Although she is only in her third year teaching at Dawson County High School, social studies teacher Anne Hyams, 47, is well-known for her passion, creativity and exceptional test scores. Hyams was selected as the school's 2012-13 teacher of the year in May. She said she was shocked because of all the other hardworking teachers in the school.
Although the youngest instructor in the school, sixth grade language arts teacher Caroline Bridges, 26, has been named Dawson County Middle School's 2012-13 Teacher of the Year. Bridges said she was surprised and humbled to win the honor.
With backpacks stuffed with sharpened pencils, crisp notebook paper and shiny folders, more than 3,300 children fresh from summer break poured into Dawson County schools Thursday. "The first day is fun, exciting, anxious all rolled into one. They are so excited and they love it," said Leslie White, kindergarten teacher at Black's Mill Elementary.
Rebecca Wilson, 31, was surprised when she was announced as Robinson Elementary School's 2012-13 Teacher of the Year. "I found out at the end of last school year at a yearbook assembly," she said. "I was actually videotaping the event when they announced my name so I was very shocked."
Three youth from the Dawson County Arts Council recently traveled to New York City to partake in teen-geared theatrical workshops. Brittany Barron, Sean Newman and Taylor Priday have each ventured to the Big Apple for separate workshops held by iTheatrics, a company devoted to developing new shows for young performers.
Economic hardships have made it increasingly difficult for some families to provide their children school supplies. To address the need, Dawson County Family Connection will host its annual school supply drive from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Walmart.
The Dawson County Board of Education voted at its July meeting to keep local property taxes at the same rate for 2013. Last year, the board approved a resolution to raise the millage rate by 1.9 mills to reportedly offset an expected budget deficit.
The Dawson County Library treated local kids to Todd Key's world class juggling show as part of the national Summer Reading Program. The program holds free events and encourages kids to check books out from the library. "We offer six free shows over the summer and Todd was our finale," said Tracey Walker, programs coordinator.
The Dawson County school system has begun preparations for the new school year that starts Aug. 9. Teachers and faculty are holding open houses for students and parents early next week.
Dawson County High School junior Miranda Abe recently returned from an exclusive CNN program that teaches students about media skills and journalistic professions. Abe, the academics editor for the high school yearbook, was one of 75 students statewide to be invited to the seventh annual "Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience."
There were no caps and gowns, but plenty of smiling faces as a list of graduates was read at the Dawson County Adult Learning Center last week. "Everybody has worked so hard," said Pat Story, interim lead instructor at the downtown center, a division of Lanier Technical College.
After 10 months of construction, Lanier Technical College is nearing completion on a major expansion project that will more than double the educational space at its Dawson County campus. "Our schedule is still moving along. We are still looking at mid-July to take occupancy of the building," said Tim McDonald, dean of the Dawson campus.
Dawson County students generally exceeded the state averages on the Criterion-Referenced-Competency Test, according to systemwide scores released this month. The test measures third- through eighth-graders in math, science, English/language arts, reading and social studies.
Spools of colored thread and a modified sewing machine are the paints and brushes local artist Chris Hartwell uses to create photo realistic tapestries classified as "thread art." Hartwell, a Dawsonville resident, strays from her 25 years of traditional textile experience to engage in free-motion sewing, a style that gives operators full control of a sewing machine by disengaging the "feed dogs."
Caitlyn Banks loves to listen to the stories her father tells about his job as a firefighter. "My dad is a fulltime firefighter for Dawson County, and I've been wanting to be a firefighter since I was 2 years old," said the 13-year-old.
Three days stand between more than 200 students and the next chapter of their lives.
Friends and family gathered Sunday to honor a longtime Dawson County teacher and member of the Georgia Agriculture Education Hall of Fame on his upcoming retirement.
Upcoming sixth- through ninth- graders interested in learning what it takes to be a firefighter are encouraged to sign up for Dawson County Emergency Services' Junior Fire Academy.
The Dawson County Board of Education on Monday approved a tentative $32.3 million budget for fiscal year 2014, which represents a drop of about $3 million from 2013.
Spaces are quickly filling for Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle's annual junior law enforcement academy.
Fifth graders from across the county graduated as C.H.A.M.P.S. during a ceremony and celebration May 6 at Dawson County Middle School.
The weather may have been chilly on April 27, but the dancing and barbeque helped keep everyone warm.
It was a night of checks, medals and chords for Dawson County High School seniors as students attended an event in their honor.
Two Dawson County stars - one on the basketball court and the other on standardized testing - finished a close race for head of the class after three years of competing.
Members of the local education and historic communities gathered last week as Robinson Elementary dedicated its media center to the memory and life's work of a late friend.
Dawson County High School chemistry teacher Laura Hendrix was recently named 2012-2013 Chemistry Teacher of the Year by the Northeast Georgia Section of the American Chemical Society.
A deal to relocate the Dawson County Board of Education's central office to downtown Dawsonville could close next month. During its meeting Monday night, the school board voted 3-0 to approve a contract with Community & Southern bank for the two vacant buildings at 28 Main St.
Each year, staff from Dawson County public schools nominate a teacher they feel exemplifies that special "teaching spirit." At the monthly Dawson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon on April 11 at the Lakeview Center, seven local teachers were presented to attendees and their peers.
The track at Riverview Middle School was awash in a sea of bright blue shirts Thursday as the 2013 Dawson County Special Olympics got under way. "We are part of a group called Connectability that's a partnership between Lumpkin and Dawson counties," said Tricia Owenby, a special education teacher at Riverview and the school's Special Olympics coordinator.
Friday is kindergarten registration for Dawson County schools. Kindergarten registration will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., April 12 at the Rock Creek Park Gym. Registration will be for Black's Mill, Kilough, Riverview and Robinson elementary schools.