Week of January 9-13, 2013

the Griffin-Spalding County School System's employee e-newsletter
published by the Communications and Partnerships Department

the gscs


system-wide straight talk

60th logo 
Take a Risk!
a message from Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones


Dr. Curtis Jones

Happy New Year! And welcome back. As we left for the Christmas holidays, my prayer for you was for a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I hope that my prayer is being realized. As I was considering this New Year's message, I found some interesting new year quotes that I want to share with you.


Edith Lovejoy Pierce said, "We will open the book and its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."


Aleister Crowley said, "May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early. My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue so I triumph even when I fall."Oprah Winfrey said, "Cheers to a New Year and a chance for us to get it right."


The one that means a lot to me came from Neil Gaiman. "I hope that in this year to come you make mistakes. Because, if you are making mistakes you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, and changing your world. You are doing things you've never done before and more importantly you are doing something."  


That's my wish for you. Make new mistakes....glorious, amazing mistakes that no one has ever made before...don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry it isn't good enough or it isn't perfect. Whatever it is...art or work or love or family or life or whatever you are scared of doing, try it!

That quote says a lot about what our field of education is about: working with each individual student to help him/her learn, develop, grow and become the individual each is going to become. It's a daunting task. You've met it time and time again.


There are no perfect answers. While there may be naysayers who claim they can do it better, you and I know the truth. What you do is hard. What you do requires a professional. What you do requires you.


With all the training and experiences you have gained, you can make the best decisions every day. Use that experience to try new things....make mistakes and let's make this a great year.

To say it another way, continue to dare to do better.


Welcome back and Happy New Year.



GSCS 60th Anniversary Underway!60th logo


 In January 1953, the Griffin City Schools and the Spalding County Schools consolidated to become today's school system.  The logo pictured above will be used throughout 2013 to celebrate this merger, our current organization.  Committees are at work planning special events throughout the year that will celebrate our 60 years of serving the students of Griffin and Spalding County.  The board of education will hear about some of those plans at its January 29 meeting.  Watch the COMMUNICATOR for details.


Galileo Password Update


The Galileo password is daylight.  This password is valid until 3/24/13.



GHS Robotics Team Heads to State


Griffin High School's Robotics team, Pawbotics, placed FIRST at the regional competition! Pawbotics went undefeated in qualifier rounds and then won 2 out of 3 in semifinals and finals!

This qualifies Pawbotics to go to the state level competition in March. In addition to going undefeated, Pawbotics also received the PTC Engineering Award for having the best built, designed, and consistent robot of all the teams at the event.

Congratulations to teacher Eric Harper and the members of the GHS team:


Chris Bell
Tim Ervin
Jerome Payne
Jed Paz
Trevor Searcy
Tristan Smallwood
Aaron Tremble

A special thanks to Principal Keith Simmons, who ensured the team had what was needed to be successful at this tournament.  



Board Briefs for January 8, 2013

 The Board of Education unanimously re-elected James Westbury as chair and Pete Graham as vice chair. They will serve as board leadership for 2013.


Other action included:

  • Setting 2013 board meeting dates
  • Approving Policy GARH, Employee Leave and Absences
  • Approving GHS SIG Purchases
  • Personnel Approvals
  • Adopting 2013 Legislative Priories

The board recognized students from Atkinson, Cowan Road and Jackson Road elementaries for their participation in the First LEGO League as well as Governor's Honors students from GHS and SHS.


Also recognized were representatives from Anne Street, Atkinson, Cowan Road, Jackson Road and Moore elementaries for their participation in the US Tennis Association elementary program where students will be introduced to tennis through physical education. Schools will receive free equipment.



Atkinson Elementary First LEGO League Champions with Principal Aveory Allen.

Atkinson-First LEGO League Champions  


Changes to Infinite Campus

from Josh Griffis, Administrative Technology  


An Infinite Campus software update will be installed over the weekend of January 18-21. Infinite Campus may be down for a few hours during this timeframe. Many enhancements and bug fixes will be included in the software update. When you come back to work on January 22, you may notice some new features or screens that look different. Most of the changes will be minor, but there are a few significant changes.


The most significant change included in the update affects the way administrators and some secretaries or clerks enter discipline referrals in Campus. Discipline data in Campus will move from a student-centered approach to an incident-based approach. Instead of entering discipline referrals on the student's behavior tab, referrals will be entered in a new tool called the "Behavior Management Tool."


Administrators and secretaries/clerks that handle discipline have two opportunities to attend a training session on January 18 or January 25. Register on PDExpress if you are interested in attending.


For more information regarding this change, read the article on Campus Community as well as the release notification.


As a result of these changes, there are also two new behavior reports. A "Behavior Removal Report" will also be added that lists resolutions assigned to students which have a resolution subtype of detention, suspension and/or expulsion. See the Behavior Removal Report article for more information.


A new "Behavior Incident Report" will also be added which lists the number of incidents recorded based on the options selected in the report editor. See the Behavior Incident Report article for more information.


A second significant change included in the update affects the way ESOL data is entered into Campus by secretaries and clerks. Previously, all the ESOL data was entered on the student's enrollment tab. After the update, the student's primary home language will be entered on the Census -> People -> Demographics tab and all the remaining ESOL data will be entered in a new area of Campus specifically for ESOL. This new area will be found under Student Information -> Program Participation -> LEP. See the Georgia LEP Modifications article on Campus Community for more information.




Moore Elementary Award


Moore Elementary School is a grant winner in this year's Ecolab Foundation Visions for Learning Grant Program. The school will receive $3000 for books.



College/Career Info Session for GSCS Staff


On Thursday, January 31, the HR Department has invited ten colleges and universities to attend an information session geared toward assisting employees with their career and educational advancement. The event will take place in the Learning Center from 3:30-5:30 pm.  Confirmed participants to date are UGA-Griffin Campus, Gordon State College, Mercer University, Kennesaw State College, Walden University, University of West Georgia, Fort Valley State and Southern Crescent. The door prize is a Kindle Fire Tablet! Learn more by clicking here.




Students nominated for Governor's Honors Program
Governor's Honors Program Griffin-Spalding's 18 students nominated for the Governor's Honors Program will join around 2900 students from across the state who will be interviewed and will audition over three weekends in January and February. 


From those nominees up to 690 finalists will be chosen to participate in the 2013 program.  


Students are Lindsay Thomaston, Jenna Mae Paz, Malik Jones, Kaitlyn Echols, Paige Richardson, Lauren James, Makhaila Smith, Bethany Flournoy, AbbieArgo, Bailey  Harvil, Hayden Flanders,Johnathan Bottisti, Abigail Chestnut, Georganna Alexander, EmileePoole, Emma  Chasteen, Rebecca Hester, and Daniel  Blake.  



Teacher Takes the Dare!


Spalding High teacher Daniel Stansberry bet his students that if they would all pass the Georgia High School Graduation Test in writing, he would dye his hair brown.  All of his students passed the test!  Mr. Stansberry paid up!  Congratulations to Mr. Stansberry and his students for their accomplishments.


Thanks for being a good sport and motivating your students to do their best!


            ~       ~       ~       ~       ~       ~       ~


Become a Teacher!


Apply for a Griffin-Spalding County School System Teacher Scholarship


The Griffin-Spalding County School System, in an effort to develop committed, qualified

teachers has allocated five scholarships for paraprofessionals or other classified

employees in our system. The scholarships provide financial assistance toward

teacher certification. We believe some of the school system's best teacher candidates are already working within our school system.


Who Can Apply:

Any classified employee pursuing a teacher preparation program in a Georgia college or university with at least one year of service in our system.



-Provides scholarship funding of $1,000 per recipient

-Funds may be used to meet various needs including tuition, books or lab fees

-For information about other loans, scholarships and grants, call (770) 414-3085 or

access the Georgia Student Finance Commission at http://www.gsfc.org.



-Remain in good academic standing throughout term of scholarship by maintaining

passing grades with a 2.5 average or higher.

-Agree, upon completion of certification, to teach in a Griffin-Spalding public school if offered

a position. If applicant refuses, scholarship must be paid back in full.

-Complete two (2) years of college prior to application which consists of a minimum of 60

semester or 90 quarter hours.


Application Process:

-Submit completed application with two (2) letters of recommendation from a peer, principal, supervising professor, or supervisor and a certified college transcript.


When To Apply:

The application deadline is March 15, 2013. Scholarship funds are available for Summer

Semester 2013.


Please return applications to:

Beth Butler

Human Resources

Griffin-Spalding County School System

P.O. Drawer N

Griffin, Georgia   30224


Griffin-Spalding County School System

Teacher Scholarship Program



Print or type       Last                                 First                                   Middle


Home Address___________________________________________________________

School Phone___________________

Home Phone______________________________


Indicate the teaching field you plan to pursue___________________________________

Hire Date______________________________________________________________________


Eligibility Criteria:

(Incomplete applications will not be considered.)


-Completed application with the two letters of

recommendation. Letters should be from a peer,

current supervisor or major field of study professor.

-Resume of all experience and educational


-Two completed years of college (60 semester or

90 quarter hours) with a minimum 2.5 grade

point average.

-Official Transcripts must be attached.


Scholarship Agreement

If selected to receive a Griffin-Spalding

Paraprofessional Scholarship, I agree to:


-Teach in a Griffin-Spalding County Public

School for a minimum of one (1) year if offered a job.

-Send transcripts to Griffin-Spalding Human

Resources Office at the end of each semester.

-Become eligible for Georgia certification upon



I understand that I must repay the full scholarship

amount to the Griffin-Spalding County

School System if the above criteria are not fulfilled.


________________________________                                ____________________

Signature                                                                                Date



The application deadline is March 15, 2013


Please return application to:

Beth Butler

Human Resources

Griffin-Spalding County School System

P.O. Drawer N

Griffin, Georgia 30224





Please type or print your answers.


In the space provided, briefly describe your ideal curriculum and how it will relate to your philosophy of teaching.


What characteristics do you posses that will make you a great teacher?


Explain how you will be able to connect to each student & their unique learning style.


Describe how you have already been an asset to student learning as an employee

of Griffin-Spalding County School System.


            ~       ~       ~       ~       ~       ~       ~


First LEGO League Regional Competition for Griffin Teams


GSCS teams participated in the First LEGO League competition held at Carver Road Middle School on Saturday, December 8th. This is the first time elementary and middle schools have participated in this competition. This involvement is tied to a grant being implemented this year at Carver Road Middle School by CEISMC/Georgia Tech.


Atkinson    Team Name: Atkinson B.E.A.R.S.


Team Members:  Johnnie Fuller, Jakeriyah Foster, Coreyonna Johnson, Jaden Jordan, Unique Smith,

Nahja Stodghill


Champions Award - First Place


Senior Partner: Willie Bama

Mentors: NiaRa Fuller, Alicia Parker, and DJ Walker

Coaches: La'Tesa Parker {5th Grade Team -Vetrece Jefferson & Rachael Bama}

Team Mother: Susie Parker


Principal: Aveory Allen and AP is Tiffany Campbell



Cowan Road Elementary

Team Name: Cowan Road Constructors


Team Members: Isaac Burkes, Leslie Caraway, Alexia Harrel, Dahron Foster, Torrie Brantley, Christian Abrams, Makayla Blocker, Lily Lasley, Kole Fulghum




Teacher/Sponsor/Coach: Danielle Booher, Hannah McNeal


Principal: Natalie Wood


Crescent       Team Name: X.- C.E.L.L.


Team Members: Ansley Potter, Hailey Johns, Mat Fluker, Devin Dozier, Jonathan Hale, Adelin Parga, Katie Avery, Jacee Shaw, Jeremy Potter, and Carson Brown


Teacher/Sponsor: Debi Hancock


Principal: Beth Gaff


Jackson Road  Team Name: The LEGO Knights


Team Members: Karsyn Jewell, Jordan Lower, Edwin Ruiz, Jhamiya Harps, Caleb Brown, Allison Fowler,
Porter Annis, Shamiya Harps, Keagan Hohenstien


Teachers/Coaches: Allison Buntyn, Beth Miller, Amy Brown, Lottie Harris


Principal: Laura Jordan


Moreland Road      Team Name: Robo Mustangs


Team Members: Mathieu Frost, Chloe' Jackson, Kiya Belcher, Haylee Bramlett, David Hill, Phoebe Bradberry, Holt Herrick, Jendayia Taylor, Jimmy Barrett, Marissa Brookhart


Teacher/Coach: Terri Baxley


Principal: Stan Mangham


Carver Road Middle

Team 1 Name: The Mudders


Team Members: Will Sliger, Zach Brookhart, Cameron Bradford, Dustin Samples, Dana Conaway, Miranda Amerine, Lane Farrow


Coaches: Bart Pinckney and Edward Callaway


Team 2 Name: The Robotic Warriors

Team Members: Jacob Hill, Khayri Green, Kelvin Lee, Jeramie Paz, Tristen Weitzel, Matthew Gossett,

Tyrique Hannah


Coaches: Edward Nelson and Sylvia Knight


Principal: Eclan David


Click here for our non-discrimination statement

Judy Parker
gscs Communicator Editor
Griffin Spalding County School System
PO Drawer N ~ Griffin, Georgia 30224
Our sympathy to the family of Skylar Dials, 4th grader at Orrs Elementary, who died tragically over the holidays.
Employees of the Month


Anne Street 

Carol Cobb & Delicia Moses

Mrs. Cobb and Ms. Moses stepped in to assist the long term sub in their co-worker's classrooms.  These ladies made sure that the sub had lesson plans and assisted with assessments and testing of the students.  I want to thank these ladies for being great team players and for caring for all of our students.



Ashley Baldwin is our Employee of the Month.  She did her usual fantastic job with our latest STEEP evaluation.  We appreciate all she does for our students.



Cowan Rd Elementary

Nancy Colvin

Valarie Keretz

Honored for their diligent work in our self-contained MOID classroom, the teamwork and collaboration in this classroom is phenomenal. From lessons on how to create crystallized ornaments and live performances for family and friends, these teachers show us that high expectations are for every child. They lead with extra helpers, Kathy Howell and Geraldine Roundfield. Every child CAN learn and learn BIG!



Futral Road

Mattie Eason

Futral Road would like to recognize Mattie Eason, our music teacher. Ms. Eason is an enthusiastic teacher who has done an exceptional job in all areas. She has coordinated and presented successful student programs and given our students a love of music. Ms Eason also sponsors our music club. She is also an diligent employee who is willing to take on any task to help students. Futral Road is proud to have Ms. Eason as our music teacher.


Jackson Road

Melissa Bentley

Ms. Bentley is committed to providing quality professional learning for teachers to improve instruction.  She designs professional learning based on individual teacher needs, and works with them to plan and implement new initiatives.  Ms. Bentley is an advocate for our teachers and works tirelessly to support them in the classroom.  Additionally, she plans exciting celebrations for our students each nine weeks that support the implementation of our PBIS program.  We appreciate her dedication to JRE.


Jordan Hill

Amy Coe

Mrs. Coe does an outstanding job with EIP students; she has a positive impact on staff and the JH community through Building Bridges; she devotes hours to the JH Christmas project to see that JH students have a memorable Christmas. Amy Coe gets the job done! 


Moore Elementary

Tesha Woodard, Charley Biggins,

Reba Ellis

The Moore Family would like to give special recognition to Dr. Tesha Woodard, our counselor, for coordinating our Angel Tree Christmas Program. In addition, we want to acknowledge Mrs. Charley Biggins (nurse) and Mrs. Reba Ellis (cafeteria manager) for using their many talents to serve others in every aspect in a generous and loving way.


Moreland Road Elementary

Terri Baxley,Tracy King & Christy Whitson

Ms. Baxley runs our Science Lab, is our PBIS Team Leader, and coordinated and led our STEM Robotics Team. 

Ms.King and Ms. Whitson coordinated and ran an excellent PTO Fall Festival this year.  Ms. King is also our PTO President, a mentor teacher, and co-leads the Moreland Road Enrichment Chorus.  Mrs. Whitson is our Parental Involvement liaison as well as a mentor teacher. 


The work and dedication displayed daily by all three of these outstanding educators is greatly appreciated. 


Orrs Elementary 

We would like to commend the Orrs Faculty and Staff for the spirit with which they approached the recent loss of one of our students. During this difficult time, they freely gave of their time, compassion and concern along with many other expressions of support to the student's  family and each other. As we move forward, we will continue to support each other as we have in the past as the Orrs Family. I am so proud to be a part of such a caring staff.


Kennedy Road Middle

Jackie Copeland, Marcia Teemer, Sharon Harps, Crystal Perkins, Diana Atwater, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Wanda Ahnen

KRMS front office staff is doing a superb job registering, enrolling, counseling, and serving our students on a daily basis. Shout out to Jackie Copeland, Marcia Teemer, Sharon Harps, Crystal Perkins, Diana Atwater, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Wanda Ahnen for giving their best efforts to KRMS! Go Cougars!


Carver Road Middle

Beth Tatum

Carver Road's staff member of the month is Mrs. Beth Tatum, assistant principal. Mrs. Tatum has successfully made the transition to a new school through hard work, persistence, consistency, and having the right attitude. She has skillfully handled the increased level of responsibility of absorbing the duties and responsibilities of an additional administrator while continuing to be as supportive as possible to faculty and staff, students, and parents. We're proud of the work that she does at Carver Road.



Cowan Road Middle

Eric Edwards  

Eric Edwards is providing phenomenal support for our in-school suspension students.  He is an excellent addition to our team!


Rehoboth Road Middle

Frankie Daniel

Rehoboth Road Middle School would like to nominate Frankie Daniel, custodian, who works well with others, is a team player, efficient, dedicated to the safety of children and helps to create an environment conducive to learning and productivity.

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Employee of the Month
returns next Friday!