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Exemplary seniors honored by BOE

Seniors from the two local public high schools were honored by the Emanuel County Board of Education and its superintendent, Scotty Hattaway, on Monday evening. Many of these students were recognized for their accomplishments in extracurricular activities while others were celebrated for academic excellence.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Denise Warnock got the recognitions underway, calling forward different pupils by group.

ECI Beta sponsor Leslie Johnson and her student, Kendall Wiggins, were recognized. Wiggins won second place in Sculpture at the state Beta convention and will move on to nationals.

A second group of Beta students were then heralded, along with their sponsor. Cindy Riner leads the Swainsboro High Beta Club, and she, too, took several competitors to state convention, where eight different seniors placed well enough to advance to nationals. Savannah Reynolds received a $1,000 Georgia Beta Scholarship and, along with teammate Hollan Coleman, placed second in Character Performance. Alayna Stapleton finished second in 12th Grade Agriscience. Coleman, Reynolds, and another teammate, Danaria Phillips (who could not attend Monday’s meeting) took third in Marketing & Communications. Coleman also finished third in Division II Painting. Rounding out the last of Swainsboro High’s Beta honorees were Zariah Reese, Alexis Ray, Jariah Easterling, Caitlyn Fleming, and Melanie Purcell, the team who placed fourth in Living Literature.

Beta nationals will take place July 1 through July 4 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Next, CTAE Director Stefanie Mason came forward and recognized the next three groups of students for their involvement in various career and technical student organizations (CTSO).

The first of those groups was ECI FBLA and its advisor, Jessica Smith. At their state convention, Alaya Hudson received fourth place in Local Chapter Business Report, Salma Cueva Santana recorded more than 100 hours of community service, the chapter itself received Superior Gold status, and Smith was recognized as Region 4’s Advisor of the Year.

Kendall Hadden, Emanuel County Institute Technology Student Association advisor, then came to the front of the room and stood next to seven different student competitors. During state convention, the On-Demand Video team took first place, thanks to the efforts of Hudson, Karime Gonzalez-Demillion, Henry Hobbs, Nathan Headrick, and Hoage Reynolds. Xander Morton (who was absent for Monday’s meeting) built the second-fastest CO2 dragster in the state, and Kendall Wiggins’s dragster was nearly just as fast at third in the state. Finally, Nathan Headrick took ninth place in Structural Design.

All of these students have earned berths to nationals in Dallas, Texas this summer.

The next group to be recognized by Mason was Swainsboro High School FBLA, which is under the advisement of Linda Kelly. Savannah Reynolds took second place in Website Design at state convention and will therefore compete in Chicago this summer. She also finished fourth in the Who’s Who competition and the Future Business Leader category. Coleman will travel to Chicago as well after finishing fourth in Business Ethics.

Finally, Mason called forward Swainsboro High FCCLA advisor Kelly Mendieta and one of her students, Brandy Lovett, who received silver in Entrepreneurship at state convention.

With the CTSO recognitions completed, the board turned the program back over to Dr. Warnock to round out individual honors based on academic performance.

Both Hoage Reynolds and Savannah Reynolds were honored as U.S. Senate Youth nominees.

ECI students Will Bennett, Karmen Thompson, and Gonzalez-Demillion were honored as Presidential Scholar nominees, as were Savannah Reynolds and Lovett.

Savannah Reynolds and ECI student Landon Goodman were honored as Georgia Scholars Program participants. This, according to Dr. Warnock, is a special achievement not only for the two students but for the district as a whole. In her entire tenure at the high school level, Emanuel County Schools has never, to her knowledge, had two students selected for the Georgia Scholars Program in the same year. Reynolds and Goodman broke the mold and allowed that to happen for the district. Additionally, because they ensured representation from both high schools, not just one.

Savannah Reynolds was also honored for being the only state-level winner from Emanuel County’s RESA in the Georgia Young Authors Writing Competition. A full story on this accomplishment by Reynolds can be found elsewhere in this edition.

Finally, the top two students in the Class of 2022 from each school were honored. These include valedictorian Gonzalez-Demillion and salutatorian Goodman for ECI as well as valedictorian Samuel White and salutatorian Paul Warren from SHS. Features on these four students (as well as the val and sal from David Emanuel Academy) will publish next week as part of The Chronicle’s graduation coverage.

In closing, Dr. Warnock stated the Class of 2022 across the system has a plethora of accomplished seniors who will continue excellence beyond high school.

Underclassmen state convention competitors and exemplary students will be honored by the board of ed during its August meeting.

In other meeting news:

• Nutrition Director Chandra Hooks shared with the board that her department had received a grant in the amount of $85,122.80 by the state. These dollars are geared to help districts like Emanuel overcome issues experienced as a result of supply chain issues. The plan is to purchase milk with these funds, then funnel the money that would’ve otherwise used to purchase that commodity toward replacing kitchen equipment inside various schools.

• The board approved the consent agenda unanimously. This included three bids for service for the transportation/maintenance department. Abbott Oil will provide fuel for the district next year, Patriot Gas will supply propane for the district, and Avery Washinger of the Lyons/Vidalia area will treat the athletic fields for fertilizer and chemical applications.

The consent agenda’s approval also gave the greenlight for two fundraisers: the auction of baskets, gear, and donated items for Swainsboro High’s cheerleading program as well as the selling of sponsor banners inside Swainsboro High’s new gymnasium.

Hattaway also presented the financial reports, filling in for Director of Finance Mollie Smith. These were approved as presented in the consent agenda.

Lastly, the board discussed an early dismissal day. This will take place on the last day for students, Wednesday, May 25. The schedule for early dismissal as outlined Monday night can be found within this story. Normal work hours will resume Thursday, May 26, for staff.

The board will next meet Tuesday, June 14, at the Central Office at 5:30 p.m.

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