Gilmer High School names STAR student

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer High School Principal Carla Foley has announced the schools PAGE STAR student for 2018.

Tylea Hernandez scored 1,470 on her Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) placing her as the top-scoring senior and obtaining the award. Locally sponsored by the Ellijay Lions Club, this award highlights Hernandez’s achievement statewide through the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). The award also has Hernandez name a teacher to accompany her in recognition of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) award.

Naming Mr. Michael Crocker, a former mathematics teacher at Clear Creek Middle School, as her STAR Teacher, he will follow along with Hernandez through continued competition at every level of the program.

STAR begins each year in participating Georgia high schools when the STAR Student is named and chooses a STAR Teacher to share in this recognition. The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and receive special recognition in their communities from one of the more than 165 statewide civic organizations and businesses that serve as local sponsors of the STAR program.

Hernandez will now compete for school system recognition as the top STAR Student, and those winners compete for
region honors. Region winners contend for the honor of being named state PAGE STAR Student.

Hernandez is hoping to attend Emory University to major in psychology after high school. Hoping to become a psychiatrist, Hernandez also has plans for medical school after Emory. She has already applied and hopes to know for sure in April. On the award, she said, “It’s surprising, but it’s nice to be awarded.”

After taking the SAT three times over the last two years, she told FetchYourNews, “My goal was to get a 1,400 on the SAT, and I didn’t really realize how high of a score that was. So, I wasn’t really expecting STAR Student.” She said taking the test several times helped her achieve higher every time she did it.

Speaking on Hernandez and the award, Foley stated, “We are very proud of Miss Hernandez and Mr. Crocker and the academic excellence they exemplify.”

Since its creation by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 1958, the STAR program has honored nearly 26,500 students and the teachers selected as the most influential to their academic achievement. High school seniors 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 to qualify for STAR nomination.



Gilmer Receives CCRPI Scores

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County Charter School System has received results for 2017’s CCRPI. Releasing the following information, the schools have shown marked improvement in testing since last year.

The schools utilize this information when creating plans for next year as they see what areas need help and what areas have succeeded with current teaching methods.

These scores also indicate an above average scoring for most of the county’s schools, as well as an above average score overall for the district, which is an obvious improvement over years passed.

The following is a release from Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes:


The Georgia Department of Education released the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) 2016-2017 school year data on November 2nd.

The CCRPI is Georgia’s statewide accountability system, implemented in 2012 to replace No Child Left Behind’s Adequate Yearly Progress measurement (AYP). It measures schools and districts on a 100-point scale based on multiple indicators of performance.

Five of Gilmer County Charter Schools six schools saw an increase in their CCRPI scores compared to their 2016 scores.

Ellijay Elementary School (EES) made an impressive gain of 13.6 points with a 2017 CCRPI score of 81.1, compared with a 2016 CCRPI score of 67.5. Lauree Pierce, principal at Ellijay Elementary School, stated, “The data indicates that EES is heading in the right direction. To add to the excitement, changes implemented in the 2017-18 school year are sure to have a positive effect on these numbers next year.”

On Nov. 3, Pierce and her administrative staff cooked a steak lunch with homemade desserts for all EES staff to show appreciation for all their hard work.

Gilmer Middle School is comprised of fifth and sixth grades and each grade receives a CCRPI score. The fifth grade receives an elementary CCRPI score and the sixth grade receives a middle school CCRPI score.

According to the scores released, the state’s 2017 CCRPI average was 72.9 for elementary schools, 73 for middle schools and 77.00 for high schools. The state CCRPI average was 75.

For Gilmer County Charter School System, the averages for elementary, middle and high school were 74.3, 79.1 and 71. The district average is 75.2, which exceeded the state average.

EES staff are treated to a steak lunch in celebration of the hard work to get the school to a 13.6 point increase on the 2017 CCRPI.

EES staff are treated to a steak lunch in celebration of the hard work to get the school to a 13.6 point increase on the 2017 CCRPI.

The numbers are based on data from the 2016-2017 academic year. The CCRPI incorporates 50 points for achievement, 40 points for progress and 10 points for achievement gap. The score can also include additional Challenge Points.

Ellijay Elementary, Gilmer Middle and Clear Creek Middle are well above the state CCRPI average; however, there is still continued work to be done.

Gilmer High Schools’ graduation rate is well above the state average and we are working to close the gap on CCRPI performance at the high school level.

Our teachers, leaders, and staff have worked diligently to focus their efforts on student achievement and success. The hard work and dedication of each school’s team led to the improved CCRPI scores and they should definitely be commended.


Gilmer 911 Center Hits Power Failure


ELLIJAY, GA – At 10:45 pm Saturday night, June 24, the Gilmer County 911 center experienced rapid power fluctuations coming into the center.

As the power goes out in the 911 center, an automatic back-up kicks in. The “Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)” will automatically sustain the center until a generator can kick on to take control of the system. This system provides maintained service through a power outage.

However, the fluctuations on this system that night failed and returned rapidly inside of one minute. According to Captain Frank Copeland, head of the 911 center, the storms and wind caused the incoming fluctuations to occur more than five times under one minute. The rapid fluctuations forced the UPS into a default mode in order to protect it from surges. Without the UPS, the 911 center went without power for approximately two minutes before the back-up generator returned power to systems.

Operating normally through the remainder of the night, the 911 center encountered another issue at 7:30 am that morning, June 25. Cpt. Copeland stated to FYN that the call center began experiencing issues with incoming calls that would lose connection around 30 seconds into a call. Progressing through their established plans of repair to the phone system, the 911 call center was forced to contact AT&T and Fannin County’s 911 center to begin transferring incoming calls to Fannin.

According to Cpt. Copeland, Fannin County began accepting the calls roughly 20 minutes after operators noticed the issue.

The Uninterruptible Power System used by Gilmer 911 center to maintain power in the time between a power outage and the generator powering up to take over.

The Uninterruptible Power System used by Gilmer 911 center to maintain power in the time between a power outage and the generator powering up to take over.

After calling for a technician to inspect the Leibert System UPS, Gilmer began taking calls again just before noon that same day. Cpt. Copeland stated they believe their current phone system is to blame for the issue as they may have had trouble rebooting after the power outage due to the conversion process. AT&T sends all 911 calls to the center digitally, but the 911 centers system is currently set to a hybrid digital/analog system that converts the incoming digital signal to an analog signal for the 911 center.

Copeland also reported that his opinion was the current system’s age could also have been a factor in the issues occurring. However, no issues with phone calls were reported between the power outage and the phone line issue at 7:30 am.

Between the hours of 7:30 am and noon when Gilmer began taking calls again, Cpt. Copeland reported that Fannin took eight calls from Gilmer County with the majority of them being “administrative calls” involving officers reporting in and similar occurrences. He also told FYN that Gilmer did not incur any additional costs due to the transfer as 911 centers often support each other through times like this on a sort of “Mutual Aid” agreement.

Many will recall FYN’s report of the Commissioner’s approval to replace the 911 phone system with a new all digital system. This replacement is set to occur in the first week of July. Cpt. Copeland told FYN that he expects much of the phone line issues to stop with the newer systems installation. However, he called the rapid fluctuations earlier in the night a “highly unusual power failure situation” after consultations with Emerson Network Power out of Norcross.

Stating this is just a situation you can’t prepare for, Cpt. Copeland did tell FYN that Gilmer had recently had the UPS system inspected for maintenance in March and the Generators run auto-checks once a week as well as an on site inspection monthly. In fact, he reported to FYN that no situation with rapid power fluctuations like this has occurred since the call center moved to its current location in 2009.

Stating, “We do have a back-up plan, we implemented that back-up plan, and the community was safe” Cpt. Copeland went on to say he was proud of his crew and their quick implementation of the established back-up plans prepared for these situations like this.


GMFTO 12/10/15 Education and the Ellijay Town Hall


BKP highlights the recent Gilmer County Teacher’s Town Hall and its effects on the Political Scales.

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