Although the youngest instructor in the school, sixth grade language arts teacher Caroline Bridges, 26, has been named Dawson County Middle School's 2012-13 Teacher of the Year. Bridges said she was surprised and humbled to win the honor.
With backpacks stuffed with sharpened pencils, crisp notebook paper and shiny folders, more than 3,300 children fresh from summer break poured into Dawson County schools Thursday. "The first day is fun, exciting, anxious all rolled into one. They are so excited and they love it," said Leslie White, kindergarten teacher at Black's Mill Elementary.
Rebecca Wilson, 31, was surprised when she was announced as Robinson Elementary School's 2012-13 Teacher of the Year. "I found out at the end of last school year at a yearbook assembly," she said. "I was actually videotaping the event when they announced my name so I was very shocked."
Three youth from the Dawson County Arts Council recently traveled to New York City to partake in teen-geared theatrical workshops. Brittany Barron, Sean Newman and Taylor Priday have each ventured to the Big Apple for separate workshops held by iTheatrics, a company devoted to developing new shows for young performers.
Economic hardships have made it increasingly difficult for some families to provide their children school supplies. To address the need, Dawson County Family Connection will host its annual school supply drive from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Walmart.
The Dawson County Board of Education voted at its July meeting to keep local property taxes at the same rate for 2013. Last year, the board approved a resolution to raise the millage rate by 1.9 mills to reportedly offset an expected budget deficit.
The Dawson County Library treated local kids to Todd Key's world class juggling show as part of the national Summer Reading Program. The program holds free events and encourages kids to check books out from the library. "We offer six free shows over the summer and Todd was our finale," said Tracey Walker, programs coordinator.
The Dawson County school system has begun preparations for the new school year that starts Aug. 9. Teachers and faculty are holding open houses for students and parents early next week.
Dawson County High School junior Miranda Abe recently returned from an exclusive CNN program that teaches students about media skills and journalistic professions. Abe, the academics editor for the high school yearbook, was one of 75 students statewide to be invited to the seventh annual "Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience."
There were no caps and gowns, but plenty of smiling faces as a list of graduates was read at the Dawson County Adult Learning Center last week. "Everybody has worked so hard," said Pat Story, interim lead instructor at the downtown center, a division of Lanier Technical College.
After 10 months of construction, Lanier Technical College is nearing completion on a major expansion project that will more than double the educational space at its Dawson County campus. "Our schedule is still moving along. We are still looking at mid-July to take occupancy of the building," said Tim McDonald, dean of the Dawson campus.
Dawson County students generally exceeded the state averages on the Criterion-Referenced-Competency Test, according to systemwide scores released this month. The test measures third- through eighth-graders in math, science, English/language arts, reading and social studies.
Spools of colored thread and a modified sewing machine are the paints and brushes local artist Chris Hartwell uses to create photo realistic tapestries classified as "thread art." Hartwell, a Dawsonville resident, strays from her 25 years of traditional textile experience to engage in free-motion sewing, a style that gives operators full control of a sewing machine by disengaging the "feed dogs."
Caitlyn Banks loves to listen to the stories her father tells about his job as a firefighter. "My dad is a fulltime firefighter for Dawson County, and I've been wanting to be a firefighter since I was 2 years old," said the 13-year-old.
Local storyteller Tracy Walker entertained a crowd of more than 100 people Saturday night at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta. A seven-year member of the Southern Order of Storytellers, Walker was asked to be the introductory teller at "Love, Lies and Laughter," an evening performance featuring national humorist Kim Weitkamp.
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."
Laura Elder has been chosen as acting president of Lanier Technical College following the retirement this week of Russell Vandiver, TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson announced today.