January 10, 2023
2022 Education Youth Art Month Digital Report Award
This year two Columbia County School District art teachers were selected by The Council for Art Education for this award.
Gail Peake from Lakeside High, and Tiffany Weser from the Columbia Virtual Academy serve as the state coordinators for Youth Art Month (as known as YAM).
Each year, The YAM coordinators from each state compile a digital report of data and images from all the events, programs, shows and other related activities for the year. The information is collected from art teachers from across the state of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Education Art coordinator. The information was gathered for the Georgia digital report presentation and sent to the Council for Arts Education for judging where the state presentation was selected by the council for special recognition.
As the state coordinators for YAM, Ms. Peake and Ms. Weser will represent Georgia at the National Art Educators Convention awards ceremony to be held in San Antonio, Texas in April. Ms. Peake and Ms. Weser will also be presenting a session at the national conference about their collaboration between the virtual art program at Columbia Virtual Academy and the in-person art program at Lakeside High School.
Georgia Middle School State Cross Country Champions
Riverside Middle’s Kadence Thomas ran the two-mile run in an impressive 13 minutes, 40 seconds, and 41 milliseconds. Her performance earned her a second-place overall finish in the girl’s division at the Georgia Middle School State Cross Country Division 2 Championship. Kadence is coached by Barbara Petty.
The Riverside Middle School Boys Cross Country Club took second place overall in the Boys Division. Prior to competing at the state championship, the team placed first in three previous meets. Team members and parent and community coaches, include the following: Corbin DeVries, Ian Hout, Rigel Kotas, Ty Martin, Devon McLoughlin, Miles Negro, Rylan Pettit, Aiden Pullum, Colin Ritz, Benny Stewart, RJ Thomas, Vance Walter, Bryan Dent - Parent Coach, Fran Martin - Parent Coach, Stacie Pettit - Parent Coach, Hunter Martin - Community Coach, and Barbara Petty - faculty sponsor.
Evans Middle School’s Cross Country Girls took third place in the state out of 13 teams and 107 runners in the Girls Division 3 event. Team members and coach include the following: Monica Adee - Coach; Leliana Beemer, Estella Deal, Anastasia Hewitt, Paislea Jarrett, Alexis Lewis, Kylee McGowan, and Victoria Mellnick.
In addition to the team’s third-place finish Lilianna Beemer earned medals in the six races she competed in, along with first place in four of them. She finished the season at the state competition with another first-place win, and a personal record by running the two-mile run in 12 minutes, 24 seconds, and 91 milliseconds.
Harlem Attic Treasures $50,000 School Donations
Recently, Harlem Attic Treasures donated $50,000 to local schools in the Columbia County School District. Harlem High, Harlem Middle, North Harlem Elementary, Euchee Creek Elementary, and North Columbia Elementary received $10,000 each.
The donation was the result of profits received from sales at the local Harlem thrift store. For the past 14 years, Harlem Attic Treasures has worked to meet the needs of people in the community, including students and their families in the Columbia County School District. In the Spring, Attic Treasures celebrated a huge milestone-donating a total of 1 million dollars to date to local schools and other nonprofits and organizations in the area. Store profits are also used to provide several college scholarship opportunities for local graduating seniors.
The Columbia County School District is grateful for Partners in Education like Harlem Attic Treasures and their dedication to public education in Columbia County.
State Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council
Grovetown Elementary parent Julie Savina was selected to represent the Columbia County School District as a member of the Georgia Department of Education Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council.
Mrs. Savina is a mother of four Columbia County students who attend all levels of Grovetown Schools to include a fourth grader at Grovetown Elementary, seventh-grader twins at Grovetown Middle, and a sophomore at Grovetown High. Mrs. Savina volunteers weekly at Grovetown Elementary and is always willing to help in any way possible. She says she has enjoyed volunteering with the schools since her family moved to the area three years ago for her husband’s job at John Deere.
With a background in teaching for six years prior to having children, Mrs. Savina says she is also planning to bring to the table what she has learned with navigating schedules for four children at three different schools, including sports and extracurricular activities, among other important educational topics.
Members of the council will meet three times this year with State School Superintendent Richard Woods to discuss education issues in Georgia, with a primary focus on increasing parent and family engagement to ensure student success, as well as to provide input on new policies, projects, and materials that impact students and their families. Members will then bring back the information learn, serving as advisors and ambassadors in their respective communities.
December 13, 2022
Scholastic Art and Writing Award National Gold Medal Winner
Leila Hill - Columbia Virtual Academy
Last March, Leila Hill was recognized for being selected as a gold key winner at the state level for her drawing “The Heart of a Papa.”
On June 9, 2022, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Ceremony was held at Carnegie Hall in New York. National Gold Medal winners were invited to the awards ceremony with guest speakers and highlight reels of each winner's artwork and writing samples. During the ceremony, the Art gold medal winners were recognized as a group.
Lelia is such a talented artist who in 2021, won the Congressional Art Award for Senator Rick Allen. Leila’s awarded piece was featured in Congressman Allen’s office in Washington DC for a year. Leila has also submitted a portfolio for the 100th anniversary of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)/Scholastic Art competition in hopes of winning another gold medal and a scholarship to SCAD.
Georgia Cheerleading Coaches Association Cheerleader of the Year
Caroline Hilley - Lakeside High
Coaches nominate their outstanding senior athletes, who then go through an application process, which is scored on the student’s academic achievements, community service, school activities, and passion for the sport of cheerleading.
From the application, the top 30 athletes are selected for their division. Caroline Hilley was one of 30 selected from regions 5A- 7A. She and other selected athletes in each division went on to compete in both an interview and performance competition. The pool was narrowed down to the top 16 athletes in each division, who were named to the GCCA All-State Team and received a scholarship. The overall highest score in each division is named the GCCA Cheerleader of the Year for their respective division.
Caroline was the overall winner for regions 5A-7A.
Georgia Department of Education Title I Distinguished School
Martinez Elementary has been named a 2021-2022 Title I Distinguished School.
This designation recognizes the highest-performing Title I schools in Georgia, and Martinez Elementary is one of only 71 schools to earn the recognition this year.
The Distinguished Schools designation recognizes Title I schools that ranked in the top five percent based on combined English Language Arts (ELA) and Math Achievement Rate scores from FY2021 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) Content Mastery data. While a full CCRPI report was not available in 2021 due to data limitations resulting from the pandemic and an associated federal waiver, Content Mastery data was available since students took state assessments in 2021.
Schools must be Title I to be eligible for the Distinguished School designation and must not currently be identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI).
Georgia Council Teachers of Mathematics Award Winners
Teacher of Excellence in Secondary Mathematics
Stefanie Frey, Greenbrier High
This award is given to a teacher who is a member of GCTM; has taught mathematics at least three years in Georgia; has strong content foundation in mathematics appropriate for their teaching level; shows evidence of growth in teaching of mathematics, and shows evidence of professional involvement in Georgia Council Teacher Mathematics and National Counsel Teacher Mathematics, and who has not received the Excellence in Teaching Mathematics award the past five years. Congratulations, Ms. Frey.
Dwight Love Award
Taylor Thompson, Evans High
4-H Presidents - Blue Ridge Elementary
November 8, 2022
State School Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council
Georgia Association of Middle School Principals Awards
Two Columbia County School District school leaders were recently recognized for their leadership and service by the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals (GAMSP). GAMSP is the organization of and state voice for middle grades school principals, assistant principals, and aspiring school leaders in Georgia.
Dr. Holly Barnes received The Jerry Davis Georgia Distinguished Principal Award from the GAMSP in recognition of her outstanding leadership and service to middle school students. The award was established in 2011 to honor outstanding middle school principals in Georgia.
4-H Presidents - Riverside Elementary
Thanks to our 4-H Presidents from Riverside Elementary for leading the Pledge at the Board of Education meeting. Great job, student leaders!
October 11, 2022
The Augusta Chronicle Cyber City's Best Public School Winner 2022
North Columbia Elementary
Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School 2022
North Columbia Elementary
GHSA Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award 2021-2022
4-H Presidents - Martinez Elementary
August 9, 2022