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Emanuel County School Board Meeting

By Deanna Ryan

“How cool is it that we ran out of year to acknowledge all of our student and teacher accomplishments?” Twin City Elementary principal Robbie Warnock asked before announcing the “Be a Part of the Music” honoree TCE music teacher Adam Akridge. Akridge or “Mr. A” is known for his passion in sharing music with elementary students.

On Wednesday, August 10th at 5:30pm the entire Emanuel County School Board met at Swainsboro Primary School. The meeting was filled with state FFA, FBLA and national Beta award winners along with their parents. Three individuals were acknowledged for their outstanding service in the education community. The F.A.M.I.L.Y. “Forget About Me, I Love You” award went to Mrs. Chandra Hooks, executive director of school nutrition for being a constant encourager who meets the needs of those around her. The P.A.U.S.E. “Public Acknowledgement Using SAS/Family Examples” award went to Lawson Mercer, ECI senior for his strong character and work ethic. Finally the S.A.S “Service Above Self” award went to Annie “Lynn” Henry, school secretary at Swainsboro Elementary for being the heart of the school and the glue that keeps everyone together.

Mrs. Valerie Watkins, principal at Swainsboro Elementary School, announced three teacher awards. The 2022 Teacher Hero award went to Barbara Poole, SES 5th grade science teacher. The Robbins Federal Credit Union grant went to Courtney Sikes, SES 3rd grade teacher. The Crider’s Poultry grant went to Debra Austin, SES 4th grade teacher.

After photos were taken, the school board meeting resumed with Mr. Stacey Barber, executive director of technology and learning support, sharing the new attendance zone map. The Transfinder map can be accessed on the school website, the link can be found at the end of this article.

The end of course assessment schedule was presented by Dr. Stefanie Mason, student information coordinator. The 2022 fall testing window will be the week of December 5-9 and makeups will be scheduled December 12-14. The 2023 spring testing window will be the week of May 1-5 and makeups will be scheduled May 8-10.

After Mollie Smith, executive director of finance presented the budget, Swainsboro Primary School principal Ron Hirst presented new learning incentives at the primary school which included book vending machines, outdoor classrooms, increased physical education, dancing classes and virtual reality classes to name a few.

The last session of the meeting was focused on agenda items requiring consent. The board approved three fundraisers for the first semester: Mountain Empire, Square One Art and Charleston Wrap.

The board also approved the fiscal year 2023 Careers, Technology and Agriculture Education budget and programs as presented by Dr. Mason. Mason discussed the return of career development at the middle school level along with business and computer science, family and consumer science; and at the high school level, junior reserves officer training corps (both Swainsboro High School and Emanuel County Institute) and at ECI, plant and landscape systems, agricultural and horticultural mechanical systems, and audio, video, technology and film. Mason also introduced to the board, Dr. Shannon Lawrence who is an FFA advisor for the system and an expert on work based learning.

The board approved the revised IEDA policy concerning unstructured break time, the new IKBB policy concerning divisive concepts and complaint resolution process, and the new JRB-R(1) regulation concerning the parents’ bill of rights. All policies and regulations can be viewed at the Emanuel County Board of Education website.

Location of the new attendance zone map

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