Liberty County students are figuratively rocketing to the International Space Station (ISS) next month. On Sept. 17, the Liberty County School System will participate in a NASA Downlink— which is a 20-minute live talk with astronauts aboard the ISS.
Becky Busby, a Frank Long Elementary gifted teacher and GATE Facilitator, submitted an application last year. Out of more than 1,000 applicants, only 60 were chosen, including LCSS, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Patti Crane said.
“We were awarded, partially because of our great military connections,” she said. “We are very excited about that.”
Ten students will be chosen from each school based on teacher recommendations, Crane said, to participate as a live audience. Teachers, principals, support staff and VIP members including board members, the school superintendent, congressmen, state leaders and military leaders will also be invited to participate.
“It is the Year of Education on Station, which means there are teachers at the space station, whom we will get a chance to speak to,” Crane explained. Students will speak with Ricky Arnold, a teacher currently aboard the ISS.
In accordance with the system’s application, Crane continued, LCSS will host a teacher NASA STEM night for live audience participants, and a student NASA STEM night for live audience participants, the latter which is open to the public.
“We’re bringing NASA to Hinesville, which is an amazing opportunity for our students, and all community members,” she said. “It’s going to reach so many people; we’re just very privileged and honored and very excited for this wonderful opportunity.”
“When we had our conference call with NASA, they gave us kudos over and over because we were selected, so it’s a very big deal,” Busby said. “It’s going to be absolutely amazing.”
The event, coined NASA Day, will be held at the Liberty County BoE building Sept 17.
In other schoolboard business, LCSS had enrolled 10,056 students as of Aug. 13, according to Crane.
In addition, she recognized both teachers and students at the regularly scheduled Liberty County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.
The Bradwell Student Ambassadors were recognized for their help with centralized registration over the summer. Busby was named the Georgia STEM Teacher of the Year by the Museum of Aviation Foundation.
“STEM teachers are recognized for outstanding use of science, technology, engineering and math education in a classroom,” Crane said. Busby will receive her award at the 8th annual Georgia NASA STEM conference held later this year, she said.
The Georgia Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences named Karisa Young, CEO of the Liberty and College Career Academy, their 2017-2018 Administrator of the Year.
“This recognition is awarded to exceptional administrators who have contributed to the success of career and technical education through the quality of their work and their involvement in the career technical education (CTE) community,” Crane said.
The board voted unanimously to approve each of the four action items on the agenda. They approved an upcoming trip to Washington D.C. for the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools fall conference, as well as an easement request by Georgia Power on the Waldo Pafford campus. The board has previously approved two other requests at Joseph Martin and Button Gwinnett Elementary schools, Interim Chief Operations Officer Jason Rogers said.
Rogers recommended that Dynabody Fitness receive approval from the board for its bid to provide new weight equipment at Liberty County High School. The addition of more weight equipment will create a space for classes, he said.
Medically fragile nursing services were also approved for the 2018-2019 school year. The Department of Exceptional Learning sent a request for qualifications for medically fragile nursing services, and received four responses, Executive Director Mindy Yanzetich said. Pediatra Health Care was recommended and ultimately approved to provide the service.
“We’ve had this in the past, it’s not new,” Yanzetich said. “It’s uncommon, but we’ve had it where a student is so medically fragile that they require that one-on-one care.”