The Dawson County High School Tiger Pride Marching Band will ring in 2013 with style after making its national debut on New Year's weekend. In mid-September, the band was officially invited to perform at the nationally-televised Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.
Bradley Weaver was sinking his hands into dirt and learning how to farm long before he started kindergarten. Now 21, Weaver is one of four finalists in a national contest for farmers who have mastered skills in production, finance, management and research.
Melanie Spooner, teacher at Kilough Elementary School, remembers the first time she wanted to be a teacher. "My first grade teacher was very young, pretty and sweet. I think it was her third year teaching and I just thought she was perfect in every way. That was the first year I remember thinking, 'I am going to be a teacher.' And I never thought of doing something else," she recalled.
Born and raised in Dawson County, Felicia Stephens is a graduate of the local school system to which she is now a part. Stephens, who is entering her 15th year as a teacher, was announced in May as Black's Mill Elementary School's 2012-13 Teacher of the Year.
More than 50 students descended upon a grassy lawn in blue and gray vests last Friday holding fake muskets stuffed with marshmallow bullets. Fifth graders at Kilough Elementary School heartily reenacted the battle of Gettysburg as part of the school's second annual Civil War Day.
Community leaders will gather Thursday morning to celebrate the new Lanier Technical College facility in downtown Dawsonville. After 10 months of construction, the college completed the $5 million expansion project in August and will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for it at 10 a.m.
Black's Mill Elementary was recently awarded a gold medal through the Governor's SHAPE Honor Roll program for the school's commitment to the health and well-being of its students. As one of only 39 schools in Georgia to receive the distinction, Principal Cindy Kinney said she is proud of the school and honored to be a part of the program.
Third grade teacher Beth Murray has been serving Dawson County Schools for 14 years; long enough to watch three of her classes graduate high school. "I started teaching in 1999 for Dawson County after I was a student teacher. I really love it here," she said last week.
Younger and older generations came together last Friday at the First Grade Grandparents' Luncheon at Black's Mill Elementary School. The event invited students' grandparents, or "Memes," "Papas," "Nanas," "Poppies" and "Grannies," as student's called them, to join their grandchild for story time, a craft activity and lunch.
Local teens and adults will have the opportunity to see out of the eyes of a drunk driver Friday at the Dawson County Tigers' home football game. Community Action and Prevention Alliance, or CAPA, formally known as Dawson Against Substance Abuse, and Forsyth County Schools will be sponsoring a drunk driving and distracted driving education program.
In just three years the Dawson County High School JROTC Department has seen more than a 30 percent increase in student enrollment. According to Lt. Col. Johnnie Sweatte, who has overseen the program since its launch, JROTC currently has 134 students, up from the 87 in its first year.
Cassie Tallant recalls loving her middle school experience, even amidst her awkward teenage years. Now as a sixth grade language arts and reading teacher at Riverview Middle School, she aims to give her students the same satisfaction.
Lanier Technical College's Dawson County Adult Learning Center recently welcomed a new full-time lead instructor. Sharon Clark, 53, who first started working in adult education in 2005, began as lead instructor in August.
Practicing under the hot summer sun for hours every week, Dawson County High's marching band is dedicated to generating school spirit. "Marching band helps us reach out to the community to show that we care about our county," said Brice Darnell, senior drumline member. "We can give them a good time and show them we care."
For the second year, Robinson Elementary's entryway is full of pumpkins.
The Ninth District Head Start program was open Tuesday, thanks to private funding. Staff and parents were notified Monday that the preschool program was reopening, said Kay Laws, Head Start director for Ninth District Opportunity.
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and to celebrate, Riverview Elementary is giving dimes away.