Fannin County FFA Celebrates 2018 National FFA Week, Feb. 17-24

Rebel's Corner

INDIANAPOLIS – The Fannin County FFA chapter in Blue Ridge, Georgia will celebrate National FFA Week Feb. 17-24, 2018. National FFA Week embraces more than 90 years of FFA traditions while looking forward to the organization’s future. More than 653,000 members with a passion for agriculture will participate in activities at local, state and national levels.

Designated a national week in 1947, the week of George Washington’s birthday, National FFA Week runs from Saturday to Saturday and gives FFA members an opportunity to educate the public about agriculture. During the week, chapters conduct a variety of activities to help others in their schools and communities learn about FFA and agricultural education. Fannin County FFA will celebrate National FFA Week by participating in the following activities: proclamation with Mayor Don’t Whitener, helping Tractor Supply in Grants for Growing, FFA education of teachers and school board members, “ Are you smarter than an FFA member” teacher challenge, FFA members cookie day, crowning of FFA king and Queen, “ Find the FFA symbol”, and basic Agriculture education throughout the community, a service project, and finally FFA livestock team will head to Perry, Ga for the state livestock competition on Friday

Today’s FFA members are the innovators and leaders of tomorrow. Through agricultural education and hands-on learning, they are preparing for 255 unique career opportunities in the food, fiber and natural resources industries. National FFA Week is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company.

 

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.

Fannin FFA Horse Judging Team Places in State Event

Rebel's Corner

The Fannin FFA Horse Judging Team recently placed 2 nd in the State FFA Horse Judging Career Development Event.  The event was held at Ft. Valley State University in Ft. Valley, Ga on February 10, 2018

The Horse Judging Career Development Event advances the knowledge of agricultural education students about the selection and management of horses.  Participants in the event judge classes of horses, give oral reasons for class placings and take a written examination.  Team members include Brooke Crowder, Kayla Hipp, Shelby Postell, and Alexis Ware. Shelby Postell was the overall high individual and Alexis Ware was the third highest individual of the entire contest.

FFA is a national organization of over 600,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.  FFA is an integral part of the agricultural education program in public schools.  The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.


Cherie White is the Fannin FFA advisor.  The Horse Judging Career Development Event is sponsored by Flint River Mills (FRM) as a special project of the Georgia FFA Foundation.

Get Ready For Blue Ridge’s Fire and Ice Event!

Community, Lifestyle

BKP and Pam Fink discuss this weekend’s upcoming event, “Fire and Ice” in Blue Ridge, Saturday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Come see, and even touch, amazing ice sculptures and taste chili that will be entered in the Fire and Ice chili cook off contests! There will be food, drinks, and other vendors at the event. Bring the entire family!

 

Students and staff celebrate Family Career Community Leaders of America week

Rebel's Corner

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Students and staff at Fannin County High School celebrated FCCLA during the week of Feb. 12 through 16, 2018. Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a student-led Career Technical and Student Organization that has over 164,000 members nationally and is the only CTSO with the family as its central focus. Involvement opportunities for FCCLA members include expanding their leadership potential and developing skills for life that are necessary in the home and workplace. During FCCLA week, students offered activities and trivia in the commons area during lunch to promote knowledge of family and consumer sciences, they gave a small gift to all faculty and staff, and they prepared and distributed muffins to the faculty and staff at FCHS. Pictured above are FCCLA members and officers, from left, Bobbi Pippin, vice president, Desiree Bell, hospitality coordinator, and Kristen Lopez, secretary. FCCLA is advised by Family and Consumer Sciences teachers, Amy Adams, Lynn Burch, and Lauren Owenby.

Family Career and Community Leaders of America competitors advance to state

Uncategorized

Four members of Fannin County High School’s Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter competed at Region STAR Events Competitions on Saturday, Feb. 10. Chloe Clemmons (11th grade) and Bobbi Pippin (10th grade) earned a gold medal in their Sports Nutrition Senior Event where they created and implemented a nutrition, hydration, and exercise plan for an FCHS basketball player. Sierra Reynolds (9th grade), competed in Sports Nutrition Junior and earned a silver medal for the implementation of her nutrition plan for a local ballerina. Cady Finley (9th grade) also earned a silver medal for her Interpersonal Communications Event where she promoted healthy communication and relationships among female teens. Sierra and Cady both scored in the top two of their events and will be advancing to State STAR Events Competitions on March 10, 2018. Pictured above are, from left, Sierra Reynolds, Cady Finley, FCCLA adviser, Lauren Owenby, FCHS FCCLA president, Hope Parris, Chloe Clemmons, and Bobbi Pippin.

Administration addresses athletics at Board of Education meeting

Community, Rebel's Corner

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – After hearing concerns expressed at the Jan. 11 Board of Education (BOE) meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney, as well as other members of the board, added a new agenda item covering extracurricular activities within the school system.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Rebels, Georgia High School Association, GHSA

Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi discussed athletics at the Feeb. BOE meeting.

At the Feb. 8 BOE meeting the board unveiled this new item. Dr. Gwatney explained that updates of Fannin County extracirruclar activities will be a recurring item.

While these updates will encompass all of Fannin County’s extracurriculars, the focus of the Feb. updates centered around the state of the Fannin County Athletics Department.

Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi presented this information to the public.

“There were some questions about accountability,” Cioffi spoke of concerns presented at the previous BOE meeting. “You don’t have to look any further than right here. I am the one who has hired people and put them in positions. So if there is a concern it should come to my department.”

Cioffi spoke of the staff of Fannin County School System and added that the pool of educators in which coaches can be pulled from is currently 59 certified teachers.

“They are teachers first and they have responsibilities that make up a bulk of their time,” Cioffi added.

Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey clarified that there are 62 coaching positions that have to be covered, and for this reason coaches have to work or coach in multiple departments. Ramsey backed up Cioffi stating that a coach’s first priority is to be an educator.

“As they should be,” Ramsey stated. “Because that is the ultimate thing, they (students) leave with a high school diploma.”

Cioffi discussed the current Georgia High School Association (GHSA) policy and why Fannin County continues to be placed a AAA region school. In the past GHSA reevaluated schools on a two year cycle. Recent changes, however, has left evaluations happening every four years.

“We have no control over the region we’re placed,” Cioffi explained.

A meeting is scheduled on Feb. 21 where representatives from Fannin County Athletics along with representative from other AAA schools will meet with GHSA officials to examine the new policy.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Rebels, Georgia High School Association, GHSA

Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey was also present to talk with parents.

“It’s ridiculous. If they (GHSA) get it wrong, that’s impacted a child’s entire four years,” Cioffi told the crowd about plans to hopefully bring about change on the state level when it comes to athletics.

The possibility of dropping to AA classification could pose a different set of difficulties for the student athletes of Fannin County, as travel is cited to be a large consideration in the possibility of changing regions.

A new AA classification could mean that students would have to travel as far as three hours away to play other AA teams.

Cioffi also proposed what all parties (parents, coaches and administration) want a “Winning Culture”, and explained how to take steps in this direction: “Before we even get to a winning culture, we need a positive culture. That’s going to take everyone in this room and everyone outside this room to get there.”

“Stay positive. Our kids see when there’s negativity going around,” Cioffi spoke of the recent discussions taking place via social media. “One thing I can promise you is that coaches aren’t posting things on social media about kids and parents.”

“Communicate with each other and figure out how can we best meet the needs of all the programs,” Cioffi went on,”Ultimately we want all programs to be successful.”

The parents coming forward was a big step in addressing the issues that Fannin County Athletics faces, and administration wants to keep lines of communication open and figure out how to “get over the hump and move forward.”

Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey concluded the presentation: “We’re working together, because we don’t ever want to be an us versus you mentality. There never needs to be adversary. We all need to be working for the good of the kids.”

 

 

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Parents question the finances of Fannin County Athletics

News, Rebel's Corner

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Feb. 8 Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) meeting was packed, with many left at standing room only, as parents and supporters of Fannin County Athletics gathered once again to voice concerns over the direction of the program.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

The Board of Education listens as public commentary focuses on athletics.

Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney addressed the crowd before the meeting got underway saying, “Safety is always the top priority. With that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, we have received a maximum number that’s allowed in this room from the state fire marshal, and we must adhere to that number.”

School principals were present to help usher the crowd and school resource officers were stationed at all emergency exits.

“Our room is at capacity,” Gwatney continued. Gwatney announced that the BOE had set up accommodations in expectations of the large turnout. The meeting would be streaming online and alternate locations had been set up at the high school as an overflow where supporters could watch the live-stream.

Ten community members signed up prior to the meeting to ensure that their voices would be heard during public commentary.

Donnie Kendall, who spoke at the January BOE meeting, led the way again and spoke first during the public’s allotted time.

“The last four weeks the administration has not only been helpful, but they have also made theirselves available in hearing all of my concerns, ” Kendall began. “The problem is our administration is reactive instead of proactive.”

Kendall voiced that the same accountability that is placed on educators in the school system should also be placed on coaches, citing the boys basketball team finishing with just three wins and 21 losses.

In comparing this with an academic classroom where only three students were passing with 21 failing, Kendall stated that that educators job would come into question, and the likelihood of their position being renewed would be slim.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

Donnie Kendall addresses the board first during public commentary at the BOE meeting.

“If you choose coaching as career path, you will ultimately be judged by your wins and losses,” Kendall added.

A point of concern among many of the public commentators and mentioned first by Kendall is a need for the BOE to produce total financial transparency of the athletic departments. Kendall, like many others, would like to know what formulas are in place for the funding and who is responsible for the financial decisions.

Speaking of the numerous booster clubs throughout the different athletic departments, who are responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars every year, Kendall stated, “What we can do and what we are prepared to do is refuse to support that program financially.”

Another commentator, Cliff Shirah spoke from experience on the financial transparency that is desired by parents. Shirah has been treasurer of the Dugout Club for four years.

In those four years, Shirah cited that approximately $192,000 had been raised by the community for this club and the money directly supports Fannin County Athletics.

“We want to know how programs are funded and from what budget, and what is the process or guidelines that those decisions are made?” Shirah questioned the BOE.

Shirah pointed out that the Dugout Club had spent $34,000 in field maintenance and asked, “Why are parents forced to pay for these facilities and field expenses?”

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

Brian Johnson counters reasons given by administration about the state of Fannin County Athletics.

Brian Johnson, former president of the Basketball Booster Club, also touched on finances, stating the Tip Off Club had raised upwards of $200,000 in four years, and asked the board, “What will the school board’s actions be if financial support is taken away from these programs?”

Johnson also addressed what many parents felt were excuses being given by administration for the current state of Fannin County Athletics: “excuses have been given from, ‘we don’t have talent’ to ‘we’re rural and secluded’ to ‘other teams should be playing in higher classifications.'”

Johnson countered these arguments by stating, “What in your minds makes us more secluded than Union County, Murphy, North Carolina, Hayesville, Towns County, or Hiawassee, Georgia? We have struggled against these very schools that are as small or much, much smaller than we are.”

Ryan Walton, who also spoke alongside Donnie Kendall at the January BOE meeting, did not agree with the explanations that the administration has offered. “All I’ve heard is excuses on why we don’t compete. I haven’t heard any answers,” Walton said.

Walton added, “I will say that the coaches at Fannin County right now are doing a great job of teaching our kids that life is not fair and that the best person does not always get the job, but the athletic director and board are doing a terrible job by showing these kids that you can be terrible at your job and not get fired.”

Other parents were present giving testimonials on how success in athletics directly correlates with success in a child’s personal life and their academics. These parents expressed concern over what they saw as the coaches’ lack of involvement with or enthusiasm displayed for their athletes.

Ultimately, the parents and supporters united under a common theme of change. They wish to see a winning culture come back to Fannin County and want the full chain of command, from the BOE down to the coaches, to take responsibility for this turn around.

Follow FetchYourNews as we look into obtaining full financial transparency for the Fannin County Athletics Department.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Students participate in Georgia Green Industry Association conference

Rebel's Corner

 

 

Pictured above are the students who attended the Georgia Green Industry Association conference.

From left to right bottom row: Andy Lim, Daniel Crawford, and Kelleigh Taylor.

Front row: Kiaya Jones, Anthony Malone, Gavin Starke, Taylor Long, and Layne Epperson.

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