Spring 2016 Grant Recipients - Total grants $8,981
Bulloch County Schools named its 2017 Bulloch County Teacher of the Year on Thursday, Oct. 15, at a reveal reception from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., at the school district's central office. The Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education was on hand to present the winner, Liz Driggers of Statesboro High School, with a check for $1000.
Driggers was one of 15 candidates selected by school-level faculty. She will represent Bulloch County Schools in the 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year competition in Atlanta in May 2016, and possibly advance to represent our state in the National Teacher of the Year competition in January 2017. This is why the title features the year 2017, as it denotes the national competition for which the county winner is eligible.
In the past seven years, four of Bulloch County Schools’ teachers of the year have been named top-ten finalists in the Georgia TOTY competition. One of those finalists, Jemelleh Coes from Langston Chapel Middle School, went on to become the 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
Coes was the second teacher from Bulloch County Schools to earn this distinction. Julie Lanier, a teacher at the Marvin Pittman Lab School (now closed), was the 1985 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
Judges for this year's competition were representatives from Georgia Southern University's College of Education, the Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education, the Bulloch County Retired Educators Association, and the Bulloch County Board of Education.
These were the nominees for the 2017 Bulloch County Teacher of the Year: Krista Branch – Brooklet Elementary; Melissa Bazemore, Julia P. Bryant Elementary; Amanda Prather, Langston Chapel Elementary; Travis Brooks, Langston Chapel Middle;Rachel Pritchard, Mattie Lively Elementary; Ashley Joyner, Mill Creek Elementary; Bob Massee, Nevils Elementary; Tosha Johnson, Portal Elementary; Shannon Hattaway, Portal Middle High; David Brown, Sallie Zetterower Elementary; Shannon Robertson, Southeast Bulloch Middle; Ansley Burke, Southeast Bulloch High; Liz Driggers, Statesboro High; Jenny Hendrix, Stilson Elementary; Autumn Horton, William James Middle.
Bulloch County Schools' third- and fourth-grade math teachers hosted the 5th Annual Reggie Dawson Math Tournament on Saturday, May 7, at Statesboro High School. The event is made possible each year by an innovation grant from the Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education. Members of the Foundation were on hand during the event and helped present awards to this year's winners.
Nearly 150 #mathletes from Brooklet Elementary School, Julia P. Bryant Elementary School, Mat...tie Lively Elementary School, Mill Creek Elementary School, Nevils Elementary School and Sallie Zetterower Elementary School competed in individual and team math computation events. The tournament is open to all private, charter and homeschooled students in Bulloch County.
This year's mathletes arrived at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to compete. The 2016 individual and team winners are the following: Third-Grade Individual - First Place, Katlyn Sullivan, JPBES; Second Place, Campbell Todd, BES; Third Place, Nathan Newkirk, BES; Fourth Place; Elikem Gatto, BES; Fifth Place, Noah Browning, JPBES. Fourth-Grade Individual - First Place, William Wu, BES; Second Place, Nicholas Cortes, JPBES; Third Place, Tylor Sleep, JPBES; Fourth Place, James Park, SZES; Fifth Place, Elise Cleveland, MCES. Third-Grade Team Competition - First Place, SZES Team 1; Second Place, JPBES Team 1; Third Place, BES Team 2. Fourth-Grade Team Competition - First Place, JPBES Team 4; Second Place, NES Team 2; Third Place, JPBES Team 3.
The Reggie Dawson Math Tournament is one of three major mathematics competitions held locally to test students’ individual computation and team ciphering skills. The Southeast Bulloch High School Math Department hosts the Penny Sikes Math Tournament for fifth- and sixth- grade students, and older middle and high school students compete in the annual Georgia Southern University Invitational Mathematics Tournament.
The competition was named for a former Statesboro High School educator whose life and career were cut tragically short when he lost his battle with cancer in 2010. Local math teachers wanted to honor his memory and the excellent example he set for team work and academic excellence by naming the tournament in his memory.
A nearly $1000 innovation grant from the Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education is helping fund a new literacy program at Portal Elementary. Literacy Backpacks will support the school's goal of increasing student reading levels and providie home reading resources for families. The school launched the new initiative Feb. 9, during Portal Elementary's Family Literacy Night.
PES's Reading Intervention Specialist Betsy Mallard wrote the grant to help support the school’s goal of increasing reading skills. Mallard’s vision is to help provide literacy support for families by providing children with a literacy backpack. Children take the backpacks home, enjoy the reading resources and then return them and replace them with another backpack.
The backpacks include grade-appropriate books and directions in English and Spanish if needed. The resources allow parents to work with their children at home. The grant is allowing Mallard to initially serve 45 students in kindergarten – second grade. The backpacks include these children’s books: Angela’s Airplanes; Arthur Meets the President; D.W.’s Library Card; Duck, Duck Goose; Froggy Gets Dressed; Is Your Mama a Llama; Click, Clack, Splash; and The Stray Dog.
Bulloch County Schools (BCS) honored five new REACH Georgia Scholars at a signing ceremony September 10, at the Board of Education (BOE)’s central office. Chosen from 57 eligible, eighth-grade applicants, the students, and their families, were recognized by Superintendent Charles Wilson and members of the BOE and the Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education (Foundation). REACH Georgia, Move on When Ready and the HOPE Scholarship are programs the school system connects its students and parents to in order to help remove financial barriers to college for its students.
REACH Georgia is a needs-based mentoring and scholarship program designed to ensure that the state’s academically promising students have the academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school and complete college. Bulloch County is one of five school systems that the state initially selected to pilot the program in 2013. The Georgia Student Finance Corporation (GSFC) holds the scholarships for scholars until they graduate from high school. GSFC Board of Commissioners Member Roy C. Kilpatrick of Statesboro was in attendance at the ceremony.
Each scholar now has up to $20,000 available to them to attend college. This $100,000 investment is made possible by REACH Georgia, the Foundation, and local post-secondary partners, like Georgia Southern University, East Georgia College and Ogeechee Technical College, who have agreed to double-match each of the original $10,000 scholarships.
This year’s scholars are the following: Conley Roberson of William James Middle School; Chris Angel, Taylor Cone and Jadon Jones of Langston Chapel Middle School; and Jean Delfin-Uscanga of Portal Middle School. “This is a wonderful experience,” said Chris Angel. “It feels like I can do anything now with my future.” Angel’s mother, Guillermina Mendez echoed her son’s excitement, “I’m very proud of my son. It is sight of a better future, full of hope for my son.”
Each of the scholars’ parents was in attendance to pledge their support for the program and encourage their children to keep a college education in focus. “This scholarship is the difference between college acceptance and becoming a college graduate for us,” said Alicia Pierce-Jones, mother of Jadon Jones. “Jadon’s future just got a whole lot brighter thanks to the REACH Scholarship.”
Opening doors for Georgia youth, who may not have the opportunity to seek post-secondary education due to financial constraints, is primarily why Governor Nathan Deal began the program three years ago. “This program is a strategic investment in our students and our state,” said Governor Deal in a statement released by REACH Georgia.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, what matters is where you’re going,” said Taylor Cone. I plan to use that quote throughout my life.” Cone, who has her sights set on the medical field and becoming a doctor, receives encouragement from her parents. “We are so proud of Taylor for all of the hard work and dedication that she puts into her education. We’ve told her to always follow your hear and never give up on your dreams.”
To be eligible to apply for REACH Georgia, students must meet the following requirements: (1) be currently be in the eighth grade at a participating, eligible Georgia middle school; (2) demonstrate financial need; (3) have legal status in the U.S. (U.S. citizen or legal resident); (4) have and agree to maintain above average attendance and behavior; (5) have grade reports reflecting minimum grades of 75 or better in each core course (2.5 GPA); (6) have and agree to maintain a crime-free and drug-free record; and (7) have the support of a parent, legal guardian, or other committed adult.
Bulloch County Schools notifies eligible students and their parents and asks them to apply. A local committee of community leaders and educators review the applications and select 10 finalists. The committee then conducts face-to-face interviews with the finalists, and selects five winners.
Bulloch County Schools now has 15 REACH Georgia scholars. Each one receives mentoring and coaching through middle and high school, as well as opportunities to participate in various programs that will assist them in college selection and admission. The school system’s 2013 and 2014 scholars are now freshmen and sophomores in high school. Each continues to fully meet the program’s requirements.
As a pilot school system, BCS was originally awarded a total of ten $10,000 scholarships by the state, five for 2013 and five for 2014. Participating school systems must identify local corporate sponsors to continue the program. This year the Foundation donated $7,500 ($1,500 per student) to help fund the $10,000 base scholarships. More than 63 colleges and universities in Georgia have agreed to double-match and some triple-match these scholarships. All funds raised (100 percent) for REACH Georgia locally will go to future recipients.
Pictured Top: 2015 REACH Scholars (L-R) Jadon Jones, Jean Delfin-Uscanga, Taylor Cone, Chris Angel, and Conley Roberson with (L-R) Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson, Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education Treasurer Billy Yawn, and Georgia School Finance Commission Board Member Roy C. Kilpatrick.
Pictured Bottom: 2015 REACH scholars and their parents.