Westwood Raises Money For Childhood Cancer

Yaky Marquez and Esme Miller present Robyn Bryant with a $400 check for the Christian Bryant Foundation.

Yaky Marquez and Esme Miller present Robyn Bryant with a $400 check for the Christian Bryant Foundation.

During the week of September 15-19, the students and staff of Westwood Elementary took part in a Childhood Cancer Awareness Week.

Esme Miller, a current Westwood student, and Yaky Marquez, a former student who now attends Dalton Middle, have both battled cancer.

Westwood took part in the week by doing different things each day—the Miller family donated childhood cancer pencils on one day, another day was deemed Sock it to Cancer, and everyone wore their crazy socks. Another day was called Got Hair, and everyone got to wear hats. Continue reading

Roan Hosts Open House With Picnic in the Park

For the second year in a row, Roan Elementary held Picnic in the Park—a new take on open house.

The staff at Roan decided they wanted to take a new spin on open house and create a night where everyone can build relationships while having fun.

“We wanted to think differently and interact with parents,” said Roan Principal Cindy Parrott about replacing open house with the picnic. “We wanted to go above and beyond.” Continue reading

Land Named Coach of the Week by Falcons

matt-landDalton High head football coach Matt Land has been named Coach of the Week by the Atlanta Falcons for his hard work and dedication to making a difference in the lives of student-athletes on and off the field. Coach Land will received a plaque signed by Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith and a $1,000 grant from the NFL’s Youth Football Fund to help maintain and upgrade the football program. The program is presented by the Ford program, the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons. They will recognize 12 high school varsity football coaches—one each week—from around Georgia during football season.

Brookwood Makes Highest-Performing School List for Third Year

Brookwood School has been named a Title I Reward School by the Georgia Department of Education for the third year. The school again was recognized as a Highest-Performing School that ranks it among the 5 percent of Title I schools in the state that has the highest absolute performance over three years for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments. Only 80 schools in Georgia received this recognition and only three in the northwest Georgia area. The Reward Schools honors are part of the state’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver.

“The schools on this list represent some of the finest efforts being put forth in Georgia Education,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “The educators, parents, students, and communities who came together to move these schools forward should take great pride in the results.” In a letter of congratulations from State School Superintendent John Barge, he wrote, “As we continue to raise expectations for all students in our state, schools like yours make me confident we will reach our goal of providing a rigorous and relevant education to all students in Georgia.”

Brookwood Principal Celeste Martin said, “Our staff is committed to continuous innovation in non-traditional ways, allowing for more meaningful experiences for students to get outside the school, tackle real-world problems, and communicate solutions. We use a place-based learning model and incorporate real scientific research in all grades. Our success is the result of our working together attitude and the relationships that we have built outside our school with experts in our local community.”

“I’m extremely proud to have Brookwood recognized again as a Highest-Performing School,” said Superintendent Jim Hawkins. “Dr. Martin and her entire staff are to be commended for their hard work and focus on student engagement and achievement. It is always gratifying to see the academic performance of our students and the hard work and commitment of our staff recognized by an outside entity.”

Area Students to Experience “Teen Maze”

Dalton High and Morris Innovative High students are shown going through the "Teen Maze" during last year's event.

Dalton High and Morris Innovative High students are shown going through the “Teen Maze” during last year’s event.

It has been said, “seeing is believing.” At least that is what a group of community leaders hope will happen when they share a unique interactive educational opportunity called Teen Maze with tenth graders from surrounding high schools.

Teen Maze is an event that provides a safe and controlled environment for students to face the consequences of randomly selected lifestyle choices often associated with risky youth behaviors. The maze is designed as an interactive “Game of Life” where students see the consequences of life choices in a hands-on, realistic and educational way. The goal of the program is to increase their understanding of personal responsibility and the importance of making positive life choices. Continue reading

Brookwood, DEM Camp Named STEM Education Awards Finalists

Technology Association of Georgia Recognizes Award Finalists focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education 

ATLANTA (September 8, 2014) – The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry, today announced that Brookwood Elementary School has been named as a Finalist in the Elementary School category for the 2014 STEM Education Awards. This is the second year Brookwood has been named a finalist.

Camp DEM (Design, Engineering and Manufacturing), which was started by the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce and local floorcovering companies, was named a finalist in the Extracurricular Program category. The four-day summer camp was started in 2011 to expose middle school students to STEM careers in the floorcovering industry and is designed with hand-on activities in design, fabrication, laser engraving, mechatronics, electronics, industrial and Lego robotics, measurement, career exploration activities as well as teambuilding focused on workplace “soft skills.” Continue reading

Wyatt Named Dalton Teacher of the Year

Dalton Board of Education Vice Chairman Rick Fromm presents Dalton High German Teacher Ava Wyatt with the 2014-15 Dalton Teacher of the Year award.

Dalton Board of Education Vice Chairman Rick Fromm presents Dalton High German Teacher Ava Wyatt with the 2014-15 Dalton Teacher of the Year award.

Even though her career has spanned 22 years, Ava Wyatt didn’t originally plan to be a teacher. On Monday evening, Wyatt’s outstanding teaching performance and her commitment to Dalton students was recognized as she was named the 2014-15 Dalton Public Schools Teacher of the Year. The announcement came during a ceremony honoring all the school-level winners for Teacher of the Year in the district held before the Dalton Board of Education meeting.

The Dalton High German teacher was recruited by her alma mater in the middle of the school year in 1992 to take over the German language program. Since that time, Wyatt has taught hundreds of students and built a strong student exchange program that has given both Dalton and German students a chance to experience life abroad and build lifelong friendships.

Wyatt says her classroom philosophy is that all students can learn and learning can be fun, even though it sounds simplistic. “Learning a language allows students the opportunity to realize how they learn,” she said. “This certainly has an impact on the rest of their life. Once a student realizes what is necessary to “learn” something, they become responsible for their education and it clears a path for their independent education for the rest of their life. “

She says the exchange program with the school in the Harz Mountains in Germany has been a pivotal element in her program. “Students learn about Germany, their German families, and their German brothers or sisters,” said Wyatt. “At the same time, they discover more about themselves, their own families and the USA (as well as their own additional heritages). Students develop their understanding of learning and they develop a passion to learn beyond what is offered in the classroom.”

Wyatt has taught German at Dalton High School since January 1992. She was recognized as 1997-98 Dalton Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year, the 1998 Georgia German Teacher of the Year and in 2002-2003 was selected as the Dalton High Star Teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree in modern languages from Wesleyan College and her master’s degree in German Secondary Education at the University of Florida.

Steve Bartoo, principal of Dalton High, says Wyatt is very deserving of the honor. “It confirms what we all know at Dalton High,” said Bartoo, “that she is a very effective teacher who is passionate about the success of her students. She establishes great relationships with her students and designs quality work for them to do in the classroom. She coordinates our German exchange program and puts in countless hours of work to ensure that students have a great learning experience during their visits. We are very proud of Ava and all that she does for students and Dalton High School.”

Shown are the school-level Teacher of the Year winner: front row, left to right, Renee Mahan (Brookwood), Randi Grant (Roan), Ava Wyatt (Dalton High), and Victoria Mosteller (Park Creek), and back row, Ronnie Natola (Dalton Middle), Matt Sane (Blue Ridge), Paquita Bailey (Westwood), Paige Watts (Morris Innovative High), and Cindy Ellis (City Park).

Shown are the school-level Teacher of the Year winner: front row, left to right, Renee Mahan (Brookwood), Randi Grant (Roan), Ava Wyatt (Dalton High), and Victoria Mosteller (Park Creek), and back row, Ronnie Natola (Dalton Middle), Matt Sane (Blue Ridge), Paquita Bailey (Westwood), Paige Watts (Morris Innovative High), and Cindy Ellis (City Park).

Other school-level Teachers of the Year winners included Mathew Sane, Blue Ridge School; Renee Mahan, Brookwood School; Cindy Ellis, City Park School; Victoria Mosteller, Park Creek School; Randi Grant, Roan School; Paquita Bailey, Westwood School; Ronnie Natola, Dalton Middle School; and Paige Watts, Morris Innovative High School.

Wyatt will now compete with other district Teachers of the Year from across Georgia for state Teacher of the Year.