S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G Bee champion moves forward to regional competition

Community, Rebel's Corner

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – After a lot of practice and many rounds, Fannin County School System (FCSS) named their champion speller. Eighth-grader Chloe Carter will advance for a third year to the Region 1 Competition held in Rome, Georgia, later this month.

FCSS held school-wide spelling bees in the month of January, and the winners from each school met on Jan. 31 at the Board of Education to determine a champion.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County School System, Blue Ridge Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, East Fannin Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Cirriculum Director, Robert Ensley, Keith Nuckolls, Literacy Coach, Sarah Welch, Principal, Lucas Roof, April Hodges, Matt Price, Jade Dlugokinski, Cole White, Chloe Carter, Fox Sharp.

Spelling Bee contestants at the Board of Education. From left to right, Fox Sharp, Jade Dlugokinski, Chloe Carter, and Cole White.

“Before I say anything else, I would like to say how proud I am of each of you for reaching the Fannin County School System spelling bee,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney said, welcoming the competitors.

With family and faculty present, each principal introduced their respective champion.

From Blue Ridge Elementary School, Principal April Hodges introduced school champion Jade Dlugokinski. Cole White, winner of East Fannin Elementary School, was presented by Principal Matt Price. Principal Keith Nuckolls announced the Fannin County Middle School Champion Chloe Carter, and West Fannin Elementary School Principal Lucas Roof introduced their champion Fox Sharp.

Curriculum Director Robert Ensley read the rules and formalities of the spelling bee. These rules must be strictly adhered to within each district for champions to move forward in hopes of reaching the national bee.

Fannin County High School Literacy Coach Sarah Welch was the official caller for the event, giving each student his or her word and further clarification if needed.

The second round saw two competitors eliminated, with a third contestant being eliminated in the following round.

Students Chloe Carter and Cole White battled it out for another round with Carter spelling the winning word for the round, “cruiser”.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County School System, Blue Ridge Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, East Fannin Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Cirriculum Director, Robert Ensley, Keith Nuckolls, Literacy Coach, Sarah Welch, Principal, Lucas Roof, April Hodges, Matt Price, Jade Dlugokinski, Cole White, Chloe Carter, Fox Sharp.

Spelling Bee winner Chloe Carter will advance to the Region 1 Competition in Rome, Georgia, later this month.

As dictated by the rules Carter then had to spell an additional champion word. “Ninja” was spelled with ease by Carter and solidified her as Fannin County spelling champion.

“We are proud to have Ms. Chloe Carter as our eighth grade spelling champion,” Welch announced, officially bringing the bee to a close.

Carter is no stranger to this honor. It is Carter’s third year winning the Fannin County School System spelling bee. Last year, Carter also advanced from the Region 1 Competition to compete at the state level.

The Region 1 competition will take place on Feb. 24 in Rome, Georgia. Carter will face other district champs in hopes of progressing to the state finals.

“Your achievement sets a fine example for the students across our county,” Gwatney beamed to the contestants and congratulated all of the students on their achievements.

 

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Fannin Board of Education Announces Savings

Education, News

BLUE RIDGE, GA – Fannin County’s Board of Education shared news of tremendous savings at their regular monthly meeting held on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

Since its implementation in 2005, the Energy Cap system has saved Fannin County Schools an approximate $5,408,511.

The Energy Cap software, which is used nationally, is a utility bill tracking and sustainability system. This software streamlines billing and accounting, as well as provides analysis reports. It then rates the school system’s buildings for energy efficiency.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Board of Education, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Energy Cap, Fannin County High School, Erik Cioffi, West Fannin Elementary, Lucas Roof, STEM

Presenting information on the Energy Cap Program.

Fannin County High School showed the largest cost avoidance since the system’s implementation with approximately $1,773,267 in projected savings.

This news was met with approval from all board members. Fannin County Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney pointed out, “As we make our facilities better and more appropriate for our kids, we’re able to save money in the operation of those facilities.”

West Fannin Elementary School’s (WFES) Principal Lucas Roof presented the board with an update on the happenings of WFES. The school is seeing great success with its Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) program.

The STEM program was put into action by former principal Robert Ensley and STEM teacher Kim Patterson. The program has grown in the last four years, and WFES is hoping to become STEM certified by the state of Georgia this year.

A pre visit by the state is scheduled for November of this year. Roof stated about the STEM certification, “We feel like that it is something that is going to happen for us this year, and if that happens that is going to be big for our school.”

Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi was also present with a request to revise policy in regards to early graduation.

Cioffi stated that with the current policy a student may be denied early graduation for “missing just one piece.”

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Board of Education, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Energy Cap, Fannin County High School, Erik Cioffi, West Fannin Elementary, Lucas Roof, STEM

The Board listens to possible change in early graduation policy.

The current policy contains nine requirements that students must meet to qualify for early graduation. Cioffi said that some students might fail to meet one of these requirements due to circumstance beyond their control.

He used the example that a student may face medical issues which would require the attendance rate to drop below 95%. He said, “that just didn’t make sense to us that that would prevent them from going.”

The change would add wording to the policy that states the Superintendent or designee could waive any of the criteria on a case-by-case basis.
This change in policy will be tabled for a thirty day period, after which board members will meet to vote on the approval or denial of the changes.

The Board of Education will hold its next Workshop and Meeting as regularly scheduled in the second week of November.

 

 

 

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

West Fannin Elementary Hosts STEM Night

Education, West Fannin Elem

BLUE RIDGE, GA – West Fannin Elementary School (WFES) hosted STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) night on Thursday, September 21. It is one of three STEM nights that the school will host this year.

Students in Kindergarten and Fifth grade, along with their families, enjoyed an evening dedicated to engineering and science. WFES will be combining grade levels this year for their STEM evenings. The remaining two nights will be dedicated to First and Third grade levels and then Second and Fourth.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, STEM, West Fannin Elementary School, Lucas Roof, Robert Ensley, Kim Patterson

Robert Ensley (L), Principal Lucas Roof (C), and Kim Patterson (R) help students and families at STEM night.

Principal Lucas Roof credits the creation and success of the STEM program to former principal Robert Ensley and STEM teacher Kim Patterson. Roof states that Ensley pushed for STEM in the beginning, and Patterson confirms that, going into the fourth year, the program has grown.

Roof says that there are numerous benefits to the program. For example, “It shows students that mathematics is in our real world all around us.”

Patterson says there is a definite benefit to the science and math subjects since the program’s implementation. She states, “The children’s interest levels have really gone up in these areas.”

Along with STEM night, WFES integrates STEM projects into their regular school year. Patterson, with the help of grade level teachers, evaluate the current curriculum and base specialized projects on what is being taught in the classrooms.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, STEM, West Fannin Elementary School, Lucas Roof, Robert Ensley, Kim Patterson

The Jones family working on “Spider Webs”.

The K and 5th STEM night showcased students and families working on three separate projects. There was a fun Autumn theme for each assignment.

Families were tasked with the “Spider Web Bridge”. Given two cups and yarn, families were asked to construct a bridge that would hold as many spiders (blocks) as possible. This was a creative assignment that not only focused on engineering but also gave students a lesson in mathematics.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, STEM, West Fannin Elementary School, Lucas Roof, Robert Ensley, Kim Patterson

A student working hard on the “Candy Tower”.

The second assignment also focused on engineering by asking families to create a “Pumpkin Catapult”. Teachers scaled down the catapult experience by providing spoons, candy pumpkins, and various items needed to complete the task.

The last assignment, “Candy Tower”, asked participants to build a tower as tall as possible that stands on its own. Various candies, along with toothpicks, were given to create the towers. This particular exercise allowed students to see first hand the struggles faced in engineering, as they tried to figure out weight distribution and the most stable shapes to hold their towering candy masterpieces.

The success of the STEM program was evident in the smiles and laughs heard throughout the participants as they experienced a fun way to view the sciences.

Principal Roof is very proud of his staff and of the program itself stating, “We are hoping to become STEM certified by the state of Georgia this year.”

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