Martha Thomason was recently recognized as the Dalton Masons’ “Educator of the Year”
A Dalton Public Schools teacher was honored by Dalton’s Masonic Lodge 105 for her commitment to students and her dedication.
Westwood challenge teacher Martha Thomason received the “educator of the year” award from the Masons at a recent ceremony. Thomason said she was “pleasantly surprised” by the award.
“There are so many great teachers in our system,” she said. “It was nice to be recognized.”
Because Thomason teaches students in the first through fourth grades, she often has the opportunity to teach the same students year after year, watching them grow and develop as learners.
Once, three fourth grade students, who had been in Thomason’s class since the first grade, asked, ‘Mrs. Thomason, other than us, what do you love the most?’ Continue reading
Park Creek fifth grade teacher Teresa Smith gets a kiss from Shakespeare.
Teresa Smith has always had a soft spot in her heart for animals.
To give back to the furry creatures, the Park Creek fifth grade teacher set out a Pennies for Paws bucket on the first day of school to collect money for the North Georgia Humane Society here in Dalton.
“Kids need to know to give back not only to people who are less fortunate, but to less fortunate animals as well,” Smith said.
Last year, Smith’s class raised $102.86 and she challenged her class this year to beat that number. At the end of school the donations in the bucket were tallied. The students had risen to the challenge—they raised $200.85. Continue reading
Blue Ridge Elementary has done extensive work to ensure safety for the students that walk to and from school each day.
Blue Ridge Elementary has done a lot of work to make sure their students that walk to and from school are safe.
Georgia Safe Routes to School recognized these efforts and awarded the Dalton school with Northwest Region Outstanding Partner of the Year Award.
“We have worked closely with SRTS to improve the safety of students who walk to and from school,” said Blue Ridge assistant principal Alan Martineaux.
With a grant received from SRTS, DPS and the City of Dalton constructed new sidewalks, painted crosswalks and completed other capital upgrades. The school has also incorporated walker safety into the health and PE curriculum, they work closely with the Dalton Police Department to ensure safety, have a Wellness Design team that encourages healthy lifestyles, and have SRTS-trained personnel in pedestrian safety.
They also participate in national and state “Walk to School Days” and take tallies of how many walkers the school has—around 200 Blue Ridge students walk to and from school each day.
The school was asked to enter the contest by the local SRTS coordinator, and Blue Ridge found out they had won around a month ago.
“We are very honored to receive this honor,” Martineaux said. “We have a team of teachers, our Wellness Design Team, who work to design experiences for our community that encourages healthy lifestyle choices. Participation in the SRTS program is a part of that team’s work, and they deserve all the credit for bringing this award to Blue Ridge.”
For next year, the school is working with the Dalton Police Department to provide pedestrian safety education for parents.
By Lindsey Derrick, Dalton Public Schools Contributor
Three new administrators will be joining Dalton Public Schools as of July 1. George Kopcsak has been named Principal of Morris Innovative High School; Caroline Woodason has been named Assistant Director of School Support; and Dr. Linda Holland has been named School Nutrition Program Director.
Kopcsak replaces Jennifer Phinney who will move to the district office as director of school support. Kopcsak most recently was the principal of Eastbrook Middle School. He has nine years of experience in education. He holds an educational specialist’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Lincoln Continue reading
Alejandro Azua, who was honored as the valedictorian at MIHS will attend the University of North Georgia and serve in the National Guard.
Following his graduation from Morris Innovative High School, valedictorian Alejandro Azua will take time to serve his country — and he’ll be a full-time student while he does it.Azua will attend the University of North Georgia in the fall. He is also a member of the National Guard and ships off to basic training in early July. The National Guard service not only helps pay for Azua’s education, it is also something he has always wanted to do.
“It’s what I’m interested in. There’s so many different opportunities I can do,” Azua said, noting that he recognizes the responsibility involved in pursuing a military career. “It’s people’s lives, so it’s not something to be taken lightly.”
Azua said the classes at MIHS kept him interested in learning. He particularly enjoyed the newly-formed high-tech percussion class available at the school, and he said one of his best experiences in high school was performing with that class. Continue reading
Sarah Stinnett (right) was named the valedictorian for the DHS class of 2013. Pratik Bhatter (left) earned the title of salutatorian
When Sarah Stinnett discovered she had been named valedictorian of Dalton High School, she was “excited, very excited.”
“I’d been working hard for it for years,” she said. “I knew I had a chance, but I was still surprised.”
Stinnett, who played basketball and softball, made sure she consistently kept up with her academics as well, participating in National Honor Society, Beta Club, Spanish Club and Spanish National Honor Society. She is also active in the First United Methodist Church and has served as a community volunteer at Hamilton Medical Center. Continue reading
Laura Kate Wright, Matthew O’Neal and Katy Bucker hold the new Hoops for Heart banner that will soon hang in the Dalton Middle gym.
Recently, the charities Hoops for Heart and Relay for Life got a lot of help from the students at Dalton Middle—the students raised around $2,180 for both causes.
The Dalton Public Schools Nutrition Program teamed with the local American Cancer Society to raise money for cancer research at the middle school. Nutrition Education Coordinator Jodi Brown and the American Cancer Society’s Cynthia Wilson sat out buckets to receive donations from the students, and by the end of the week, they had raised $80. Continue reading