Gilmer High School cancels prom in face of resurgent Coronavirus

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Prom

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County is still finding new information from news of exposures in the Courthouse and offices shutting down, but now, Gilmer High School is responding to the general resurgance of the Coronavirus in Georgia as they officially announce cancelling this year’s prom.

Originally cancelled during the school year as responses and shutdowns were widespread in the spring and the schools were closed, opting for “distance learning” alternatives, the prom was rescheduled in April as Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs announced in a meeting that they would be attempting to hold prom in July to make up for the cancellation.

That date was set for this Friday, July 10, 2020.

Today, the high school released a statement on social media stating that they would be cancelling the make-up day as well. They stated, “We have been in constant communication with local authorities regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and after much discussion and deliberation, we have decided to cancel prom this Friday, July 10. This decision was made with a great amount of information pertaining to potential and confirmed cases in Gilmer County. The cases are on a continual rise due to recent events within the county, and our first, and utmost, concern is, and will always be, the safety of our students and staff.”

In response to being forced to cancel the event, the high school is offering refunds through a linked form that parents and students can use for the school.

The school asks for patience moving forward.

They also commented saying a final decision has not been made at this time regarding graduation. However, they did affirm that a decision would be made in the coming days.

Gilmer updates Graduation plans with tentative dates

Bobcat's Corner, News
Gilmer BOE 2019, school closed, Graduation, Board, Education, Spending Resolution

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Students are getting more updates as the administrative staff of both Gilmer High School and the Gilmer County School System continue working towards tentative dates for graduation ceremonies for seniors this year.

Throughout April, Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs has constantly updated parents and students of their work to offer recognition and honor for these students despite the viral outbreak and shutdown. That continued with their Special Called Meeting this week as Downs revealed specific dates for their plans.

Dr. Downs did say “tentative” dates for these events as the school system is still planning and looking at the changing environment.

The current plan does include other grades as those schools wish to hold a celebration for their students to collect some items they may have left, to see friends and teachers, and to provide a little closure to the school year.

Ellijay Elementary School will hold theirs on July 6, 2020. Clear Creek Elementary School and Mountain View Elementary School will hold theirs on July 8, 2020. Clear Creek Middle School will be held on July 9, 2020. Specific times or a time range have not been set yet as plans and events continue to formulate.

Answering the most asked question of recent weeks, Gilmer is attempting to address both Graduation and Prom this year. Dr. Downs announced during the meeting that they are looking to hold their actual graduation ceremony on July 17, 2020, with prom the Friday before, July 10, 2020. Again, the specific time has not been finalized yet, though some time slots are already being considered.

Gilmer is, currently, still planning on a televised recognition video on May 22, 2020, in recognition of students and their honors and achievements, but also wants to give students the actual chance to hold their real graduation in July. Filming will be going on in early May as students, staff, and the school board plan to be a part of the video.

 

GMP approved for GHS Renovations Phase 3

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2020-201 Calendar, graduation, Renovations, Financial Distinction, return, testing

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer High School is set to move ahead with Phase 3 of renovations after unanimous approval came for a GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price) from the Board of Education during a special called meeting.

That GMP from Charles Black Construction totals $816,306 for the project. Through Charles Black, at least one subcontractor is already set and the Board is set to go forward with the project this summer.

Phase 3 is the Classroom phase of the multi-year renovations project for the school. It will include replacements for ceiling tiles, painting, and flooring updates. However, a few extra details are also included as they remove most of the floor outlets in science labs and dealing with an expansion joint in one area that they will look closer at during the process.

Their previous phases were Phase 1 for the cafeteria, common area, front offices, and Phase 2 for hallways upstairs and downstairs and media center.

This process has been underway for months as the school system has continually progressed on these projects throughout the year.

Previous phases, reaching back to 2018 in construction and earlier in meetings and discussions, were mostly completed over the summer. The only points left being finished during school years reached only a week or two into class time and were isolated to areas that would not affect students.

As students are not going to be back in the building for the rest of this year, we have not yet received a specific date on when these renovations will start this year.

Superintendent releases email to parents and seniors about graduation

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Gilmer BOE 2019, school closed, Graduation, Board, Education, Spending Resolution

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer Seniors received good news about Graduation during the Board of Education’s April Regular Meeting as Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs read an email that was sent from Gilmer High School Principal Carla Foley.

The email noted details about the plans for graduation as well as a recognition on May 22, 2020. While some of these are similar to plans discussed earlier in the week at the work session, final details came through the email.

Foley said, “While we must wait to hold a large gathering, we do not want to let May 22nd pass without celebration.”

The school will give each senior an opportunity to walk across the field and receive their diploma with their parents and family members close by. They will video each senior having their name announced and receiving their diploma. Then, after having the videos = edited together, the plan is to air the Class of 2020 commencement proceedings on ETC 3 at 7 p.m. on May 22nd.

While these are the current plans as Gilmer will not be returning to class this year, the plans are in effort, according to Downs, to provide some closure to the year for these students through a graduation as well as a recognition day.

Downs did provide the specific details from the email later: 

  • Seniors will be able to pick up their caps and gowns at GHS on Thursday, April 23rd, between 12-3pm. Please enter the GHS campus via Old 5 and Bobcat Trail, and follow the signs and directions.

  • At that time, each senior will be given a paper with a number (1-265), date (May 6th-8th), and time (9am-3pm) to arrive at Huff-Mosely Stadium, via Bobcat Trail, behind the Larry Walker Education Center. You will not be allowed to enter the stadium via Old 5 or Legion Road.

  • Seniors and their family members (1 carload – maximum 6 occupants, including the senior) will arrive at LWEC no earlier than 15 minutes before your assigned time.

  • We will be working in groups of 5 seniors at a time. The first 5 cars, in numeric order, will be lined up and directed around the LWEC toward the visitor entrance of the stadium.

  • The first senior and his/her family will enter the stadium and check in at the table, and proceed to the podium. In order for seniors to participate in the walking ceremony/taping, all fines and fees must be paid in full. Look for an email indicating if your child owes any money for fees or fines.

  • Once that senior leaves the check in table, the next senior and their family will get out of their car, enter the stadium, and check in, and so on. Please do not leave your car until directed to do so by a Gilmer County Sheriff’s officer.

  • At the podium, the senior’s name will be announced, along with any academic awards and scholarships from the Gilmer Education Foundation they have received. (Applications for Gilmer Education Foundation scholarships are due by noon, on Monday, April 20th, to your child’s counselor)

  • The senior will then proceed to the middle of the field to receive their diploma cover and a folder with additional awards and scholarship information from me, and Superintendent, Dr. Downs. Actual diplomas will be mailed to students after May 22nd. Students need to complete the following Google Form to indicate where their diploma should be mailed: https://forms.gle/RFVfJEVViSNpRwsZA

  • Next, the senior will go to a table to pick up their yearbook. If you haven’t ordered your child’s yearbook yet, it is not too late. You can order online at: https://tinyurl.com/y8rz5q8y , or you can order and pay in person when your child comes to pick up their cap and gown on April 23rd.

  • Finally, there will be a place on the field where parents and family members can take pictures with your senior.

  • Each senior will be given 15-minutes on the field from check-in to picture taking. Please honor this time in order to keep the number of people on the field to a safe capacity for all involved.

  • If you cannot make the date/time you have been assigned, please let me know ASAP. A few time slots will be available on Saturday, May 9th, from 10:30-12:00.

  • If your child will not be participating in this ceremony, please have your child notify their counselor ASAP.

 

Foley also said that the school will plan a graduation event in which all seniors and their families can meet on the field and celebrate their accomplishments should current circumstances change over the summer. “We just don’t want to miss the opportunity to provide something at this time.”

Reality Day still needing volunteers for 7th year

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Sophomores from GHS prepare for Reality Day with friends at the Ellijay Civic Center.

ELLIJAY, Ga. – With just over a month until one of Gilmer High School’s two annual “real world” events,  volunteers are still needed for the annual Reality Day.

This event delves deeper into budgets and finances for students in 10th Grade at the high school as they go through the process of budgeting a set monthly salary to provide for furniture, car payments, insurance, entertainment, clothing, unexpected expenses, and more.

Reality Day runs all day with volunteers covering shifts to be apart of the program introducing students to life after school. While most volunteers run all day, the event caters to those who can only give a half day for the morning or afternoon shifts.

Partnering with the high school on the project and hosting it in the gym allows the students to attend without having to be bused elsewhere, but also provides more time for each student to delve into the project.

Gilmer County Family Connections Coordinator Merle Naylor, who directs the event, said, “The volunteers enjoy it and they know that the students are certainly being helped and the students are gaining some knowledge.”

Many members of different parts of the community join in volunteering for Reality Day. From the Board of Commissioners Chairman and Post Commissioners in the past to School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, local business owners and representatives, retirees, and members of the Chamber. People from all walks of life in Ellijay come to invest in the real world knowledge of these students.

Each year also sees small changes to the event as those involved constantly seek feedback from both the volunteers and students. One of those changes this year will see students pick a field to go into. While this doesn’t pick exactly which job they get to base their “budgets” on, it does set a certain guide that will be used to set the path based on their school progress and a little bit of random drawings.

That idea of randomness plays another key role in the students budgets as one table will present the students with an “unexpected event.” This could be something like a flat tire that needs replacing to a medical expense or something positive like an unexpected refund or bank error.

While the final details are being set now, Naylor did reiterate that they could always use more volunteers. More volunteers mean more people to provide and more time dedicated to each individual student. Naylor noted that not only do the volunteers seem to enjoy Reality Day, but the students always gain a lot saying, “We get feedback from them. It opens their eyes to what their parents have to provide and what their futures hold. They learn, I don’t think there is a student that attends that doesn’t learn something.

This will be the seventh year of the annual event, and it seems to be moving positively for the years to come as well.

Gilmer names Jones as 2020 STAR Student

Bobcat's Corner, Community

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer High School has named Nathan Daniel Jones, 18, as the school’s 2020 PAGE STAR Student. Jones has subsequently selected Dr. Renee Hoard, a Mathematics teacher at GHS, as his STAR Teacher.

GHS 2020 PAGE STAR Student Nathan Jones

Nathan Daniel Jones, 18, has been named as Gilmer High School’s 2020 PAGE STAR Student.

Sponsored in Gilmer by the Ellijay Lions Club, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators’ (PAGE) program for Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) honors seniors in schools. To be nominated, a senior must have “the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.”

“We are very proud of Mr. Jones and Dr. Hoard and the academic excellence they exemplify at Gilmer High,” said GHS Principal Carla Foley.

Nathan is the son of Charlie and Starla Jones of Ellijay. He had Dr. Hoard as his teacher for Algebra II Honors, AP Statistics, and SAT/ACT Test Prep. Jones added that Dr. Hoard also helped him as he began sending off applications and preparing for college. Jones confirmed that he will be attending Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology) this fall.

While he has not decided on a major yet, Jones says he wants to pursue Math in some way in his degree. He said he finds a special satisfaction with math and he “just feels it.” His notion was echoed by Dr. Hoard who said she has seen him figuring out some math that even some professionals have had trouble with.

GHS 2020 PAGE STAR Teacher Dr. Renee Hoard

Dr. Renee Hoard has been named STAR Teacher for three of the last four years at GHS.

Dr. Hoard further commented on Jones’ award saying, “The best thing is he is just an all-around academic. You say he is a math person but he is excellent in all of his subjects.”

This is Dr. Hoard’s third nomination as STAR Teacher over the last four years, meaning that, including Jones, three of the last four STAR students picked her as their most influential teacher. She has been awarded in 2017, 2019, and 2020. She began teaching in 1989 and has taught for a total of 27 years since then.

Both the STAR Student Jones and his STAR Teacher Hoard will move on together throughout the remainder of the program. In the STAR Program, each high school’s STAR Student will compete for school system titles, and those winners compete for region honors. Region winners compete for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student.

 

Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-For love of the game

All of TeamFYNSports, Sports

Recently I’ve started watching the show Friday Night Lights again. Let me just say- this is partially important because I’m not a big TV show person. I don’t have the patience to sit through an hour-long episode nor do I usually have the time to keep up with a series. But I figure with pre-season football kicking in and the fall season quickly approaching, revisiting a show that revolves around high school football is one of the best ways to get me hyped up for what’s to come.

Watching this series has also made me think about a couple of things. For one, why do we as a society rally so much around a sport that’s played by boys no older than 18-years-old? Second, do we put too much pressure on athletes who play the game? And finally, is the hype and the pressure truly worth it?

I think the answer can be summed up pretty easily- yes. And why? For love of the game.

But the love of the game is different for each of us. We’re not all going to attend every single football game or spend thousands of dollars to sit in Sanford every Saturday. We all have our limits, and in my opinion that’s perfectly okay.

Why else would my friend Erin and I bundle up in the freezing cold for playoffs? Because we love football!

I like to say that there’s something about having a team that you love that will get inside of you and never leave. I find it fascinating that there are towns across America like Dillon, Texas that will show up in the thousands to support their Panthers. Coaches and players are local celebrities, and you get your butt in the stands every Friday night just as religiously as a pew on Sunday morning. I came from a high school of nearly 4,000 students and a county of almost one million people, but the same spirit that rallies much smaller towns across the country still pulses through mine.

Yes, oftentimes I’m afraid that means we put too much pressure on the athletes who play the game. In my own personal experience, at the high school level we had so many students that it was nearly impossible to know the daily goings-on at the field house. But it was that age-old cycle of that when we would win, the coaches and players would be praised. One loss and the attitude switched faster than the direction of a twister.

But one of the many great things about this country is we have the freedom of choice in many of our decisions. Even though the athletes and coaches who play these games catch a lot of grief, they still have the choice to walk away. Some do. But for those who don’t? I’d venture to say it’s for love of the game.

When it comes to putting pressure on athletes, especially young ones, I believe the relationship is a two-way street. They should know what they’re doing, but despite all the love we have for the game, we need to understand when enough is enough. I’ve heard the term “daddy ball” thrown around a lot before, and it makes me sad to think that there are parents out there who try to live through their children. It’s important to love and support them, but even more important to let them develop their own love for their game.

Finally, like I mentioned earlier, everyone’s love for the game is different. My Papa Skip, who I probably talk to the most about sports, has a different appreciation for them than I do. I’ll use UGA football as an example. He attended classes at UGA- I never have. He still goes every year to the UGA/Florida game in Jacksonville- I’ve only gone once. He pays each year to have season tickets for the home games- I CERTAINLY don’t do that, although when he doesn’t want them I get first dibs (thanks Papa!)

The point I’m trying to make is while we all may say we love sports, we each love them differently. We each have a certain line we’re willing to cross. But at the same time, come Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday or playoffs, we rally behind our team. And we each get our butts in the stands. Why? For love of the game.

GHS Threats see arrest

News
instructions, budget

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Reports are coming in after school today as a student began threatening Gilmer High School.

According to confirmation from the Gilmer School System, a parent reported the threats to administrators who promptly contacted authorities.

The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office quickly investigated and arrested the individual. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office will also have extra staff monitoring the High School on Wednesday, March 27.

Bobcat Trail reopens today

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Road repair on Bobcat Trail after a gas line break during road work is completed and both lanes are operational from Old 5, at the Civic Center, to Gilmer High School.

According to Gilmer High School, “We will return to our regular drop off and pick up times and routines, effective Monday morning. In addition, we will return to our regular bell schedule. All students will attend Advisement on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and will be dismissed at 3:20. Early Dismissal for eligible students will resume on Thursday, March 21.”

Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs has stated that the return to open traffic has appeared to be business as usual so far. With no reports of issues with the traffic or the road’s condition, it seems parents and students driving to school will soon return to the way things were before the storm damage and gas line break.

Bobcat Trail repair hits gas line

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A 2-inch natural gas line was hit, causing a leak, during repairs on Bobcat Trail in March.

A 2-inch natural gas line was hit, causing a leak, during repairs on Bobcat Trail in March.

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Repairs on Bobcat Trail came to a halt Monday evening, March 4, as the contractor on the project struck a gas line hidden under the pavement.

It appears that a backhoe struck the line when digging under the roadway and began leaking the gas as a section was torn out. According to an on-site Supervisor for DRS Contracting, an emergency locate had been called in. He further stated that an unnamed subcontractor for Atlanta Gas Light gave the “all-clear” for DRS to go ahead with the project.

He asserted that Atlanta Gas Light’s report didn’t show any line in the area.

The line that was struck was four feet below the damaged roadway that was shut down by Gilmer County Charter School System last week. Work had just begun on repairing the damage today before hitting the line.

While digging out under a section of road on Bobcat Trail, DSR Contracting struck the gas line.

While digging out under a section of road on Bobcat Trail, DSR Contracting struck the gas line.

Emergency Servcies were immediately contacted as well as Atlanta Gas Light. The Ellijay Fire Department responded to the scene to monitor threats during repairs.

According to Gilmer County Charter School System Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, Atlanta Gas Light has arrived on scene tonight and estimates that the line repair should be completed “fairly quickly.”

Downs further stated that the lines must be cleared and all pilot lights re-lit in the kitchens of both Gilmer Middle School and Gilmer High School. She said, “At this point we are thinking that everything will be fixed and ready for school in the morning.”

Stay with FYN for updates on Bobcat Trail and the continuing repairs near Gilmer High School.

Updates to Bobcat Trail and GHS

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Repairs are beginning today, March 4, on Bobcat trail at Gilmer High School.

As citizens have already been using the Legion road entrance to the high school, they will continue with one major difference. According to authorities in the Gilmer County Charter School System, “these repairs require that both lanes of Bobcat Trail coming north from the Civic Center be closed. GCSS buses will access the High School via the back of Gilmer Middle School, past the stadium and up the hill with student and parent drivers.”

The school system has made additional changes to parent and student traffic for arrival and dismissal this week as follows:

Arrival: All car riders will continue to be dropped off in the student parking lot. Please pull forward to the far set of stairs before circling through the parking lot to exit. When exiting Bobcat Trail towards Legion Road, all cars will be required to turn right at the stadium parking entrance. No cars will be permitted to go straight and exit behind Gilmer Middle School.

Dismissal: For this week, ALL student drivers will be dismissed at 2:30, Car Riders will be dismissed at 2:45, and Bus Riders will be dismissed at the regular 3:20 dismissal time. Again, as cars exit Bobcat Trail, via Legion Road, all cars will be required to turn right at the stadium parking entrance, and no cars will be permitted to go straight and exit behind Gilmer Middle School.

While current information points to the repairs being finished by week’s end, it is likely that parents and students will be able to access Bobcat Trail next week. However, no specific statements from the school have fully confirmed this yet.

High School closes Bobcat Trail

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County High School is shutting down one of its two entrances to the high school. Bobcat Trail, the entrance across from the Gilmer Civic Center, has seen road damage recently.

Due to the road damage on Bobcat Trail, the school needs to divert all traffic coming to the High School to ensure student safety. Beginning today, February 27, “only school buses will be allowed to enter Bobcat Trail from Old 5 (Main Street at the Civic Center). All car traffic will need to enter Bobcat Trail from Legion Road.”

Parents/Guardians dropping off students will need to have students exit their cars at the base of the main stairs in the lower student parking. Drivers will then need to circle through the student parking lot in order to exit back onto Legion Road. No cars will be allowed beyond the Noah Harris Center between 7am-8:15am and 2:30pm-3:45pm.

FYN currently understands that there is expected to be officers at Legion Road, just as they would be at Bobcat Trail, directing traffic onto Old Highway 5.

No changes are needed in how student drivers enter and exit the school grounds. Student drivers will need to be extra cautious when driving and parking in the student parking lots due to the extra vehicles that will be coming through.

These changes are to set to be in place for a few days at least, according to the Board of Education.

Board splits on approval of Foley as principal

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Gilmer BOE 2019, school closed, Graduation, Board, Education, Spending Resolution

ELLIJAY, Ga. – As the Gilmer County Board of Education went through usual approvals for administration in January for the coming school year, an unusual take on the votes came as Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs said she was requested to go through approvals one at a time instead of all together.

Those individual votes came so a no vote could be given to Gilmer High School Principal Carla Foley. She was approved in a 3-2 decision with Tom Ocobock and Ronald Watkins as the dissenting votes. FYN later asked these two why they voted no. However, they simply commented that they had their reasons.

Watkins specifically said, “Hopefully, things will straighten up and next year will be a yes vote.” He did note simply that he wasn’t satisfied with the position, declining to explain further.

Ocobock did agree that he wanted next year to be a yes vote, but also declined further comment.

One other dissension came with the Central Administration positions. As Bob Sosebee was recommended for Director of Facilities and Transportation, Ocobock spoke in the meeting saying, “I’m giving him the yes vote, but I want to see marked improvement in maintenance on these schools in this year.”

Ocobock said he has seen trash and alluded to more as he repeated that he wanted a marked improvement.

With these approvals of administration, the Board will move forward next month with recommendations for staff and contracts for the coming school year.

PHS lockdown and what’s next in the Vaping Campaign

Uncategorized

Jasper, Ga – The Pickens County Board of Education hosted a no-threat lockdown today on the campus of Pickens High School.

Parents and citizens saw the Pickens County Sheriff respond to concerns saying:

We currently have a team of deputies and K-9 units participating in a controlled sweep of the Pickens High School campus. While the school is being checked, students are being placed in a non-emergency lockdown status. Students are safe and no threat exists at the school.

When questioned about the lockdown, Pickens County Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson said the K-9 sweep was scheduled for a few weeks ago, but had to be pushed back due to scheduling conflicts with Cherokee County who supplies the K-9 units. As the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has retired its last K-9 unit for medical reasons, Wilson stated it is a part of the agreement with Cherokee County to utilize theirs.

With the lockdown and sweep completed, Wilson informed FYN that no drugs were located during the sweep today. Though he noted it was not directly related to the rising use of vape devices, Wilson did respond to questions about the trend saying that it is a concern in the school system.

Sweeps like this is a part of the school’s enforcement of its code of conduct as well as state and federal law. Though Wilson said there is more going on behind the scenes in the system’s response to the rising vape concerns and to school security in general, he declined to release details saying, “There is a number of things that we are doing and things that we are working with the Sheriff’s Office, some of that we just can’t publicize at the moment.”

More information on these steps like the K-9 sweeps and other programs the school already has in place over its years in operation can be found at the upcoming Monday, September 24, day of events involving the Office of the Sheriff, the District Attorney, and Pickens School district as they hold a meeting for parents for information and the ‘Chat with the Superintendent’ at Pickens High School at 6 p.m.

Wilson went on to note that the school system is being forced to change the way it views vaping devices. While he notes that it is against the law for underage kids to possess cigarettes and vaping devices and they have enforced the law, he did state that the school system may have, at times, not utilized the most extreme forms of discipline available in every situation involving the use of nicotine. He went on to say, “Now that this added ability of being able to vape just about anything, that brings it to a whole different level.”

As part of the school’s efforts to inform parents and students about the dangers that vapes present with not knowing what is in them, the board is working with the District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office. Wilson said, “We may have looked at vaping in the past as more of a replacement for a cigarette, and not as a delivery device for drugs… Going forward, we probably would.”

He added later, “We’re going to have to really start disciplining to the fullest extent that we can, given to us by our Code of Conduct or either by the Law to keep our children safe.”

Gilmer CLC dedicates new building

Uncategorized
Gilmer CLC CCMS Campus Clear Creek

East Ellijay, Ga. – The Gilmer Christian Learning Center (CLC) opened the doors of its new addition at the Clear Creek Campus this week to dedicate the building and allow the public to see where students will be learning and growing in the coming years.

The new campus adds on to the already well-established work being done at the High School campus located on Bobcat Trail between Gilmer High School and Gilmer Middle School.

Executive Board Member, Loy Jarret spoke at Sunday's Open House and Dedication of the Gilmer CLC's new Clear Creek Campus.

Executive Board Member, Loy Jarret spoke at Sunday’s Open House and Dedication of the Gilmer CLC’s new Clear Creek Campus.

As stated in Executive Board Member Loy Jarrett’s opening remarks of the Dedication Ceremony, the CLC began as a dream from Joel Stembridge. With the dream accomplished in 1985, Jarret went on to say that this building represents “Joel’s second wish.”

Jarret said the CLC exists to, among other things, teach kids about self-image, individual achievements, people skills, and spiritual foundation. As the mind, body, and soul make up a person, the soul stands most important.

“Life is a marathon,” said Jarret, “It’s not just a sprint… The more that we can expose these kids to this marathon, the more that they will improve our next generation.”

Accomplishing the 20-month long process, the building stands completed. With only interior items like landscaping, shelving, and supplies left to put the finishing touches in, CLC Director Jennifer Colson said the Gilmer CLC Clear Creek Campus will achieve its deadline to be ready for classes this fall. With students already lined up from last years class registrations, the building will begin seeing use in just a few weeks.

Jennifer Colson, Director of Gilmer's Christian Learning Center, is set to split time at the two locations as she manages the program and its continued growth.

Jennifer Colson, Director of Gilmer’s Christian Learning Center, is set to split time at the two locations as she manages the program and its continued growth.

With one 7th grade class and one 8th grade class, the cycle changes every 9 weeks to help reach as many students as possible. More than that, Colson says they are excited to have the new building in the Clear Creek campus and will be looking to host 6th, 7th, and 8th grades in the building as the system goes through changes to its schools’ restructuring in the coming years.

 

s Director, Colson says she will be splitting her time between the two buildings in order to support the staff of the CLC’s two locations.

Colson spoke at the Dedication Ceremony to offer thanks for those who donated, volunteered, and provided in every way for the new building. She also noted that the CLC program will be moving into the new building debt-free, an amazing feat as the CLC is a completely non-profit organization.

Thanking God for provisions and guidance, Colson said it has been astonishing as people have continuously volunteered and donated time and time again for the expansion. Whether it was volunteers working, others financially supporting, and professionals donating services, the progress has marched on to prepare the new facility as Colson states, “It’s just been amazing to see how the community has come together and said ‘We believe in CLC. We believe in the mission of this ministry. We believe our seventh and eighth graders need to hear about Jesus daily.'”

 

 

Check out these photos and more from the ceremony and open house at FetchYourNews’ Facebook Page.

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Mountain Education honors seniors at special dinner

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MECHS Gilmer Honor Graduates and recipients of the Presidents Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence included, left to right, Salutatorian Dakota Skiles, Bryson Darnell, and Jessica Jones. Not pictured is Felipe Arreaga.

MECHS Gilmer Honor Graduates and recipients of the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence included, left to right, Salutatorian Dakota Skiles, Bryson Darnell, and Jessica Jones. Not pictured is Felipe Arreaga.

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Mountain Education Charter High School (MECHS) dedicated a night special for its own seniors set to graduate this year.

As a part of the graduation season, the school held a banquet honoring those seniors and their accomplishments. The dinner, held at First Baptist Church in Ellijay, honored those from the Gilmer site before the Graduation Ceremony at Fannin County High School Performing Arts Center honoring graduates from Fannin, Gilmer, and Union.

The night also noted Gilmer’s success with holding the entire system’s Salutatorian, Dakota Skiles. She was one of the four Honor Graduates from Gilmer alongside Filipe Arreaga, Bryson Darnell, and Jessica Jones.

Seniors honored for the Presidents Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement included, left to right, Christopher Byrd, Phebee Garrett, David Green, Mallory Grimes, Sonia Guzman, Luke McClure, Katelynn Roberts, Pennie Tuck, and Jadie Weaver. Not Pictured is Kacie Crook, McKenzie Hagin, Jacob King, and Luis Olea.

Seniors honored for the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement included, left to right, Christopher Byrd, Phebee Garrett, David Green, Mallory Grimes, Sonia Guzman, Luke McClure, Katelynn Roberts, Pennie Tuck, and Jadie Weaver. Not Pictured is Kacie Crook, McKenzie Hagin, Jacob King, and Luis Olea.

Additional honorees for the night included winners of the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement: Christopher Byrd, Kacie Crook, Phebee Garrett, David Green, Mallory Grimes, Sonia Guzman, McKenzie Hagin, Jacob King, Luke McClure, Luis Olea, Katelynn Roberts, Pennie Tuck, and Jadie Weaver.

As the ceremony continued, each senior was presented with a special “shadow box” for their graduation. This class gift was presented as a token of the staff’s pride in the students and their hard work.

Still more, for her special achievement of reaching Salutatorian, Dakota Skiles was given a tablet computer for her future work and education endeavors.

 

 

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