ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer High School Marching Band is looking at replacing their uniforms after 13 years of use.
The legacy of the current uniforms stretches across over a decade of champion level performances, nation-spanning shows like Hollywood for the Christmas Parade, and growth into new avenues such as this year’s inaugural Winter Guard Competitive Season.
After all the events these uniforms have been showcased at, the time has come to hang up the old and reign in the new. Director of Bands Joe Pflueger has worked since November on finding the new look and gauging interest of both band member and Band Boosters members. Originally engaging 3 companies for design bids and ideas, Pflueger has finally come to a final design.
Noting the resemblance of the front design to that of our iconic mountains, he says he has decided on the final design from Fruhauf Uniforms, Inc. The competition line uniform will bear the school’s emblematic G as seen in the photo.
Achieving this goal, however, is something the band team is still working towards. Pflueger took time to speak with FYN saying he felt the new uniforms, along with the board’s August approval for replace percussion instruments, bear a rewarding feeling for the students after the constant work and successes in recent years.
The uniforms are more than just a new design for some though. Band Mom Bobbi Leigh Mullins said it represented the chance to have her son “sparkle and shine” as he marched for the Band.
Consisting of 130 musicians, the GHS Band has always grown from support from its band boosters, support from the school and school board, and support from the community to further its efforts. Pflueger spoke with FYN confirming that the band has already raised half of the funds necessary to purchase the uniforms. However, if they are to meet their hopes of fielding these uniforms at the opening show next season, this fall, they need to garner another $30,000 to finish the project.
Attempting to raise the necessary funds, the Band has turned to its community for help. An official release from the organization has offered game-time announcements and program recognition for sponsorship at different “star levels.” Each level represents a part of a uniform up to “5 Star” level at $395 for a full uniform.
Pflueger said the process has included over 20 designs and a numerous minor changes to designs before ending on this arrangement. Though the current band stands at 130 students, Pflueger admitted the could see growth towards 140 in the coming years, making it the largest band Gilmer has fielded to date. Pflueger told FYN, “With all the organizations, it’s just getting the kid involved. It makes for a better, well-rounded kid. And it provides those kids with memories they can keep the rest of their lives… That’s the satisfying part of it.”
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Sophomores of Gilmer High School (GHS) were treated to the annual Reality Day that is put on every March.
Set 10 years into the students’ future, the day sets up budgetary needs for a student offering randomized “life-situations” like number of children, marital status, and job description and pay. They take this monthly income and travel to different stations in order to budget their life and what they want including cell phones, Internet, clothing, transportation, home, charity, insurance, and even unexpected events based upon random card draw.
Volunteers from across the county help the day progress through four groups throughout the day. Gilmer Family Connection Director Merle Naylor, who organizes the event, told FetchYourNews it’s the volunteers she relies on to make the day happen. Allowing students a glimpse of the general is what she points to as the real meaning of the day, but she also enjoys the time for citizens to volunteer showing that the students matter and are worth the time taken for the day.
This year saw a few hiccups, as far fewer students showed up for the day than were expected. Several issues were noted as contributing factors from students not getting permission slips to others being absent. Naylor commented on the reduced number saying, “I think it went well, maybe not as well as last year because of the number of student were probably a third of what we’ve had in past years. But the students certainly learned, and I’ve heard some comments from volunteers that they actually learned more because they could spend more time with the students … I look at in the positive that if a few of the students gained the knowledge, then it was well worth it all.”
Naylor went on to note that she takes a lot personally from the day to know that people are willing to volunteer for the project. The interaction with the students goes a long way, but more, the interaction with each other builds the community support of the students and of each other.
Be sure to check out FYN’s Facebook page for more photos from Reality Day 2018.
DALTON, Ga. – The Dalton Police Department is on scene at Dalton High School where shots have been fired.
Dalton Police report that no student was injured by the shooting and all students are out of harm’s way. They also report the subject, a teacher, has been taken into custody.
The subject had barricaded themselves into a classroom earlier today before firing a weapon. Local police and Georgia State Patrol responded to the initial call. Concerning those reports that have come about a student injured during the evacuation, the Dalton Police were adamant that no student was injured by the shooting.
Police are also asking parents to NOT go to Dalton High School as they say, “The area inside the school has been evacuated and there are no students believed to be in the school at this time.”
The evacuated students have been taken to the Northwest Georgia Trade Center where police report parents should go for their children.
EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – According to Gilmer County Charter School System Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes, a new issue arising at Clear Creek Middle School drew law enforcement and emergency management to the school near dismissal time Friday, Feb. 16.
Wednesday, staff noticed writing in pen on a boys bathroom stall saying, “I have a bomb.” Wilkes tells FetchYourNews that law enforcement was contacted and the school searched. No evidence pointed toward a bomb being present that day.
Today, at approximately 1:45 p.m., Wilkes reported that a teacher was notified of more writing in a different boys bathroom on a stall. The writing this time appeared smeared across the wall in ink, as if someone had broken a pen to smear the writing. The writing read, “I have a bomb, you will die.”
After contacting emergency services and law enforcement, emergency management investigated for the presence of a bomb again. In an effort to find someone who may have written the message, school staff checked students hands for ink. Wilkes also noted that the staff was also checked for ink.
Though no device or other suspicious activity was found again, emergency management is continuing to question and combing through film. Wilkes once again noted that while the current thought is that this threat is a hoax, they will continue investigating the threat seriously.
With next week seeing Gilmer students on winter break, Wilkes tells FYN that they will be open for authorities to fully access the school for inspection for any signs, and the school will see heightened security when they return from the break.
All Ages Programs
Saturday, February 17 @ 10:30 AM
The Kid an I: Toddler Sensory Explorations
Experience the world through your toddler’s eyes! Share their exploration of over 10 sensory stations designed to stimulate all five senses, including a craft to extend sensory learning at home. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Family No-Bake Cookies
Tuesday, February 20 @ 3:00 PM
Families are invited to make so yummy no-bake cookies! At the end of the program, all families will swap cookies, so everyone will get to taste them all! Adult participation is required & registration is recommended. For information & registration, call 706-635-4528.
Family Story Time
Wednesday February 14 @ 10:30 AM & 4:00 PM
Wednesday February 21 @ 10:30 AM & 4:00 PM
Family story times are designed for families with children of all ages. Story time is followed by a craft activity. Children must be accompanied by a participating adult.
Young Adult Program
Thursday, February 15 @ 4:00 PM
Learn the basics of computer coding. Each meeting will build upon the previous one, but attendees can work at their own pace. Join anytime! For ages 10-18.
Wednesday February 14 @ 9:30 AM
Learn how to eat heathy without spending a lot of money, the value of having a grocery list, what it means to eat healthy foods, and portion control to prevent weight gain. Presented by Jessie Moore, UGA Family and Consumer Services Agent.
Wednesday February 14 @ 1:00 PM
Learn how to stretch your food dollars, the importance of
paying bills on time, and how to keep track of your spending.
Presented by Jessie Moore, UGA Family and Consumer
The Friends of the Library Bookshelf
Remember that the library welcomes donations of gently read books and magazines. Those that the library does not need come to the Bookshelf, with all the proceeds benefiting the library. Do not forget to visit the “back room” of the Bookshelf for newly stocked non-fiction and magazines.
Bookshelf hours are from 10:30-5:30 on weekdays and from 12:00-2:00 on Saturdays
Library Location & Contact Information
Address: 268 Calvin Jackson Drive, Ellijay, GA 30540.
Phone: 706-635-4528. Fax: 706-635-3528.
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9AM-8PM, Friday and Saturday 9AM-6PM.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Since October, the Gilmer High School chapter of Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) has volunteered monthly with local foster children through the Foster Parent Association. Monthly meetings allow FCCLA members to spend time playing with, teaching, and bonding with these children.
Cesley Johnson, an FCCLA member, commented, “We felt as if the foster children group was something that didn’t get a lot of direct attention and that needed to change. One visit later with these babies, and we all realized that it was much more than just that. Each one of us have formed a bond with these kids and look forward to every visit we get the privilege of having with them.”
Several students have even taken initiative to design programming for the children. Cesley Johnson and Kelsey Payne have organized a different small lesson each month. These lessons include information on nutrition, mindfulness/gratitude, and even a little cooking. Recently, Kasey Rangel also decided to organize an event by providing a Christmas gift for each child. She sought out an individual sponsor for each child from the school and her church.
Overall, the program has made a profound impact on the FCCLA volunteers. As one states, “Selflessness, love, generosity, and patience are all things that we have learned from seeing these kids just once a month.”
ELLIJAY, Ga. – More than just a saw, Gilmer High School students in Dennis Wilson Jr.’s class are enjoying the perks of a new table saw utilizing a SawStop.
According to Gordon Brewer, of the Apple Ridge Woodturners, the club was in need of a new place to meet as the fire station at which they normally met was a bit too far for some members. As they searched, Brewer stated that the school was kind enough to allow them to meet at the school. Strengthening the relationship, the Woodturners began discussing classes and mentorships for students who wished to take advantage of them.
However, discussion continued as the Woodturners began looking at the high school’s construction class equipment. Wilson spoke of the class’ table saw and issues with safety devices on the saw.
Noticing the need, the Apple Ridge Woodturners Club donated money from within the club, as well as one donation from an outside citizen Mac Logan, to provide a new table saw with several additions for the students utilizing the equipment. The entire package included the SawStop Contractor Saw with the cartridge that drops the blade below the table with any moisture, according to Wilson, who says the system works by grabbing the blade with a cartridge under the table that drops the blade under to prevent serious injury to the operator. While this does ruin both the blade and the cartridge, it holds injury to the operator to between a slight cut to a deep cut instead of possibly losing the entire finger.
The new saw also comes with a new plastic blade guard and a “writhing knife” behind the blade to separate the cut wood from pinching the blade and getting caught which could launch a piece of wood back at the operator.
Apple Ridge Woodturners President Richard Byers told FetchYourNews (FYN) that the club’s 45 members joined together for the $1,799 purchase for the construction class. Typically meeting once a month, the club has been planning since August and moving toward this week as when to officially donate the device. Byers told FYN, should the SawStop device ever be used, it would be, roughly, $200 to replace, which is comparatively cheap in relation to major injury and medical costs.
Moving into the new semester, teacher Dennis Wilson told FYN the main thing he was excited for was the safety upgrade. Stating the most common injury on such a tool is running one’s hand into the blade. Having the state-of-the-art saw helps every one of the 100 students in the shop daily.
“It’s huge,” said Wilson, who commented about constantly being asked by community members who are seeking students who are trained and ready to join construction jobs. Noting the help he gets from the community, Wilson hinted at future projects to return to the community. The constant cycle not only strengthens the relationship, but Wilson said, it is a huge success for the students who are completely responsible for projects from communicating with a client requesting the project to a final in the class that requires them to fully build two sheds like they would a house.
As students move further into the new semester, Wilson told FYN that the saw will be constantly used in his class. Reiterating what the donation means, Wilson noted the age of some of his equipment.
Having the community invest into its own future through the training of students not only shows the course importance but also shows that the community recognizes that importance and cares to improve the quality.