December Star Student

Blue Ridge Elem

BRES is excited to congratulate our star students for the month of December. December’s character trait was for integrity, meaning these students exhibit the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles even when no one is watching. We are so proud of these kids and their integrity.

Top Row (l to r)

Amelia Crowder, Navya Patel, Reese Elleby, Kinsley Bennett, Caroline Thigpen, Case Patterson, and Grayson Sowers.

2nd Row (l to r)

Sadie Farr, Amy Morales, Claire Whitener, Elsie Hughes, Jasmine Setser, Lukas Pack, and Kenna Wimpey.

3rd Row (l to r)

Lee Stuart, Clarity Starks, Lynnex Patterson, Alaina Hughes, Milli Sauer, Cale Weeks and Adalyn Stanley.

Bottom row

Vickie Roberson (star staff)

Blue Ridge Elementary School Fire Safety winners

News, Press Release

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Blue Ridge Elementary School announced their Fire Safety winners on Wednesday, September 18, 2019! Congratulations to these students from everyone at Fetch Your News!

Good Afternoon,

Our 1st place winners of the Fire Safety Poster Contest were announced this morning, and we would like to share this exciting news with you. I have attached the photo of our winners.

“Not Every Hero Wears A Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape.” Is the name of the contest this year.

Top Row (L-R) Zoe Callihan (5th Grade Winner), Laurel Minear (4th Grade Winner), Addyson Bradburn (3rd Grade Winner)

Bottom Row (L-R) Claire Whitener (1st Grade Winner), Aubrey Tapia (2nd Grade Winner), Sean O’Quinn (Kindergarten Winner) attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month for ad server. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and has between 15,000 to 60,000 per week Facebook page reach. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or visit [email protected]

Fannin County Schools Menus for April 2019

Rebel's Corner

A Polar Express Literacy Night – December 13th!

Community, Rebel's Corner

Calling all believers! Blue Ridge Elementary, East Fannin Elementary, West Fannin Elementary,
and Fannin County High School will be co-hosting a free literacy event on Thursday, December
13 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the Fannin County High School campus. Students, families,
and community members are invited to come immerse themselves in a joyous holiday
experience. Following the festival, the Swan Drive-in will present a showing of The Polar
Express at 6:15 p.m. as a fundraiser for literacy programming at the schools.

Pick up your map to the North Pole at the FCHS main entrance to guide you around the campus to our various activities; if you get lost along the way, a wandering elf will help direct you to your destination. If you are lucky, the conductor himself might even stop to punch your ticket!

Some of the interactive experiences offered will include themed crafting projects and a book walk. Wal-Mart and Ingles have generously donated a cookie decorating station and a hot chocolate bar. Home Depot will host a Holiday Builder’s workshop! Along the way to the Elf Workshop, where eager elves will assist with letter writing to Santa, feel free to peruse the artistic creations presented at the FCHS Gingerbread House Contest. The Fannin County Regional Library will also host on-site library card sign-up booth!

Also, various guest readers will provide dramatic readings of Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar
Express. Santa Claus himself will be there for free pictures and to hear all your holiday wishes.
Community and PTO partnerships have also generously donated several door prizes to reward
the attendance of these avid readers. Please join us for this magical evening!

All children fifth grade and under will receive free admission into the film. All other tickets will
go on sale for the film at the Swan Drive-in on December 2, and ticket prices are $5 each. On
December 13, you will be able to purchase tickets to the Swan’s showing of the film at FCHS or
at the entrance to the Swan. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit future literacy projects.
Various other corporate and community sponsors are working together to help make this event a
success, and they will all be recognized at the event.

This event is designed to welcome all ages. If you would like more information, please feel free
to contact Sarah Welch, Literacy Coordinator, via email at [email protected] or by phone
at 706.632.2081 ext. 125. Follow event details on Facebook with Fannin County Schools, or use
#literacyexpress or #fanninreads on Twitter to share your experiences. Fannin County, a Get
Georgia Reading community, was awarded the L4GA grant at the end of last year, and we have a
lasting commitment to sustainably impact literacy at all levels!

Fannin County opts to remain a Charter School District

Community, News, Rebel's Corner

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously for the Fannin County School System to remain a charter school district.

Fannin County schools officially became a charter school system July, 01, 2015. According to the Georgia Department of Education (GDOE), a charter district must renew their intent and contract with the state every five years.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County School System, Fannin County High School, Fannin County Middle School, East Fannin Elementary, West Fannin Elementary, Blue Ridge Elementary, Board of Education, Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Chair, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Betsy Hyde, Lewis Deweese, Chad Galloway, Bobby Bearden, Terry Bramlett, Mike Cole, Georgia Department of Education, AdvancedEd, Charter, SGT, School Governance Team, QBE

Deputy Superintendent Betsy Hyde spoke with the BOE on what it means to remain a charter district.

Deputy Superintendent Betsy Hyde spoke to the BOE, “They (GDOE) asked us if we would amend our charter and say that we would review in 4 years.”

Upon Fannin County looking to obtain AdvancedED accreditation, the Georgia Department of Education asked administration to review their charter application a year early.

AdvancED is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of schools and school systems. Every five years a school system must participate in a targeted self-reflection process.

The AdvancedED helps to evaluate purpose and direction, governance and leadership, teaching and assessing for learning, resources and support systems, as well as engagement with stakeholders.

The charter renewal as well as the AdvancedEd accreditation are expected to have coinciding site visits to Fannin County Schools.

Hyde explained that during 2015, when Fannin County officially entered into the charter system, the state of Georgia offered three flexibility options for districts to pick from.

The first of these options was Status Quo. Under this option the school system would not be allowed waivers and have limited flexibility on the local level to customize the school learning environment.

The second option presented was the IE2/Strategic Waiver. This gave districts the ability to ask for specific waivers, but did not allow for School Governance Teams (SGT) to be established.

Lastly school systems had the option of becoming a charter district. This option did not restrict waivers and required the formation of SGT. With this option Fannin County would be provided more flexibility in exchange for maintaining at or above state levels in reviews.

“One of the things that we do in our system is we had to have waivers for instance to do block scheduling, class size, different things like that,” Hyde said explaining the benefits of being a charter district.

The decision to initially become a charter school system was not one that was taken lightly, Hyde explained that countless hours of research went into the decision, including speaking with other charter systems and visiting different districts.

Some of the advantages to being a charter district include flexibility to innovate educational opportunities, financial savings from waivers, and possible additional funding in Quality Basic Education (QBE) if appropriated.

One of the outstanding characteristics is the creation of SGT within each of the Fannin County schools. The first SGT was established in June of 2015. These teams, comprised of 7 members, each meet on a regular basis and include school system faculty as well as parents.

Hyde explained the role of SGT more in depth,”Student Government Teams kind of help us distribute our leadership instead of you all being the only board in the whole system. You all are still over the whole system, but this gives some government back to the schools.”

BOE Chair Lewis Deweese admitted to being skeptical of the formation of SGT in the beginning but said of his feelings now, “I think what we’ve really created are some advocates for public education.”

Before taking vote, board member Terry Bramlett questioned, “Whenever we chose to become a charter system it seemed to be the fairer choice of offering the most flexible options and the greatest opportunity for our students. Would you agree that that’s still the case?”

Hyde replied that she still felt very strongly that being a charter system is the best option for Fannin County and added that it also allows the school system a wider range of options as future needs within the district arise.

The BOE took the first step in renewing its contract to stay a charter district by passing a resolution updating their procedures. While there are still many steps to take before this renewal is official, administration is confident in their choice and ability to continue with charter district status.


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 [email protected]

Acccomplishments told, retirees honored at Fannin Schools end-of-year meeting

Rebel's Corner

The Star Teacher and Student of the Year for the Fannin County School System were Sarah Welch, left, and Jordan Newman, respectively.

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Several school system accomplishments were mentioned and this school year’s retirees were honored at the end-of-the-year meeting of Fannin County Schools at the Performing Arts Center Wednesday, May 30.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney kicked the meeting off by announcing 198 students recently graduated from Fannin County High School.

“That’s reflective of the wonderful work that is done by the faculty and staff and leadership at Fannin County High School,” Gwatney added, “but it also speaks volumes for what happens at elementary and middle schools to prepare the students to get them to these levels.”

Gwatney also thanked the Board of Education for a 1 percent across-the-board permanent pay increase for school system personnel.

“And as I stand here before you today, always remember that you are a member of the greatest and most honorable profession,” the superintendent told the countless number of educators and school employees in attendance. “Ladies and gentlemen, ours is the one profession in which all professions must pass.”

Later, Board of Education member Steve Stanley praised Gwatney’s own leadership asking everyone in attendance, “Don’t you guys think that Dr. Gwatney did a great job this year?”

To this, the audience responded with a resounding round of applause for the superintendent.

Lewis DeWeese, BOE chairman, also spoke of the change he saw this year under Dr. Gwatney. “I’ve been saying it for the last year or so, our system has a new spirit, a new friendly, open, honest willingness to share (and) work together,” DeWeese stated.

BOE member Bobby Bearden also took a moment to thank the employees of the school system saying, “It’s been a blessing and an honor to work with people like you.”

Several awards and achievements, received both for schools and individuals throughout the school year, were recognized at the meeting.

This school year’s Teachers of the Year were also mentioned again during the meeting. Those educators included Erin Colbert, from Blue Ridge Elementary, Kathy Culpepper, from East Fannin Elementary, Amber Mitchell, from West Fannin Elementary, Nathasha Anderson, from Fannin County Middle, and Shan Culpepper, from Fannin County High. Culpepper also held the distinction of being Teacher of the Year for the entire school system.

The Star Teacher and Student of the Year for the Fannin County School System were Sarah Welch, left, and Jordan Newman, respectively.

Sarah Welch and Jordan Newman were also recognized this past school year for being the Star Teacher and Star Student of the Year for 2017-18, respectively.

Regarding the high school, Fannin County High School (FCHS) was also ranked statewide and nationally in U.S. News’ annual Best High Schools rankings. According to those rankings, FCHS was ranked 63 in the state and 2,593 in the nation. This was the third time in the last four years FCHS has been ranked by U.S. News in this category with the previous years being 2015 and 2017. The high school also earned a Silver Award for falling in the top 12 percent nationally.

Fannin County Middle School (FCMS) was also praised for its accomplishments, most notably in that the school placed first in an online Reading Bowl and fourth in face-to-face competition. FCMS also earned an honorary degree in life science.

Blue Ridge Elementary received recognition for earning a High Progress Award among Title 1 schools. High Progress Award schools are among the top 10 percent of Title 1 schools based on the three-year average of College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) progress scores.

East Fannin Elementary held the distinction this school year of being one of only five Family-Friendly Partnership Schools in the state of Georgia.

Also, West Fannin Elementary enjoyed the success of becoming the 36th Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) certified school in the state.

Twenty-five educators in the school system became certified as Level 1 Google Educators this school year. This status indicates that an educator is able to successfully implement Google Suite for Education into their teaching practice in order to enhance teaching and learning.

The Fannin County Schools nutritional program participated in the Shake It Up initiative this past school year.

The school system’s nutrition program participated in the Shake It Up initiative, which is a state-wide initiative to change the culture school nutrition in three areas: tasty meals, friendly cafeterias and happy schools. The nutrition programs at all five county schools received the Gold Award in this initiative.

The school system also took time to honor this year’s retirees throughout Fannin County Schools. Those retirees included:

· From Blue Ridge Elementary, media specialist Robbie Callihan and nutritionist Mildred Johnson;

· From East Fannin Elementary, teachers Katie Holloway and Lynn Weeks, academic coach Crystal Cooke, and paraprofessional Sandra Ross;

· From West Fannin Elementary, nutritionist Wanda Stewart and teacher Betty Holsonback;

Fannin County Schools honored 27 retirees from the school system at its end-of-the-year meeting Wednesday, May 30.

· From Fannin County Middle, teachers Cindy Wood and Linda Nave, and nutritionists Judy Glasgow, Sue Postell, and Gayle Queen;

· From Fannin County High, secretaries Robin Kirby and Gail Bennett, paraprofessional Phillip Nastyn, teachers Terry Callihan and Kim Kribbs, and nutritionists Amanda O’Neal and Leslie Perenich;

· System-wide deaf/hard of hearing teacher Marcie Harper and speech therapist Pam Lapham;

· School bus drivers Margie Kolesky and Sheryl Campbell;

· From the school system maintenance department, Archie Bice; and

· From the Central Office, accounts payable bookkeeper Connie Grindstaff and Associate Superintendent Betsy Hyde.

“What an honor this has been,” Gwatney told the retirees. “I wish you all the best.”

Following the ceremony, the rock band Apollo, which is comprised of three Fannin County students, played a spirited version of the Foo Fighters’ classic anthem “My Hero” as a tribute to the retirees as well as the existing educators and employees of the Fannin County School System.

Concluding the day’s event, Gwatney stated, “Ladies and gentlemen, we aspire to guide and lead the future, but most of all, you remember why we’re here. It’s for the kids. Everyone have a great summer.”



Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

White Christmas Schedule 2017

Community, Rebel's Corner

UPDATE: Charges filed against driver who struck Blue Ridge patrol car in Friday accident


BLUE RIDGE, Ga. -UPDATE: Corp. Jason Bradburn of the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) confirmed Saturday, April 7, that charges have been filed against the driver that struck a Blue Ridge Police vehicle on state Route 515 Friday afternoon.

Karen Yingling, 49, of Blairsvillle, was charged with driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane after the 2000 Mercury Mountaineer she was driving drifted out of the southbound lanes and struck the rear of a patrol car occupied by Capt. R.A. Stuart, of the Blue Ridge Police Department, that was parked on the shoulder of the highway.

Bradburn confirmed that Yingling was not seriously injured in the accident and refused transport to Fannin Regional Hospital while Capt. Stuart was sent to Fannin Regional for a precautionary evaluation. Bradburn added GSP received word of the accident at 2:56 p.m.

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – According to Blue Ridge Interim Police Chief Johnny Scearce, a patrol vehicle occupied by Capt. R.A. Stuart was struck by another vehicle just before 3 p.m. Friday, April 6.

Scearce stated Stuart’s vehicle was parked off of state Route 515 near BB&T bank to slow traffic on the four-lane highway as Blue Ridge Elementary School was dismissing students for the day. Scearce clarified Capt. Stuart was inside his vehicle when another vehicle “crossed over the line and hit Stuart’s patrol car at about 50 mph.”

According to Scearce, Stuart suffered no serious injuries in the accident but initially complained of pain in his back, leg and foot. Stuart was then transported to Fannin Regional Hospital for a precautionary evaluation.

“(Stuart) said he was alright and was feeling better,” Scearce said of the conversation he had with Capt. Stuart.

As for the driver of the vehicle that struck Stuart’s patrol car, Scearce stated he was not aware of the name of the driver, but that driver too was not seriously injured and refused transport to Fannin Regional.

Scearce added the Georgia State Patrol worked the accident and said he did not know if any charges will be filed against the driver.

Please continue to follow FetchYourNews for more details on this accident as they become available.




Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Blue Ridge Elementary PTO Superhero 5K Event

Rebel's Corner

Appointments made, pay scale approved by city council

Blue Ridge

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – After an executive session to discuss personnel that lasted over an hour, the Blue Ridge City Council reconvened the public portion of their Tuesday, Feb. 13, meeting and approved a number of city employee appointments and entry-level pay scale proposals in the Water and Utilities Department.

Among the many hirings and appointments, the council appointed William Long as water distribution supervisor at a rate of $17.50 an hour, Tony Byrd as acting chief mechanic and street supervisor at a rate of $17.00 an hour, and Shannon Payne as water loss and mapping supervisor at a rate of $22.54 an hour. Each was appointed with a six-month probation period.

As for the proposed entry-level pay scale changes in the Water and Utilities Department, Mayor Whitener read the pay scale list as follows:

  • Water plant supervisor – $19.00 an hour;
  • Water treatment plant class I employee – $16.50 an hour;
  • Water treatment plant class II employee – $15.25 an hour;
  • Water treatment plant class III employee – $14.00 an hour;
  • Equipment operator – $14.00 an hour;
  • Maintenance worker – $12.50 an hour;
  • Meter technician – $12.50 an hour;
  • Customer service manager – $12.50 an hour; and
  • Utilities director – $19.00 an hour.

“These are entry level (pay scales) and most of those (positions) are already filled by somebody that’s had some tenure here,” Mayor Donna Whitener explained. The council unanimously approved the proposed pay scale.

Also discussed at the meeting was the farmer’s market property. Mayor Whitener reported the city has received recent interest from potential buyers of the property. Whitener continued stating if the city is unwilling to sell the property, a plan to refurbish the property needs to be put in place soon. Whitener explained the facility would need some water line upgrades and some re-engineering to make the space ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant “And we need to come up with a plan. We need a plan in place as to how we’re going utilize the farmer’s market,” Whitener said.

The council discussed the success of the Blairsville farmer’s market on the weekends. Whitener further clarified a decision was not to be made at the meeting but that she would like to hear feedback from the council regarding whether to sell, lease or upgrade the facility in the next 30 days.

“It’s such an amazing venue. I just cannot see us selling it,” Thomas-Haight stated. “I, personally, would not vote for that.”

While admitting the city would have to address the ADA compliance issue of the venue, Councilman Ken Gaddis concurred with Thomas-Haight’s sentiments saying, “It’s a heritage point of Fannin County. I think everybody here has been to that farmer’s market. Nobody owns that except the city of Blue Ridge, in my opinion, and the citizens … We grew up going there – I know I did – and I’d like to see the next generation of kids going there too.”

The council also reviewed a quote from KorKat Playgrounds and Site Amenities for shade covers for the downtown park playgrounds. The steel and aluminum column supports would come with a lifetime warranty while the Kevlar fabric canopies would have a 10-year limited warranty. According to Thomas-Haight, the shade cover would decrease the burn potential to children of the playground equipment during the summer months. The total cost of the shade covers would be $19,210.01, which would include a $1,500 engineering fee, according to the KorKat quote.

Kate George, of the Blue Ridge Elementary School (BRES) Cool Kids Gardening Club, spoke on behalf of the organization and told of its success. George stated the club has existed at BRES for seven years and the club typically consists of around 15 third and fourth graders. The club, George said, allows the students to gain gardening knowledge and have hands-on experiences related to gardening.

Members of the Blue Ridge Elementary School Cool Kids Gardening Club present bluebird houses to the city of Blue Ridge during the Blue Ridge City Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 13.

“The objective of being in our garden club is to become a Junior Master Gardener,” George explained, “and at the end of the year, if these kids come to 80 percent of the meetings and take the final exam and complete two service projects, then they will become Junior Master Gardeners.”

This year, for one of those projects, the students built bluebird houses and donated them to the city of Blue Ridge, presenting the birdhouses to the council at the beginning of the meeting.

“We hope that you enjoy putting them up, and that they attract a lot of lovely bluebirds to our wonderful town,” George said.

Later, Mayor Whitener reported the city had recently received a claims check for $20,165 for storm damage to the city hall roof suffered in an April 2017 storm. The mayor explained the damaged portion was mainly confined to the old drive-through area of the building. Councilwoman Thomas-Haight stated she felt re-roofing the area would be wasteful until future parking and city hall expansion plans are determined. Haight-Thomas recommended depositing the funds into the general fund for now.

Also, the council approved a $10,000 amount to be spent toward repairs and improvements for the Blue Ridge Police Department station. The mayor explained the building has several repair needs, including plumbing, guttering, painting, flooring, ceiling and electrical improvements and repairs. “Other than that, it’s a good building,” Police Chief Johnny Scearce laughed. “Solid as a rock.”

Though the amount was approved for $10,000.00, the mayor explained the repairs should cost closer to $6,000 or $7,000. Whitener also said city Finance Director Alicia Stewart had studied the budget closely and found enough leeway to cover the full amount, if needed.

Later, the council approved a number of other expenditures:

  • A $4,200 invoice from Appalachian Cable Installers, Inc. for a four-inch bore casing for water service under state Route 515;
  • A $4,012.50 invoice from Carter & Sloope for additional engineering and consulting services for an Orchard Boulevard project;
  • A $5,164.98 quote from Sutton Tire, Inc., of Clarkesville, Georgia, for new tires for police department vehicles;
  • A $25,000 annual purchase order from Industrial Chemical for chemicals for the city water treatment plant;
  • A $4,105 purchase order from Hydocal LLC for yearly calibrations at the water treatment plant; and
  • Two invoices totaling $4,942 from Lance Trucking for gravel.

In public commentary, Cesar Martinez, president of the Blue Ridge Business Association, reminded the council and the audience of this weekend’s eighth annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off to be held in downtown Blue Ridge Saturday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Martinez reported 21 ice sculptures will be situated in the downtown area, 16 chili vendors will be participating in the cook off, and the Owl Creek Band will be performing.

Kit Miracle told the council of a vehicle accident she experienced at a narrow section of road on Trackside Lane where the side of the road collapsed. Miracle stated she maneuvered the vehicle to the side of the road as an oncoming vehicle was coming toward her from the other lane. Mayor Whitener explained to Miracle the council had approved the widening of the road at the last city council meeting and improvements are now proceeding.

Nancy Zimmerman asked the city to communicate with Patriot Rail and coordinate a plan to clear vegetation from the mostly unused portion of railroad tracks south of the city rail yard.


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 [email protected]


Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Breakfast & Lunch Menus for November

Blue Ridge Elem

Fire Safety Winners

Blue Ridge Elem

BRES Fire safety poster winners were recently announced.

Those winners are: (from left)

Front: Zoe Walker, Aubree Franklin, Henry Schueneman

Back: Roni Oyster, Abby McFarland, William Raines

FCSS SY 17-18 Veterans Program Schedule

Community, Rebel's Corner

Elementary Schools are Celebrating: World School Milk Day

Blue Ridge Elem, East Fannin Elem, West Fannin Elem

Fannin County Elementary Schools are celebrating World School Milk Day on September 27, 2017.

Mayfield is bringing in their 14 foot cow for students to see and have photos taken.  It will be at East Fannin Elementary in the morning, Blue Ridge Elementary for lunch, and West Fannin Elementary in the afternoon.

There are many activities going on within the schools too.  Our media specialists have selected books related to cows and milk to display and read to the students.  Art projects have created cow faces on paper plates. Students will dress up in “cow” colors.

First Lady Sandra Deal Visits Fannin County

Community, Featured Stories
Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, First Lady Sandra Deal, West Fannin Elementary, East Fannin Elementary, Blue Ridge Elementary

First Lady Sandra Deal reads to students at Blue Ridge Elementary.

BLUE RIDGE, GA – Elementary students were treated to a visit from Georgia’s First Lady Sandra Deal, wife of Governor Nathan Deal.

Mrs. Deal has made it her mission to show the importance of education and literacy. Having been a 6th grade teacher for more than 15 years before retiring, Deal now travels the state of Georgia reading to elementary school children in hopes of inspiring these young students to “work hard and never give up.”

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, First Lady Sandra Deal, West Fannin Elementary, East Fannin Elementary, Blue Ridge Elementary

Students and staff of Blue Ridge Elementary pose for a photo with First Lady Deal.

The First Lady stopped at Blue Ridge Elementary first on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. She was met by awe struck first graders who had many questions for her, including “How did your dog die?” which got uncomfortable laughs from everyone in the room.

Deal took the time to thoughtfully address and answer each question before letting the children vote on which book they would like to have read to them. The children chose “Will Powers : Where There’s a Will There’s a Way” by Coy Bowles.

This book stuck close to the First Lady’s theme of hard work as it chronicles a little boy who was able to achieve his goals through practice and a strong work ethic. Deal “loves this book because it insists on practicing to be good at something.”

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, First Lady Sandra Deal, West Fannin Elementary, East Fannin Elementary, Blue Ridge Elementary

Curriculum Director and Principals at East Fannin Elementary welcome Deal to their campus.

She kept the children engaged as she read. Asking questions after every page and allowing for the students to participate in the reading process.

Deal has been reading to students across the state of Georgia for seven years. She hopes to promote literacy and wants children “to realise that they have to do their part.” She went on to say that “it’s not just the teachers. Teachers can do all they can but the children have to do their part. They have to work at it.”

First Lady Deal started her morning reading to the students of Blue Ridge Elementary. She then traveled to West Fannin Elementary and ended her day at East Fannin Elementary. East Fannin Elementary marks the 763rd school that Mrs. Deal has visited to spread her message of hard work and the importance of doing your part to achieve a good education.

Fannin County Teacher of the Year Nominees

Rebel's Corner

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