WCPS Chosen as a Finalist SSTAGE STAR Award

Worth County Primary School was chosen to present at the 10th annual SSTAGE Promising Practices Conference that was held on January 19, 2017 in Athens.  The team consisting of Jenny Worn, Kim Pritchard, Kaysie Wiggins, Alicia Oncale, and Maegan Kuck presented “Using Data Teams and Technology to Transform the RTI Process and Raise Student Achievement.”  Student Support Team Association for Georgia Educators (SSTAGE) in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education announced that Worth County Primary School was a finalist for a SSTAGE STAR Award for Promising Practices in the elementary school level category based on the conference participants’ scoring of the Best Practices rubric.  The committee will complete a site visit to WCPS on March 22nd for final evaluation before naming a winner.  The community is very proud of the direction WCPS has taken the RTI process and incorporating technology to ultimately improve student achievement!

Georgia Cotton Industry Pleased With Special Master’s Recommendation

On February 14, 2017 Ralph Lancaster, the Special Master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court to oversee the Georgia-Florida “Water Wars” dispute, ruled in Georgia’s favor. The case stems from years of legal disputes between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. This particular case involved Florida suing Georgia via the Supreme Court and requesting Georgia cap its water consumption from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin at levels predetermined by Florida. Cotton is the largest row crop in Georgia with annual farm revenue exceeding $826 million and a total economic contribution of $1.6 billion to Georgia’s economy. The ACF Basin is home to almost half of all cotton production in Georgia. The Georgia cotton industry – farmers, ginners, cottonseed handlers, warehousers, merchants, cooperatives, and manufacturers – are pleased with Lancaster’s recommendation to the Supreme Court. In his recommendation to the Supreme Court to deny Florida’s request for a consumption cap on Georgia water withdrawals, Lancaster concludes that “Florida has not proven by clear and convincing evidence that any additional streamflow in the Flint River resulting from a decree imposing a consumptive cap on Georgia’s water use would be released from the Jim Woodruff Dam into the [Apalachicola] River at a time that would provide a material benefit to Florida.” The Georgia cotton industry joined together with the peanut and vegetable industries to submit a “Friend of the Court” brief on behalf of the farmers of Georgia. This brief explained the significance of Georgia agriculture and the importance of irrigation to Georgia farmers. Any water withdrawal cap would be detrimental to Georgia agriculture. Cotton leadership across Georgia was pleased to hear of the news. Jimmy Webb, a Calhoun County cotton farmer in the middle of the ACF Basin, said that “we are thankful for the decision of the Special Master. Our ability to irrigate our crops is one of the main reasons we have been a successful and sustainable farm.” Webb serves on the UGA-CAES Dean’s Advisory Council and The Cotton Board. Bart Davis, who farms cotton in Worth and Colquitt Counties, also part of the ACF Basin, said that “farming is the lifeblood of our community, almost everybody that lives here works in production agriculture. If we can’t irrigate when the crops need it, this whole community would just dry up.” Davis serves on the boards of Southern Cotton Growers and Cotton Incorporated. Matt Coley, a cotton farmer and ginner from Dooly County, which is on the edge of the ACF Basin, said that “we make our living off of the land and being good stewards of the land. Farmers had the most to lose in the case, and we still do if any future cases are brought forward.” Coley serves as a director on the American Cotton Producers of the National Cotton Council and the Georgia Cotton Commission. Andy Borem, President/CEO of Chickasha of Georgia, a cottonseed handler, said that “we’ve been watching this case closely because we knew that our growers would be crippled if the government imposed new restrictions on the amount of water farmers could use for irrigation.” Borem serves on the Board of Directors of the National Cotton Council and is the President of the National Cottonseed Products Association.

Valentines Day at Worth County Primary School

Classes at Worth County Primary School will hold Friendship Parties on Friday, February 14th, after 1:30. This will be a special time for students to exchange valentine cards and enjoy special treats. Your child’s teacher will notify you with the exact time of their party, what their class will be doing, and if any items are needed. WCPS knows that many parents want to show their children how special they are to them by sending them a special delivery. Before sending something special for them, please consider if your child will be able to carry the item they are receiving and if it will be easy to break. (Please do not send vases or items that are made of glass.) Also, think about how your child will be going home. Many children have a hard time keeping up with their special item and their bookbag when traveling on buses. (Please do not send balloons or large oversized stuffed animals to children who will be riding buses home. Students will not be able to take these items on the bus.) If you do choose to send something special, please be sure to have the student’s full name and the teacher’s full name put on it at the time you order. Deliveries will need to be dropped off at the back of the school in the gym after 8:30 and before 1:00. Thank you WCPS for striving to keep our little one’s safe. The Martin News wishes you all a great time at your Friendship Parties and a Happy Valentines Day!

Benefit Concert to be Held in Tifton

The South Georgia Strong benefit concert is set to help families impacted by the recent storms in Tifton. Hosted at the UGA Conference Center on Sunday, February 26th at pm, 100 percent of all ticket sales are going directly to those in need in seven counties. “In times like this we must hold our chins up and stick our helping hands out,” said Austin McAlpin, event organizer. McAlpin is asking any businesses or individuals who want to help sponsor the event or donate to it to contact him at austin@mcalpinentertainment.com. Tickets are available at www.freshtix.com/events/southgeorgiastrong. The artists announced so far are: John Berry, Buddy Jewell, Ray Scott, Anne Cline, Derrick Dove, Daniel Parrish, Landis Frier, Ben Wells, Tj Mauldin, Faith Jackson and Ryn Crider. Thank you to the Moultrie Observer for keeping us all informed. Thank you to all those helping to make this event happen. Please if you can, help support these efforts to raise monies to help those effected by the two recent storms in January where many of our South Georgia counties received costly damage.

2016 Georgia Quality Cotton Award Winners

The 2016 Georgia Quality Cotton Awards were presented at the Georgia Cotton Commission’s 10th Annual Meeting and UGA Cotton Production Workshop on January 25, 2017 in Tifton, GA. The awards are co-sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission and Bayer CropScience, and administered by the University of Georgia Cotton Team. The purpose of the awards are to recognize producers and ginners of high-quality cotton fiber and to identify their general management practices for the benefit of other growers. The producers and their gins received a plaque and the winning producers received a $500 cash award. The UGA County Extension Agent for each winner was also recognized as they work closely with the farmers during the growing season. The awards are given in each of these three cotton acreage categories: 1) less than 500 acres, 2) 500 to 1,000 acres, and 3) greater than 1,000 acres within the four regions of the state. Winners in these categories are determined by the loan value and premiums of their cotton. The winners’ excellent achievements are due largely to their management practices and expertise. The sponsors of this program congratulate all of the following winners: Region 1: Less than 500 acres – Delmer and Scott Bullington of Turner County, Sconyers Gin and Warehouse with agent Will Gay. 500 to1,000 acres – Steven Metcalf of Turner County, Sconyers Gin and Warehouse, with agent Will Gay. Greater than 1,000 acres – SOS Farms of Turner County, Arabi Gin Company, will agent Will Gay. Region 2: Less than 500 acres – Jacob Sandeford of Burke County, Midville Warehouse, with agent Peyton Sapp. 500 to 1,000 acres – Trevor Cobb Farms of Washington County, Midville Warehouse, with agent Brent Allen. Greater than 1,000 acres – Smith Farms of Jefferson County, Farmers Gin and Warehouse, with agent Pam Sapp. Region 3: Less than 500 acres – William and Tracey Edmonson of Brooks County, BCT Gin-Quitman, with agent Stephanie Hollifield. 500 to 1,000 acres – Ben Strickland of Lanier County, BCT Gin-Quitman, with agent Jeremy Taylor. Greater than 1,000 acres – Dewitt Farms of Brooks County, BCT Gin-Quitman, with agent Stephanie Hollifield. Region 4: Less than 500 acres – Ken Hall Farms of Worth County, Omega Gin Company, with agent Blake Crabtree. 500 to 1,000 acres – Garrett Bridges Farms of Seminole County, Clover Leaf Gin. Greater than 1,000 acres – Sapp Brothers Farm of Mitchell County, BCT Gin-Berlin. The final award given was the overall Best Cotton Award. This was awarded to the Georgia cotton producer with highest loan value and premium. The 2016 Best Cotton Award went to Jacob Sandeford with a loan value of 57.52 cents/lb and a premium of 5.52 cents/lb. For a full photo album of the winners, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GeorgiaCottonCommission.

New Dean of the Stafford School of Business at ABAC has been Named

Dr. Renata Elad has been named the Dean of the Stafford School of Business at ABAC, according to an announcement today by ABAC President David Bridges. “Dr. Elad has served as the interim dean for the past seven months, and she has done an outstanding job,” Bridges said. “She is highly educated, well prepared, and she has great experience with 17 years here as a faculty member.” Elad was appointed as the interim dean of the Stafford School of Business on June 13, 2016, moving from her teaching position in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, where she was a Professor of Agricultural Economics. “It’s an incredible honor for me to accept this position,” Elad said. “I tell my students that you don’t have to always be the brightest person in the room to succeed in life. You just have to be the person who is willing to put in the effort. I know that I am willing to put in the effort to get the job done.” Bridges is confident that Elad will do just that.“Dr. Elad’s leadership provides ABAC a unique opportunity to bring programs in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Stafford School of Business closer together,” Bridges said. “Her proven skills and committed leadership will move the Stafford School of Business forward.” Elad already has three goals in mind involving enrollment, curriculum, and partnerships. “I like the close the loop approach that Dr. Bridges uses,” Elad said. “We want to show the students not just what they get when they enroll here but what they have to look forward to when they graduate with a degree from ABAC. “I believe we have a solid curriculum in the Stafford School of Business but every curriculum could use some tweaking. I want to make it more relevant for today’s market, and I also want it to match the climate in the workplace.”Community partnerships and outreach into the Tifton area are key points in Elad’s plan for the future of the Stafford School of Business. “We must continue to keep ourselves relevant in the community,” Elad said. “To be active in the community is very important.” Elad personifies that community involvement by serving on the Board of Directors for the Tiftarea Greenway Association and the Tiftarea YMCA. She is also a member of the Tifton Optimist Club. “Tifton is my home,” Elad said. “That’s my way of giving back.” At one point in her life Elad thought living in the United States was going to be a part of her past, not her future. After growing up in Cameroon and gaining her undergraduate degree in agriculture from the University of Jos in Nigeria, she enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Georgia. “I had bought a round trip ticket from Cameroon when I enrolled,” Elad remembered with a smile. “After a week, I called my mom and said to send me the other half of my ticket. I was coming home.” Her parents convinced her to stick it out, and she ultimately earned a master’s degree in agricultural economics and then a doctorate degree in applied economics from UGA in 1999. She wanted to convert that education into a job with the United Nations. Fate intervened. “My advisor said there is a job opening at a college in Tifton, and that I should take it,” Elad said. “One of my students said that ABAC was a nice place, and that I would like it.” ABAC President Harold Loyd hired her but then had to convince her to stay after she was ready to move to a cooler climate after only a year. “It was so hot that first year that I literally went home every day and closed the door to feel the air conditioning,” Elad said. “Dr. Loyd convinced me to stay, and I am glad that I did. “Being named to this position is a testament to effort and consistency. I have to give a lot of credit to Dr. Tim Marshall. He showed me how to appreciate ABAC in a very special way.” For more information like this, please visit www.abac.edu.

Tech Tips for Dealing With A Long Power Outage

With all the storms that our area has experienced over the last month, every tip we can get will be a great one to use. This tip comes from The Computer Guy. Keeping us safe during the storms and us all staying smart is very important. Thank you, Josh for these great tips. Go see him at the Sylvester Computer Guy if you have any questions. Here are some tips to deal with a long power outage. First, switch your smartphones to low power mode. It may be a pain to keep turning the screen back on when it sleeps, but it will extend the usable time of the device if you have no way to charge it. Second, charge your devices when you can. If you are at work or a friends house, see if you can use their outlets to help you out. This includes your battery backups, which act as supplemental power if they are charged, and you can charge from them as long as they have charge. If you have a battery backup and haven’t tried yet, plug your modem and router into the battery side outlets to see if your internet provider works. If they haven’t been taken down, you’ll be able to use the internet this way even though your main power is still off. Just don’t plug much else into these backups because the batteries won’t last long with higher powered things like TVs or lights plugged into them. Remember, if you don’t have internet access anyway, your laptop can also charge your phone through the usb port to give you more options for keeping that phone going. Turn the brightness down on your screen (or turn it off if you know how) to conserve the laptop battery as you do this. Your best options for light nowadays are LED flashlights, not candles which pose a fire hazard and don’t last as long. So find yours and put some fresh batteries in them in order to have light tonight.

Valentines Day at Worth County Middle School

Worth County Middle School is excited about Valentines but they do have a few instructions for that day. There is a $1 delivery fee for all items to be delivered to students at the school. They will not accept items in glass containers and no exceptions will be made. Please have all items to be delivered to students to the school by 1pm. Please remember all balloons and oversized items will not be allowed on the school bus. Please plan to pick your child up if you send items that are not allowed on the bus. Again no exceptions will be made. Thank you for following all the requests made at the schools. This is only to help keep everyone safe as well as allows everyone to have a great Valentines Day! Again thank you to all the staff at all schools that are helping to keep our children safe. Happy Valentines Day Worth County Middle School.

Valentine Safety for Worth County Schools

Because of safety issues, Worth County School System will regulate the size of an item/Valentine’s Day gift that can be taken on the bus. Items that are large in size or cause visual interference will not be allowed on buses. Items such as balloons and large oversized stuffed animals are examples of things/gifts that will not be allowed on the bus. We in no way wish to discourage you from sending Valentine’s Day gifts to school, but it is important that we keep students safe while at school and while riding the bus. You are more than welcome to send balloons, overstuffed items, etc. but be sure to plan to pick your child up from school on that day. If an item is sent that is not allowed on the bus, we will keep the item/s at the school and you can pick up during school hours of the following school day. Thank you so much for helping us to keep our students and drivers safe! Thank you to the Worth County School System for always keeping our children’s safety your number one priority. The Martin News wishes every staff member and student a very Happy Valentines Day!

Working together to Reduce Chronic Absences

Attending school regularly is essential to students gaining academic and social skills they need to succeed. When your child misses school, they are missing opportunities to learn, socialize, gain confidence, and be inspired. Last year, 28% of WCES students were absent 6-10 days. Many of these absences were potentially preventable, including routine medical or dental checkups, traveling, or just not coming to school. If possible, please schedule your child’s doctor/dental appointments in the late afternoon, or on days we have breaks and teacher work days. Too many absences whether they are excused or unexcused can keep students from succeeding in school and in life. How many are too many? 10% of the school year that’s 18 missed days or 2 days a month can knock students off track. Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, chronic absence missing 10% of the school year can leave third graders unable to read proficiently, sixth graders struggling with coursework and high school students off track or potential dropout for graduation. Attendance/Tardy Protocol: At the Primary, Elementary and Middle school levels, students will be marked absent for 1/2 day if student is out of school for more than 1.5 hours but less than 4 hours. Students will be absent for a whole day if the student is out of school for 4 or more hours. Example #1: If a student checks into school between 9:30 am and 11:59 am, that student is counted absent for 1/2 day. Example #2: Student checks into school tardy at 9:00 am (1 hour late) and then checks out early that afternoon at 2:00 pm (1 hour early) that would equal 1/2 day absent (because a total of 2 hours missed). At all Worth County Schools, students will be considered tardy after 8:00. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the school that your child attends. This a great information provided by Marilyn Herring, Assistant Principal at Worth County Elementary School.