The Richmond County School System is pleased to announce that Paul Schwertfeger, a senior and honor graduate from Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School, was recently presented with the 2019 Georgia Department of Education Award of Excellence. Paul was selected as the only finalist for Region 10 which includes 12 school systems and 2 charter schools! Paul received his Student Success Award from the state School Superintendent, Mr. Richard Woods, at a reception on May 7th . He was chosen from among thousands of students because of his outstanding academic, employment, and extracurricular accomplishments. We wish Paul the best as he begins his post-secondary journey!
State School Superintendent Richard Woods recently announced the 2019 Georgia Scholars, and Davidson had nine seniors awarded this distinction. Through the Georgia Scholar program, the Georgia Department of Education identifies and honors high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life—carried exemplary course loads, performed excellently in all courses, successfully participated in interscholastic events, and assumed active roles in extracurricular activities. Davidson’s 2019 Georgia Scholars are: Mia Brewster, William Cawthon, Reid Fly, Anna McCabe, John McDonough, Matthew Morgan, Connor Talley, Sarah Strickland, and Stanny Zaw. “The 2019 Georgia Scholars exemplify our mission of educating the whole child,” Superintendent Woods said. “They are well-rounded students who have engaged with a wide array of educational opportunities—from traditional classroom learning to community service. I congratulate each of these students and wish them well as they embark on their next steps after high school.”
Secondly, Davidson senior Jenifer Silva Arreola earned the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy from the Georgia Department of Education. This highly sought seal is awarded to eligible seniors who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. Jenifer maintained a 3.0 or higher in all of her language classes and passed the AP Spanish exam! ¡Felicidades!
Last, but not least, Reid Fly and Kaiwen Wang will receive National Merit Scholarships for high achievement in PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index Scores. Of the 1.6 million entrants from across the United States, only 7,500 students are chosen! We celebrate your academic talents!
The RCSS celebrates our compassionate and loving school nurses! We appreciate everything you do as you take care of our students and staff. Special congratulations go to our 2019 School Nurse of the Year, Ms. Hattie Williams! Ms. Williams always has a smile on her face and takes care of her students in a professional and loving manner. Keep up the good work, and be reminded that your students appreciate you, your time, and your efforts!
Richmond County’s Media Specialist of the Year, Mrs. Rachel Blakeney from C.T. Walker Magnet School, has been named the 2019 Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year for East Georgia. In June, at the Georgia Library Media Association’s Summer institute, Rachel will receive her award and hopefully be named the State Media Specialist of the Year!
The RCSS is privileged to have such an amazing and knowledgeable educator. Rachel goes above and beyond when serving students, teachers, and faculty; the C.T. Walker media center is always inviting and bustling—lots of researching, reading, and discovering!
When asked about her teaching philosophy, Rachel states, “As a K‒8 media specialist, I have the opportunity to offer students the greatest gift of all, a passion for reading. I love being able to help my students foster a love for reading and prepare them to be life-long users of ideas and information through utilizing technology and research.” Rachel goes on to say, “I enjoy working collaboratively with teachers and providing resources and lessons to support the curriculum. I love sharing my passions of reading and technology with my C.T. Walker family every day.”
April is World Autism Awareness Month and the Richmond County School System is celebrating the individuality and uniqueness of all students! To kick off the month-long recognition and bring about awareness of autism, the Diamond Lakes Mime Team performed a series of routines and Langford Middle School held an autism awareness walk and a balloon release to recognize and celebrate their students with autism. Many students throughout our system are also wearing blue—the official color of Autism Speaks and a symbol of acceptance. Thanks to the Diamonds and the Lions for sharing these special events with us and for advocating for all students with special needs!
To show off the amazing work of our AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students and teachers, Rollins Elementary School and Butler High School recently hosted AVID Showcases. AVID is a multi-state initiative used to help underachieving students with high academic potential, prepare for post-secondary education through engaging, rigorous, and student-centered learning environments. A strong AVID system transforms the instruction, systems, leadership, and culture of schools, ensures college readiness, and improves academic performance for all students.
Our K-12 AVID schools are on the road to success!
The Richmond County School System celebrated Black History Month in the biggest of ways! Through art shows, plays, musicals, guest speakers, wax museums, programs, and murals, all of our students were able to celebrate and be inspired by artists, scientists, doctors, politicians, and many other notable black figures from the past and the present.
We hope you enjoy these photos of events from all over the system.
Dr. Thomas Walter Josey was dedicated to Augusta and his community. He received his primary education through the Hains Institute, a private school for African American children located in downtown Augusta. Josey continued his education at Atlanta University, and then Howard University’s College of Medicine, from which he received his Medical Doctorate in 1911.
Dr. Josey practiced medicine in Wisconsin before returning to his hometown of Augusta, where he practiced for an additional 43 years. Josey was active in the Augusta community; he served as president of the Stoney Medical Dental and Pharmaceutical Association, vice president of the Georgia State Medical Association, director of the Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Company, and he was a member of the Board of Management for the YMCA.
Dr. Josey worked tirelessly to lend a hand as an inspirational figure, religious teacher, friend, and citizen. The Richmond County School System is proud to honor this fine man who devoted his life to community service.
Dr. Charles Thomas Walker was born into slavery in 1858. His father died the day before he was born, and his mother died in 1866, just one year after the 13th Amendment was ratified. Despite the challenges of his childhood, C.T. Walker was determined to rise above his circumstances and use religion and education to etch out a legacy for many generations. At 15, Mr. Walker was baptized and shortly after, enrolled in the Augusta Theological Institute, housed in the basement of Springfield Baptist Church—one of the oldest Baptist Churches in the United States. After many financial hardships, Dr. Walker, at age 18, was licensed to preach. It was just a few years later that Reverend Walker became the minister of modern day Tabernacle Baptist Church which is located on his namesake, Laney-Walker Blvd. During this time, C.T. Walker also began traveling around the world.
Reverend Walker’s powerful pulpit messages were heard by black and white believers from all over the country; William Taft and John D. Rockefeller were amongst congregations that would travel to Augusta to hear his words of unity and inclusion. In 1900, Dr. Walker moved to New York City and pastored Mt. Olivet Baptist Church; under his leadership, it became the largest black church in the U.S.
RCSS honors Reverend C.T. Walker for his efforts toward unity and equality. C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School stands as a reminder of his dedication to ideals that are etched into the minds of thousands.
Lucy C. Laney’s legacy is far-reaching. As a teacher and principal, she touched the lives of thousands of children and adults in Augusta. Despite being born to former slaves, Ms.Laney was taught to read by her mother at a young age. It was this love of reading that guided her into education; at only 15, she began college at Atlanta University and a teaching career shortly after. In the late 1880s, after teaching for several years, Lucy Laney opened a liberal arts school for African-American students; this school—Haines Normal and Industrial Institute—would be one of the first to offer kindergarten classes and vocational training for black children in the South. Shortly after, Ms.Laney also opened a training center so black women could train as nurses. The Richmond County School System is proud to be connected to such a fine woman and educator!
Another day of “Excellence” for RCSS! Congressman Rick Allen visited the Cyber Academy of Excellence at the Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School today to discuss the cyber program and its potential impact on Augusta, Georgia, and the nation. After a brief presentation by CTAE staff members, Mr. Allen engaged with several Cyber Academy students to learn about the opportunities available to them while they are still in high school. One student shared her story of using her cyber knowledge and skills to be chosen for an internship that has turned into full-time employment with Unisys. Other students shared stories of being dual enrolled at Augusta Technical College and receiving state and national cyber certifications. Students were also able to showcase their skills through a variety of cyber simulation exercises.
RCSS thanks Congressman Allen for his visit and encouraging words! We are excited to see our cyber students pushing their limits and achieving their goals.
The Richmond County School System sends a warm congratulations to our 2019 Winter Graduates! Friday night, students from several of our schools received their high school diplomas. We are also proud of parents who received their GED’s via the Parent University Program. Through this ceremony, the honored were able to reflect on their astounding achievements and dedication. In addition to the graduation ceremony, students from RPM (Reaching Potential through Manufacturing), celebrated their continuous efforts over brunch and gifts; students were also able to share their experiences with school board members, Richmond County staff, local community members, and families and friends.
We are proud to see all of these graduates enter the college/career world ready to begin new endeavors!
How do you spell WINNERS? Today, students from several schools in Richmond County participated in the annual Spelling Bee. After several intense rounds, the following students were recognized for their outstanding spelling and vocabulary skills:
County Spelling Bee Champion: Alexander Mitchell, Hains Elementary School
1st Runner-Up: Raeleigh Berry, Freedom Park K-8 School
Elementary Winner: Alexander Mitchell, Hains Elementary School
1st Runner-Up: Adarion Johnson, Meadowbrook Elementary School
2nd Runner-Up: Kylie Scales, Monte Sano Elementary School
Middle Winner: Raeleigh Berry, Freedom Park K-8 School
1st Runner-Up: Kian Sheridan, Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School
2nd Runner-Up: Ne’Keyah Shinholster, Langford Middle School
Congratulations to all students that participated in the competition!
Fourth grade students at Diamond Lakes Elementary School put their coding skill sets to work to complete an interactive coding assignment and received a sweet prize. After the winter break, students will go on to learn about robotics and gaming.
“My students mean the world to me and if Coding with the Grinch, green popcorn, and green juice gets them excited about learning, well I think room 302 has learned to change the Grinch's Heart and our students mindsets as well!”
-Mrs. Mills, Technology Instructor
Freedom Park School and C.T. Walker Magnet School participated in an intense and exciting Chess Competition this week. The competition was held at Freedom Park School which is located on Fort Gordon. This is the second year the schools competed and organizers hope to continue the tradition and include more schools next year. While both schools presented first-rate teams, the title goes to the Walker Wildcats! Keep playing and having fun!
Students and parents from A. Brian Merry and Wilkinson Gardens visited Gay’s Christmas Tree Farm in South Augusta to learn about tree cultivation. To add to the festive mood, students went on a thrilling hayride around the farm and shared hot cocoa and snacks. What a jolly time!
We want to congratulate Mrs. Crystal Jewel Crawford, Ed.S., a teacher at the Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School, for being named one of Georgia Trend magazine’s 40 Under 40 for 2018. This honor celebrates some of the most inspiring leaders under the age of 40 throughout Georgia, and Mrs. Crawford’s career and accomplishments made her a perfect recipient from a pool of more than 300 nominations! For 10 years, Mrs. Crawford has been teaching a variety of subjects to include social studies and business education. She also mentors other educators and is a department chair, school-council secretary, and National Honor Society advisor.
To read the full feature in Georgia Trend, please click here.
State School Superintendent, Richard Woods, visited Butler High School Wednesday, October 24th to visit with students and hear about their positive experiences with the AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination).
The highlight of the tour was Mr. Woods interviewing a panel of students to hear about the benefits of AVID; when Einnaja Brown was asked by Mr. Woods how the program has helped her, she quickly responded, “AVID has taught me self-discipline and inspired me to be something in life!” Corrie Winston, another participant and student athlete, responded, “AVID has taught me to work as part of a team.” Mr. Woods was inspired by the student panel and pleased to see how the AVID program “started small, and now the students are ambassadors and have the discipline, motivation, and commitment to change lives.” School board members, Dr. Pringle and district leadership were also present for the visit which highlighted the positive programs Butler’s cluster schools have implemented to improve school culture and performance.
The Richmond County School System is committed to building a world-class school system through education, collaboration, and innovation. Please click the link for a digital copy of our 2019-2020 School Options Guide which outlines our school choice options, specialized programs, and dedicated magnet schools.
Ms. Samantha Booker from Deer Chase Elementary School, was named the Richmond County School System 2019 Teacher of the Year at the Teacher of the Year banquet on October 4, 2018.
“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” Ms. Samantha Booker’s personal belief about teaching is that all children deserve an environment that promotes growth and learning, just as the flower that requires sunlight and water. Congratulations to Ms. Booker and Deer Chase Elementary!