By Diane Glidewell
The Butts County Board of Education started its April 12 meeting on a high note with several special reports and recognitions of success within the school system. In fact, the initial notes were quite pleasant as members of the Jackson High School Girls Trio serenaded the board members and everyone present with the performance that won them 3rd place in the Region Literary Meet. Members of the trio are Kassie Bishop, Tajia Malave', and Hannah Kline.
The Girls Trio was followed by the JHS Boys Quartet, featuring Bear Stanford, Luke Akin, Derrick Davidson, and Stephen Higginbotham. They placed 4th at the Region Literary Meet singing, "Bound for Jubilee." First place region winner in Dramatic Interpretation Lindsay Collins followed with her interpretation of the poem "Eleven," reminding all of the emotional highs and lows of being 11-years-old.
Jackson High School accumulated enough points to place second in the region literary meet. Lindsay will move on to State competition. JHS Choral and Drama Instructor Stephen L. Crocker coached the competitors.
Next on the agenda was a presentation recognizing the Week of the Young Child April 12-17 by Student Services Coordinator of the Rainbow Center Melissa Morris and Parent Educators Cheryl Warner and Christy Goolsby. They gave the Board members framed pictures drawn by the children and thanked them for supporting early learning initiatives in Butts County.
HMS Counselor Yolanda Reid and student representatives of the Youth Advisory Council Joshua Watson, La Desha Davis, Olivia Garcia, and Natalie Darsey proudly displayed for the BOE members signage provided by District Four Health Services for all of the facilities and events in the Butts County School System regarding the School Board's 100 per cent tobacco free policy. The school board updated the wording in its no tobacco policy to align with the no tobacco initiative of District 4 Health Services, placing the policy on 30-day review at the February meeting and approving it officially at the March 1 meeting.
The policy prohibits students, staff, and visitors from using tobacco in any school buildings, grounds, or vehicles or at any school-sponsored events on or off-campus at any time.
As well as the signs for each of the school buildings and banners for school-sponsored events, Beth Daniel of the Office of Healthy Behaviors, District Four Health Services in LaGrange, presented the HMS students with a plaque for outstanding leadership to recognize their work for a healthy, safe environment for Butts County students. Ms. Reid explained the students present were leaders along with 80 other students in advocating the adoption of the policy prohibiting tobacco as part of their service learning initiative.
"Tobacco has no business on school grounds, at school events or on community playgrounds," said Ms. Daniel. "Kids are a powerful part of the solution to reducing youth tobacco use; so I am especially proud of the Butts County Youth Advisory Council members who have advocated for this policy change."
Superintendent Lynda White then presented certificates of outstanding achievement to the 15 Regional Science Fair 1st place winners in the Junior Division from HMS: Aatif Ahmed, Trent Ashmore, Anslie Ballew, Jacob Brand, Garrett Collins, Megan Conley, Olivia Garcia, Herston Hall, Hunter Hargis, Alex Harwell, Megan Horne, Caleb Johnson, Curran LaChappelle, Alan Powell, and Lyana White. The region includes Butts, Fayette, Henry, Lamar, Newton, Pike, Spalding, and Upson counties.
The HMS Band, under the direction of Eric Purser, was honored for achieving an overall rating of Excellent at the 2010 Georgia Music Educators Association Festival in Large Group Performance Evaluation. The band received a Superior rating in Sight Reading; the band had six minutes to study a piece of music and then perform it in the Sight Reading competition.