Madison County board of education said goodbye to two of its longtime members Dec. 11, chairman Jim Patton, who has served on the board for 13 years and Leslie Neal, who has served on the board for the past eight years.
Both board members decided not to run for re-election this year.
Superintendent Dr. Allen McCannon presented both men with a certificate and plaque and praised their efforts on the board.
“They have always put the interest of our students first,” McCannon said. “I’ve never doubted their heart for kids and that’s the best thing I can say.”
Patton and Neal’s last meeting was filled with news of the planned College and Career Academy following the news last week that Madison County won a $3.65 million grant from the state to develop the project on the high school campus in conjunction with Athens Technical College, Elbert County Schools and Athens-Clarke County schools.
“It’s a great day and I’m just really happy for our kids,” McCannon said, adding that the school system has received 81 community pledges to help with the project. “Our community really got behind this,” he said.
Assistant superintendent Bonnie Knight told the board that high school construction is moving along. She reported that the site has been cleared and grubbed and that a temporary fence is in place to separate existing school/student parking from the job site. Other site work, including storm drains, the detention pond and sewer connections are completed or in progress. Construction workers are currently investigating a solution for the unsuitable soils encountered on site that will need to be removed and testing the existing CTAE roof for asbestos in preparation for reroofing and other summer renovations.
The new ag center parking lot will be used for daily student parking beginning Jan. 7 when students return from the holidays.
Assistant superintendent Dr. Sherrie Gibney-Sherman reported that contacts from all across the state have reached out to the school system with offers of assistance since news of the career academy grant went out last week.
“This is a big day for Madison County,” she said.
The 2012 Georgia High School writing tests results were presented showing that 95 percent of all first time test takers passed, which was a four percent increase from 2011 results and 10 percent increase from 2007. Gibney-Sherman reported that this rate is above the state level of 94.9 percent and the state level exceeding standards (10.1) to 10.6 percent for Madison County. Madison County’s scores ranked eighth out of the 13 school systems in Northeast GA RESA and fourth out the percentage of students exceeding RESA standards. Oconee County led the RESA scores with 97.3 percent of its students passing the test.