Bradley Weaver was sinking his hands into dirt and learning how to farm long before he started kindergarten. Now 21, Weaver is one of four finalists in a national contest for farmers who have mastered skills in production, finance, management and research.
Melanie Spooner, teacher at Kilough Elementary School, remembers the first time she wanted to be a teacher. "My first grade teacher was very young, pretty and sweet. I think it was her third year teaching and I just thought she was perfect in every way. That was the first year I remember thinking, 'I am going to be a teacher.' And I never thought of doing something else," she recalled.
Born and raised in Dawson County, Felicia Stephens is a graduate of the local school system to which she is now a part. Stephens, who is entering her 15th year as a teacher, was announced in May as Black's Mill Elementary School's 2012-13 Teacher of the Year.
More than 50 students descended upon a grassy lawn in blue and gray vests last Friday holding fake muskets stuffed with marshmallow bullets. Fifth graders at Kilough Elementary School heartily reenacted the battle of Gettysburg as part of the school's second annual Civil War Day.
Community leaders will gather Thursday morning to celebrate the new Lanier Technical College facility in downtown Dawsonville. After 10 months of construction, the college completed the $5 million expansion project in August and will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for it at 10 a.m.
Black's Mill Elementary was recently awarded a gold medal through the Governor's SHAPE Honor Roll program for the school's commitment to the health and well-being of its students. As one of only 39 schools in Georgia to receive the distinction, Principal Cindy Kinney said she is proud of the school and honored to be a part of the program.
Third grade teacher Beth Murray has been serving Dawson County Schools for 14 years; long enough to watch three of her classes graduate high school. "I started teaching in 1999 for Dawson County after I was a student teacher. I really love it here," she said last week.
Younger and older generations came together last Friday at the First Grade Grandparents' Luncheon at Black's Mill Elementary School. The event invited students' grandparents, or "Memes," "Papas," "Nanas," "Poppies" and "Grannies," as student's called them, to join their grandchild for story time, a craft activity and lunch.
Local teens and adults will have the opportunity to see out of the eyes of a drunk driver Friday at the Dawson County Tigers' home football game. Community Action and Prevention Alliance, or CAPA, formally known as Dawson Against Substance Abuse, and Forsyth County Schools will be sponsoring a drunk driving and distracted driving education program.
In just three years the Dawson County High School JROTC Department has seen more than a 30 percent increase in student enrollment. According to Lt. Col. Johnnie Sweatte, who has overseen the program since its launch, JROTC currently has 134 students, up from the 87 in its first year.
Cassie Tallant recalls loving her middle school experience, even amidst her awkward teenage years. Now as a sixth grade language arts and reading teacher at Riverview Middle School, she aims to give her students the same satisfaction.
Lanier Technical College's Dawson County Adult Learning Center recently welcomed a new full-time lead instructor. Sharon Clark, 53, who first started working in adult education in 2005, began as lead instructor in August.
Practicing under the hot summer sun for hours every week, Dawson County High's marching band is dedicated to generating school spirit. "Marching band helps us reach out to the community to show that we care about our county," said Brice Darnell, senior drumline member. "We can give them a good time and show them we care."
This fall, North Georgia College & State University will play host to a number of speakers, including the executive vice president of The Weather Channel and the president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons. Starting Sept. 6, the fourth annual Cottrell Speaker Series will kick off at the Mike Cottrell School of Business, with students hearing from five different speakers throughout September, October and into November.
The Dawson County High School JROTC has a new badge to proudly display on cadets' uniforms. The program was named an "honor unit with distinction," the highest award given, during a March 28 regional formal inspection.
The Lakeview Center was a sea of army green as Dawson County High School JROTC cadets gathered in formal dress for the third annual JROTC Military Ball. The March 23 event saw a turnout of more than 150 people, including cadets, students, parents and faculty.
Athletes from both Dawson and Lumpkin counties will gather next week at Riverview Middle School to compete in this year's Special Olympics. The games will be held for the first time at the school from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. April 10 at the middle school.
Not many people are fond of being judged by professionals, but the Dawson County High School Chorus had nothing to worry about last week in Habersham County. According to director Spencer Wright, the results at the state evaluation "couldn't have gone any better," with all three judges giving the chorus "superior" ratings in every area they were judged.
OAKWOOD - Telling stories and giving gifts, friends, colleagues and former bosses of Lanier Technical College President Russell Vandiver paid homage March 22 to the longtime campus leader and economic development guru. Kenneth Breeden, who led the school from 1975 to 1984, said that when he heard that Vandiver had been named president in September 2010, he thought "lucky Lanier Tech."