categories: greatest gain, for schools that showed the greatest improvement on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) or the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT), and highest performance, for schools that demonstrated the highest achievement on the CRCT or GHSGT.

Awards received by Fayette County Public Schools make up four percent of the 327 awards given statewide. All award winners received recognition banners and certificates for display at their schools.

Peachtree City Elementary received a platinum award in the “greatest gain” category. Both Tyrone Elementary and McIntosh High also received platinum awards in the “highest performance” category. These schools made AYP for three consecutive years, had a minimum of 35 percent exceeding standards, and at least 98 percent of students meeting and exceeding standards.

The following schools received gold awards in the “highest performance” category: Peeples Elementary, Kedron Elementary, Peachtree City Elementary, Starr’s Mill High, and Sandy Creek High. These schools made AYP for two consecutive years with 30 percent of students exceeding standards, and at least 97 percent of students meeting and exceeding standards.

Silver award winners in “highest performance” were Crabapple Lane Elementary, Braelinn Elementary, Whitewater High, Bennett’s Mill Middle, and Rising Starr Middle. These schools received silver for making AYP two consecutive years, having a minimum of 25 percent of students exceeding standards, and at least 96 percent of students meeting and exceeding standards.

Cleveland Elementary, Sara Harp Minter Elementary and Fayette County High were awarded bronze for not being in “Needs Improvement” status, having a minimum of 20 percent of students exceeding standards, and at least 95 percent of students meeting and exceeding standards.

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The Internet is Forever: Learn How not to Become a Victim January 13 in PTC

Do you use a cellphone or know someone who does? Do you use facebook, myspace, or other photo - sharing websites?

Come learn more about about responsible texting and living in a digital world on January 13 at 7 pm at the PTC First Presbyterian Church. This informative free program features Richard Guerry of the Institute for Responsible Online and Cellphone Communication as he discusses how best to keep teens and young adults from becoming digital victims.

Free registration is located at http://firstpresptc.com/signup.php. For more information or to register by phone, call 770-487-7757.The First Presbyterian Church of Peachtree City is located in the heart of Peachtree City at 206 Willow Bend Rd across from City Hall.

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Building Alliances Resource Fair Set for January 12

There are a number of resources to assist families of children with special needs, but finding them is not always simple. That is why the Fayette County Public School System’s Exceptional Children’s Services department and ExceptionalOPS are sponsoring a resource fair called “Building Alliances.”

The fair, taking place in the McIntosh High gym on January 12 from 7-9 p.m., brings parents and local service providers together in one convenient location for the dissemination of information about programs and services geared toward children with special needs.

Parents will learn about recreational opportunities, tutoring services, support groups, the PALS program, Community Service Board programs, benefits navigators, Hope House (Respite Care) services, and Georgia Learning Resources System opportunities.

Attendance is free. The fair is open to parents, teachers, administrators and service providers of children with special needs.

Contact Linda Williams in the school system’s Exceptional Children’s Services department for more information, 770-460-3911, or Janet Smola, executive director of ExceptionalOPS, 770-639-9169.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Embrace Home Loans Celebrates Opening of Branch in Peachtree City, Ga.

Embrace Home Loans, a prominent leader in the mortgage industry and a direct lender for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, approved by FHA and VA, and an issuer for Ginnie Mae, officially opened a new branch in Peachtree City, Ga. The branch is located at 1125 Commerce Drive, Suite 100A.

“Best Medium Companies to Work for in America”

“We are pleased to join Embrace Home Loans and are excited about our future,” said Joy Millard, branch manager for the Peachtree City branch. “My team and I have been helping people in this community with their lending needs for more than 15 years. Now as a part of the Embrace Home Loans family, we’ll be able to offer even more loan products, further expedite the process and close more loans, more efficiently. With more than 26 successful years behind them, we’re positive this will be a great and beneficial partnership for not only ourselves and Embrace, but to the Peachtree City community. This is a great time to purchase a home and we look forward to helping more families in the area with their mortgage financing needs.“

Despite the tumultuous market, Embrace Home Loans remains a profitable, privately owned company and is rapidly expanding its operations in the consolidated market. The Peachtree City-branch provides the entire loan process from application to closing, and because it is not a broker, the process is much quicker. The branch offers conventional, FHA, VA and many of the bond loans that are offered by the State of Georgia. Additionally, the company has been recognized as one of the “Best Medium Companies to Work for in America,” as well as one of the “INC 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.”

“Opening a new branch further adds to Embrace Home Loans’ strength as a nationwide lender and to expanding the diversity of the customers we serve,” said Dennis Hardiman, CEO and founder of Embrace Home Loans. “Georgia has been hit hard by the economy, but we are optimistic that the state’s economy will soon recover, as will the nation’s. We look forward to working with the Peachtree City community and are excited to work with such an experienced and established group of mortgage professionals. With Joy’s extensive knowledge of the mortgage process and her proven willingness to help applicants find the right lending solution for their financing needs, we are confident the current and future residents of Peachtree City will be well-served.”

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Celebrate National Mentoring Month, Become a Mentor

January is National Mentoring Month and the Fayette County School System’s Friends Mentoring program is inviting the community to get involved.

Just about all of us have been touched by a special individual who encouraged and guided us and left a lasting impact on our lives. That person might be a parent, teacher, older sibling or perhaps a volunteer who spent time each week offering homework help, a listening ear, or words of encouragement. No matter what their relationship, they are all mentors.

During National Mentoring Month, those who were shaped by the mentors in their lives are invited to pay it forward by becoming a participant in the Friends Mentoring Program. Mentors meet weekly one-on-one with their students at school for one hour. The program focuses on assisting children in developing relationship skills, building positive life skills and improving academic proficiencies.

Thank Your Mentor Day will be celebrated on January 21. On that day, the community is encouraged to reach out and thank those who have made a difference in their lives. Ways to honor a mentor include contacting him or her directly to express appreciation, pass it on by becoming a mentor to a child or making a financial donation to a local mentoring program.
Many mentors with Friends have been involved in the program for years. Volunteers have selflessly given of their time and talents to help students at all school levels flourish and become productive both inside and outside the school setting.

If you are willing to commit one hour per week to helping a child at one of our schools, or if you want to make a donation to the Friends Mentoring Program, contact Jane Gough at the LaFayette Educational Center, 770-460-3990, ext. 255.

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Surrogate Parent Training January 29

Training for persons interested in becoming surrogate parents to students with disabilities in the educational process will be held January 29 in the media center of Rivers Elementary beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The Fayette County Public Schools Exceptional Children’s Department will provide training for those interested in becoming surrogates for students whose parents cannot be identified or located, and the responsibilities are strictly limited to the special education portion of the child’s education. Duties include attending and participating in the child’s annual Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting and providing consent for evaluation or placement.

Foster parents, retired teachers and persons who would like to act as a parent in these special education decisions are encouraged to come to this training. Rosie Gwin, exceptional children’s services coordinator for the school system, will lead the training.

“Acting as a surrogate parent is a wonderful opportunity to serve a child when he or she needs it the most,” says Allison Stevenson, the school system’s parent mentor.

Light refreshments will be served.

The training is free but reservations are required. Contact Allison Stevenson by January 7 at stevenson.allison@mail.fcboe.org or call770-460-3911, ext. 239 to reserve a seat.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Transition to High School Workshop Jan 14th

Parents of students with disabilities who will be transitioning to high school in the fall are invited to attend an informational workshop on January 14 at Rivers Elementary beginning at 6 p.m.

The workshop will be conducted by the Fayette County Public School System’s Exceptional Children’s Services department heads from each of the county’s five high schools. Discussion will include student involvement in the IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting that is required at the eighth grade annual review, transition plan for high school and beyond, and an overview of curriculum and graduation rules. There will be a question and answer session at the end for general questions.

This workshop is a great opportunity to learn what is expected in high school. Parents are encouraged to bring their eighth graders with them since it will be a learning opportunity for the student as well.

The workshop is free, but advance reservations are required. To reserve a seat, contact Parent Mentor Allison Stevenson at stevenson.allison@mail.fcboe.org or call 770-460-3911, ext. 239.
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Fayette Student Comics Win Awards at Competition

Being funny paid off big for one French student at Sandy Creek High.

Michelle Melear, along with 33 fellow French students from the school, participated in a cartoon competition sponsored by the French Consulate, Alliance Francaise and the American Association of Teachers of French, Georgia chapter. Melear finished second in the high school category and won several prizes including a full scholarship to attend a French Immersion Camp that will take place in February.

Two other Sandy Creek students also finished in the top 20. Meggie Foulk placed 18th and James Morgan 19th. High school students across six states submitted a total of 97 comic strips for the competition.

The comics were judged on text and quality of French, originality of the theme, storyline, quality of drawing, and use of color.

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ExceptionalOPS Jan 12th Meeting: Building Alliances

ExceptionalOPS invites you to attend the Tuesday, January 12th meeting at a special location!

Sponsored by ExceptionalOPS and Exceptional Children’s Services of Fayette County Schools

“Building Alliances”

Come learn about potential resources for families of children with special needs. Visit exhibits and speak with representatives from local service providers, schools, daycares, agencies, special needs organizations, and much more. This is a great opportunity for one stop information/resource shopping for you and your family.

Where: McIntosh High School - (Look for the ExceptionalOps signs)
201 Walt Banks Road
Peachtree City, GA 30269

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 7:00-9:00 PM

A Few Examples of Agencies represented at the Fair:

Recreational Opportunities

Tutoring Services

Community Service Board Region Three

Benefits Navigator

Support Groups

PALS Program

Hope House and other Respite Care Programs

Special Olympics

Hands for Hire and Fayette Community Options

Target Audience:

Parents, Teachers, Administrators & Service Providers who support people with special needs

For more information please contact Janet Smola, Executive Director, ExceptionalOPS at 770-631-1035 or Linda Williams, Transition IST, Exceptional Children’s Services – Fayette County Schools, at 678-796-5695.

Children are welcome in the care of their parents.

ExceptionalOps is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization providing advocacy, information, supports and choices for Fayette residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Your tax-deductible contributions are encouraged and welcomed.

Mailing Address: PO Box 2151, Peachtree City, GA 30269
Office: 100 Governor’s Trace, Suite 107, Fayetteville, GA 30214 (by appointment)
Executive Director: Janet Smola - (770) 631-1035 or cell phone (770) 639-9169
Email: ExceptionalOPS@yahoo.com
Websites: http://www.ExceptionalOPS.com