REACH signing in Gilmer

Bobcat's Corner, News
REACH Signing 2019

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Five new inductees have joined the Gilmer County REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) program this week with the official REACH Signing Ceremony on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

The ceremony was hosted at Clear Creek Middle School’s media center with special guests Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston and Brad Bryant from the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

2019 REACH Signing Student Scholars

Left to Right, Sarah Enfinger, Eduardo Gonzalez-Santos, Emma Heaslip, Sandra Pantoja, and David Rafael-Garcia are honored as the newest Gilmer REACH Scholars at a ceremony on November 12, 2019.

The inductees, Sarah Enfinger, Eduardo Gonzalez-Santos, Emma Heaslip, Sandra Pantoja, and David Rafael-Garcia, signed their agreements during the ceremony as did their parents to adhere to the requirements of the agreement and move toward their choices for post-secondary education.

Speaker Ralston said during the ceremony that this year’s students are joining a group of more than 2,400 students in Georgia who have been a part of the program over recent years.

Ralston said, “The REACH program exemplifies what can happen when communities come together and the public and private sectors work hand in hand to support our young people. REACH is also an example of the state’s continuing commitment to supporting our students and public education. Whether it has been fully funding public schools through QBE, paying for school security improvements, or raising teacher salaries, our general assembly continues to invest in education all across the state.”

REACH Signing 2019 David Ralston

Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston speaks to students and families at Gilmer’s REACH signing on November 12, 2019.

The REACH signing is a part of Georgia’s program as a needs-based scholarship that begins in 8th grade. REACH Scholars are paired with a mentor and an academic coach throughout high school. Scholars must maintain good grades (2.5 GPA in core courses), behavior, and attendance throughout middle and high school. Scholars who successfully complete the program and graduate from high school are awarded a $10,000 scholarship that can be used at HOPE-eligible institution in Georgia.

Bryant also took a moment to offer special thanks to the school board members and the mentors to these students for the time and effort they put forth to help the students saying the children are the future, but “it’s the adults that serve the children that are the future.”

Another surprise for the day’s events, the students saw a video message from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp congratulating them on the ceremony and their steps toward the future. Kemp said, “Today’s ceremony is the beginning of a journey. Your REACH scholarship puts you in the fast lane on a road to the future of success. I look forward to watching you accelerate into that future.”


See more photos from this event at FYN’s REACH 2019 Photo Album on Facebook.


2019 Gilmer MECHS Scholarship Winners

Mountain Education Charter High School

Pictured above are the 2019 MECHS Albert E Harrison Scholarship Winners: Kayla Alred, Alexus Fisher, Karol Garcia, Alexis Holloway, Paige Millbocker, Haley Miller, Alexis Newton, Emily Powell, Dakota Radford, Summer-Lee Rose, Avery Sanford, Mazzy Walker, Also Pictured: Mr. Nathan Collier ETC representative


Kaitlyn Bryan, recipient of the Pearson’s Learning Scholarship, is pictured with Gina Nichols, Gilmer MECHS Scholarship Coordinator.

Gilmer MECHS’s 2019 Faculty and Staff Scholarship recipient is Karol Garcia. She is also pictured with Gina Nichols, Gilmer MECHS Scholarship Coordinator.


Ellijay Lion’s Club scholarship recipients: Elodie Frezier, Autumn Holt, Christian Jackson (Not Pictured)


Not present for pictures were the following:

RaeAnn Hadden Scholarship recipient,  Alexis Newton

Chief Master Sargent Bill Collins Scholarship recipient,  Cloie Jean Jenkins

Chick-Fil-A Scholarship Winner

Mountain Education Charter High School

With much excitement, we say Congrats to our Chick-fil-a Scholarship winner, Florinda Lopez-Perez! Florinda won $2,500 to start her college career. Also pictured is Emily Allen, Florinda’s mentor. Florinda is an employee of Chick-fil-a. Good Luck Florinda, you are going to do awesome things!

Six new inductees join REACH

Bobcat's Corner, News
Gilmer's 2018 signees into the REACH program, pictured here from left to right, (front) Emma Bell, Ben Becerra, Naydelin Ajiataz-Arreaga, (back) Annalyssa Brown, Alba Monraga-Telles, and Candelaria Raymundo-Bautista.

Gilmer’s 2018 signees into the REACH program, pictured here from left to right, (front) Emma Bell, Ben Becerra, Naydelin Ajiataz-Arreaga, (back) Annalyssa Brown, Candelaria Raymundo-Bautista, and Alba Monraga-Telles.

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Education celebrated on Friday, October 19, to welcome its six new students into the Gilmer County REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Scholars Program.

The six 8th graders were hosted at Clear Creek Middle School with a ceremony for their signing of the program agreement in the presence of the Gilmer County Charter School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, and Chris Green of the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

The six students included Naydelin Ajiataz-Arreaga, Ben Becerra, Emma Bell, Annalysa Brown, Candelaria Raymundo-Bautista, and Alba Monraga-Telles. Each student celebrated the day with family members and member of the community in concerted agreement of support and encouragement for their years in high school and their plans beyond.

David Ralston speaks at Gilmer's 2018 REACH Signing Ceremony.

David Ralston speaks at Gilmer’s 2018 REACH Signing Ceremony.

REACH Georiga is a needs-based scholarship that begins in 8th grade. REACH Scholars are paired with a mentor and an academic coach throughout high school. Scholars must maintain good grades with a 2.5 GPA in core courses, good behavior, and good attendance throughout their remaining middle school and high school years.

Scholars who successfully complete the program and graduate from high school are awarded a $10,000 scholarship that can be used at HOPE-eligible institutions in Georgia.

Ralston praised the commitment of the students and schools in this effort saying, “If Georgia is to continue being the envy of the nation, if we are to going to continue to be the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business, we’ve got to also lead in preparing our young people for success in college and in their careers.”

Chris Green, Georgia Student Finance Commission, speaks to Gilmer Students signing into the 2018 REACH Program.

Chris Green, Georgia Student Finance Commission, speaks to Gilmer Students signing into the 2018 REACH Program.

He continued to thank the students and schools for their work in the program saying the ceremony reaffirmed the commitment to education and seeing every student succeed. He also noted the states full funding for Georgia’s QBE (Quality Basic Education) program and increases in the state budget for securing our schools. He also spoke to the student’s futures noting the state’s financial contributions to the new campus. “A dream come true,” as Ralston called it during their groundbreaking ceremony according to UNG.

Green added to the sentiment as he noted the HOPE Scholarship program has already awarded over $10 billion to over 1.8 million students in its 25 years. As the REACH program follows those eligible institutions, Green asserted the commission’s efforts to spread the program to every school in the state. Congratulating Gilmer’s Scholars on their signing ceremony, he said he was proud to partner with the schools as the commission pursues its mission to help every Georgian to access post-secondary education.



Make sure to check out more photos of the signing ceremony at FYN’s Facebook Photo Album.


MECHS Graduation & Scholarship recipients

Mountain Education Charter High School

Albert E. Harrison Scholarship recipients from Gilmer and Fannin Counties (l-r) Filipe Arreaga, Christopher Byrd, Bryson Darnell, Madison Davenport, Phebee Garrett, Mallory Grimes, Lindsay Irons, Makenzi Ledford, Katelyn Roberts, Dakota Skiles, Pennie Tuck, Lexus Walden, and Jadie Weaver, also pictured Mr. Jason Smith and Mr. Doug Harrison of Ellijay Telephone Company.

Rosser, Boling sign for college ball

Bobcat's Corner, News

Playing varsity all four years, Taylor Boling has signed to East Tennessee State University for softball.

Though she has played other positions, like shortstop her freshman year, Boling is now a pitcher only, meaning she never bats. This is a position she herself says she loves. Boling says she was attracted to East Tennessee because it maintains the mountain setting while giving a more “big city” feel than Gilmer. Moreover, East Tennessee will have Boling playing on a full scholarship. Not a common thing, Boling says she couldn’t say no to the opportunity.

The scholarship translates to academics for the young athlete as she states the university offers experts in medicine through Olympic trainers on staff. Boling states she was excited to study medicine under professionals of that caliber. Majoring in biology to become a physician’s assistant and considering a dermatology specialist, she is also looking forward to continuing into the medical school on campus after the biology major.

Already preparing for the path, she is currently in her final class of the Sports Medicine Pathway at Gilmer High School and prepares to take on Work Based Learning at a local dermatology office next semester. Boling also considered Troy University, University of North Georgia, Mercer University, and even Georgia Tech.

Brooks Rosser has pitched since childhood and the first leagues where he was allowed. Signing with Truett-McConnell, Rosser says they were “the best feel” outside of baseball.

In fact, much of Rosser’s talk of Truett-McConnell didn’t focus on sports, but rather the people, coaches and staff there that will further his life and faith. He went on to say it was Head Coach Mike Croley that really sold him on playing there. Croley consistently spoke to and guided Rosser during the process. The “personal touch,” Rosser says, showed him that he wasn’t just another recruit, but he felt they wanted him specifically and did everything they could to get him there. “It wasn’t just another email. It was a text. It was a phone call. It was everything,” Rosser added.

Signing a roughly 75 percent scholarship, he says that Truett-McConnell’s focus on “what kind of man you’re going to be outside of baseball” was the academic draw. Looking to obtain an MBA and focus on supply chain management or marketing, Rosser has several plans beyond college already. Part of his draw to even begin looking at Truett-McConnell was their Pitching Coach Ross Roberts who has already had two players drafted to the majors. With only three years at the school, Rosser is eager to join the program believing the future looks even brighter than the already two drafted athletes.

However, when asked about potential hopes to be drafted into the minors or even major league. Rosser said he focused on the now: “I set small goals to achieve the larger ones.” He also stated the potential for accomplishments in the game are “unlimited.”

Hopes spread to his current coach, Jeff Thurman, who praises Rosser’s ability saying that his pitch variety is one of Rosser’s greatest strengths that he takes to Truett-McConnell and possibly further. Being able to continually locate a fastball, curveball and slider, as well as Thurman saying he can do change-ups well too, adds a lot to his already high ceiling and continuing to grow could lead Rosser very far.



Gilmer High School
The Gilmer County Republican Party announced that it is accepting applications for its annual Scholarship totaling $1000.  Applicants must be 2017 graduating seniors from Gilmer High School; or a Homeschooling program; or a private academy, and must have been accepted into a college or vocational/technical school.  Applications for the scholarship are available by emailing Larry Lynch, 2nd Vice-Chairman, at, or on the party website at   The application must be completed and emailed to Larry Lynch by June 7, 2017. Applications must include an essay written on one of four topics, and applicants may be asked to present it to the GOP’s Executive Board in June.  The winner will be announced no later than June 29, and will be invited to present his or her essay to the Gilmer GOP at an announced meeting.  County Chairman Jerry Tuso added, “These young people are our future parents, workers, and leaders, and we believe in recognizing and supporting them.  This is just one way to do that.”  
The Gilmer County Republican Party is an extension of both the Republican National Committee, and the Georgia Republican Party. The goals of the Party are to promote its principles, and work to elect Republicans.  Anyone who believes in limited government, individual responsibility, a strong military, and lower taxes is encouraged to join like-minded citizens.  The Republican Party meets regularly the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 P.M. at the Coosawattee Shrine Club to conduct Party business, hear from special guests, and discuss various governmental topics.    


Miss Apple Capital Pageant 2017


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Miss Apple Capital pageant is a local preliminary pageant to Miss Georgia and Miss America.  The Miss America Organization is a remarkable program designed to encourage and develop young women both professionally and personally.  Young women ages 17 – 24 may compete in the Miss competition, so long as the 17 year old is a senior in high school or has already graduated.  Young women ages 13 – 17 may compete in the Outstanding Teen competition, so long as the 17 year old is a junior in high school.   Each contestant competes in the following categories: Miss contestants compete in interview, onstage question, lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, evening gown and talent; Teen contestants compete in interview, evening gown and onstage question, fitness, and talent.
Young women are awarded scholarships for their participation in the organization.  Miss America is the largest provider of scholarships to young women nationwide!
As a part of the program, young women are encouraged to select a personal platform.  This platform is to be an issue that is important to the young woman and that she will support and promote throughout her year.  In addition to her personal platform, Miss Apple Capital and Miss Apple Capital’s Outstanding Teen will promote Children’s Miracle Networks, which is the national platform for Miss America.

Chalfant Receives Honors and Scholarships for Softball


DSC04461On Thursday, December 17, Gilmer High School honored its Senior Lady Cat Fast Pitch Softball player, Savannah Chalfant as she prepares to leave the school for her next chapter.

Daughter of Tara and Josh, Savannah Chalfant has played softball for 12 years now, and looks for many more as she prepares to move to Ohio with her family for one final semester in high school, in which she will play another season of Softball in the spring before attending college under a full ride scholarship at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Florida.

Though she came to Gilmer in her Sophomore year, Chalfant has definitely left her mark as one of Gilmer’s Greats as she became a powerhouse on the mound. Achieving a record breaking 251 strikeouts in one season, Chalfant also was highlighted as the Max Preps National Player of the Week for the week of September 17 after throwing a no hitter and a pair of complete game shut-outs. She pitches an average speed of 66mph with a high of 72mph as she said she clocked at throughout the year.

DSC04479Already being named 7AAAA Pitcher of the Year, this young lady is also taking home the title of MVP (Most Valuable Player) and back to back “Sweet Sixteen” appearances in the state playoffs.

As she moves forward with her career pitching in Ohio, Chalfant spoke to FYN about plans to move on to a larger team after a year or two at Northwest, slipping out names and hopes like the Volunteers at University of Tennessee or maybe Ohio State to be close to her family.

Like most students preparing for college, Chalfant has not settled for sure on her major, but said, “I think I’m gonna go with Business Management so I can do just about anything.” On the field, however, Chalfant has hopes to set another strike-out record and “keep my ERA below 0.”



Cavaliers Capture Cam’s Signature

Featured Stories, Team FYN Sports

Gilmer High School senior wrestler, and two time state champion, Cameron Perry, signed a scholarship to wrestle for the University of Virginia. Perry, who is both proficient in Greco-Roman as well as freestyle, spoke briefly to FYN about continuing his wrestling career at UVA. Gilmer head wrestling coach, Sam Snider, also spoke about Perry’s development and future career at the collegiate level. (more…)


Bobcats Baseball Triple Crown

Featured Stories, Team FYN Sports

The Gilmer High School Bobcats baseball team had three members from the 2013 class sign scholarships. Colt Henderson, Marlen Hensley, and Forrest Bramlett will all continue their baseball careers at the collegiate level, at Chattanooga State, Georgia Highlands and The University of Tennessee respectively. (more…)


FYN Introduces Intern Scholarship Program

2012 Graduation is proud to present the people with the FYN Internship Scholarship Program. The first recipient of the scholarship is Christian Nicholson, a senior at Gilmer High School, who will be attending Kennesaw State University in the fall. (more…)

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