I didn’t pay a dime for my college degree. I didn’t have a scholarship. I had parents who took out a loan in my name, then paid it back over time, leaving me with a degree and a good credit score.
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Some of the hallways of the old Bowman Elementary School in Elbert County are alive with students again, though the students that grace the halls these days are not beginning their education, instead they’re getting a second chance to finish up their public school careers with a high school diploma – something many of them had given up on, until now.
Mountain Education Charter High School (MEC) opened its doors in Bowman last summer, making a deal with Elbert County school system officials to renovate and use portions of the elementary school, which was closed a few years ago due to budget cuts.
“It’s a game changer for these students and a real gift to this community,” said site director Dr. Sherrie Gibney-Sherman, who also serves as a Madison County school system assistant superintendent. Gibney-Sherman splits the director’s job with Sonja Barnett from Elbert County two nights per week.
Billed as “North Georgia’s answer to the dropout problem,” Bowman MEC is the tenth such high school in the MEC system to open its doors to high school students who are struggling or who have given up altogether on high school. Bowman MEC is a cooperative effort between Elbert, Madison and Hart county school systems who were seeking an alternative way to increase their graduation rates, while helping students who, for whatever reason, found that regular high school just wasn’t working for them. Gibney-Sherman credits Madison County superintendent Dr. Allen McCannon with helping spearhead efforts to bring MEC, with campuses from Blue Ridge to Cleveland, to this area.
“Though we serve students primarily from these three counties, any student who’s withdrawn from high school can enroll,” Gibney-Sherman said.
MEC is open four nights a week (Monday to Thursday) from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Current enrollment stands at over 100 students, with 17 of those from Madison County. The school is growing so fast that currently several classrooms in another wing are under renovation to add room for more students. [Full Story »]
Why do I get the impression that some marketing people think we are all stupid? Maybe it is the ads they run that constantly insult our intelligence. I am referring to those direct sales ads that include the words “Free, just pay.” For example “hurry and order our gismo for only $19.95 plus shipping and handling. But wait! Order today and we will send a second gismo absolutely free, just pay extra shipping.”
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Madison County’s top students have significantly improved their “advanced placement” (AP) test scores over the past five years, with local students now topping the state and national averages.
In 2009, Madison County High School had 51 total AP students. Only 19.6 percent of those AP students scored a “3” or higher on the AP exams, which are graded on a one-to-five scale. A “3” is considered passing. The percentage of Georgia students passing the AP exams that year was 54.2. And the national average was 61.1 percent.
But Madison County’s numbers have gradually improved, both in AP participation and test scores. And in the spring of 2013, MCHS had 94 AP students, with 64.9 percent of them scoring a “3” or better on the exams. That average exceeded the state and national averages, which were 55.4 percent and 60.9 percent respectively.
Madison County school superintendent Dr. Allen McCannon said he is pleased with the recent data.
“Some of our stakeholders have the misconception that we are not focusing on our brightest students in our school improvement efforts,” wrote McCannon in a letter to school staff members, praising their efforts. “Yes, more students are performing at grade level in our system, but more students are also exceeding. Rigor is increasing at every level in our system. We want all of our students to be ‘independent, productive citizens.’”
McCannon said MCHS has increased the number of AP courses over the past six years. He said the MCHS faculty has “focused on raising rigor for students, while also increasing student supports in advanced placement classes.”
He said the improvement reflects educators’ efforts at all levels of the system.
“At all levels of our system, we should be proud of the work that we are doing to increase rigor for students,” said McCannon to Madison County school teachers and staff. “Because of the work that all teachers are doing through data teams to differentiate for students, more and more of our students are reaching high school ready for advanced coursework. You are working to move students forward, and your hard work on our students’ behalf is making a difference as they prepare for college and the workforce.”
ILA - Ella Mae Dove, 74, passed away Wednesday, September 25, 2013. She was a member of Macedonia Holiness Church and had retired from the Ila Post Office as a clerk. Survivors include a daughter, Brenda (Chris) Lord; sisters, Bonnie West and Irene (Kenneth) Thomason; brothers, Waymon Anglin and Ardis Anglin; grandchildren, William Nathaniel ...
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Are we a truly more violent nation or are we just hearing more about it due to the expansion of media possibilities? Is it just us or are all humans’ violent in nature? I think it is in the nature of man to be violent.
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Madison County coach Chris Smith knows Eastside will bring a lot of speed to the gridiron Friday. But Smith and the Red Raiders aim to confront that fleet footedness with muscle. “One way to beat speed is to run it right at them,” said Smith. The Raiders will travel to Covington this Friday night to face (2-2) Eastside in a 7:30 start. ...
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