The Long County Board of Education received good news at its Monday meeting. Long County High School’s 2013 graduation rate exceeded its 2012 numbers and the state of Georgia’s average. This news followed earlier reports that the school’s rate reportedly had decreased from the previous year and was less than the state’s 2013 graduation rate of 71.5 percent.
According to Curriculum Director Janet Poole, the initial four-year cohort graduation rate from the Georgia Department of Education had Long County at 61.9 percent. Poole said that after she and Curriculum Director Dr. Glenn Purcell reviewed the report, 43 errors were found. They were reported, and the state conducted a re-evaluation.
Poole said the new rate could not be released yet, but based on information provided by the DoE, the corrected rate surpasses the state average and the school’s numbers from last year. She said that as soon as the official rate can be made public, the data will be released.
The board also heard a report from band director Terry Kenny on the band’s recent trip to the Sugar Bowl. Kenny said that the trip to New Orleans was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of the children. He thanked the board, the high-school staff, administrators, parents and the Long County community for support. Kenny also touted his students’ accomplishments, reminding the board and other meeting attendees that the band won every competition it entered during the past three years. By winning its competition in New Orleans, the band secured itself an invitation to march in the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade, which is the second-largest parade behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
Chairman Janet Watford congratulated Kenny and praised his passion for his job.
“In all my life in Long County, I’ve never seen a coach or instructor who gets as much out of their students as what you do. We appreciate what you do,” she said.
Band captain Tyler Holbrook and drum major Maggie Alexander presented patches from the Sugar Bowl to each BoE member and thanked them.
School food director Stephanie Fox gave a presentation to the board and said the school’s nutrition program coordinators have held several events to promote the school lunch program. As of December 2013, the system had served 153,568 breakfasts and 224,714 lunches.
The board approved the system’s central-office staff — Dr. Kathy Simmons, Amy Rogers, Dr. Dolores Mallard, Poole and Purcell — by a vote of 4-1. The motion to approve the staff was made by board member Julie Dawson and seconded by Florence Baggs. Dennis DeLoach, Watford, Dawson, and Baggs voted in favor, and Dr. Carolyn Williamson voted against.
In other business:
• The board re-elected Watford as chairwoman, and elected Dawson vice chairwoman for the 2014-15 school year.
• The board approved a charter-school workshop at
5 p.m. Jan. 30.
• Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters reported that the system recently received two new school buses it ordered.