MS. OLIVIA JOHNSON THRILLS AUDIENCE AT WELCOME BACK CELEBRATION OF SUMTER COUNTY SCHOOLS
WELCOME BACK CELEBRATION SHARES "A NEW BEGINNING" IN SUMTER COUNTY SCHOOLS Wednesday, July 27, 2011, could have been a day for "sleeping in" and enjoying the relaxation of spring. Instead, the gymnasium of Sumter County Primary was filled with excitement for the first day back for teachers. "This Welcome Back Celebration was a great day! The New Beginning continued as Mr. Matthew Cullifer led the hour long program with laughter and welcoming remarks," said Superintendent Dr. Roy Brooks.
The pace of the program was set as the Americus-Sumter High School South Campus band entered the gym and presented lively music. The presentation of the colors by the JROTC of South Campus followed. Ms. Lacey Watford, a student at South Campus, stepped from the band and led the assembly in the Pledge to the American Flag. Next, young vocal star, Ms. Olivia Johnson, a student at Staley Middle School, shared an acapella presentation of "The Star Spangled Banner." Her rendition was met with thunderous applause from the audience.
The varsity cheerleaders continued the excitement of the morning with a welcome and "wake up" cheer. A graduate of Americus High School, Rev. Keith Wishum, Minister of the Church of Christ, quieted the gathering with his well wishes and morning Invocation. Mr. Barry Blount, Mayor of Americus and also a graduate of Americus High School, approached the podium to assure teachers and staff of continued support from himself and the City Council of Americus. Mrs. Angela Westra, an outspoken educational advocate and Chair of the Americus-Sumter Chamber of Commerce, reminded teachers and administrators of the importance of a well-prepared graduate work force in Americus. "The Chamber of Commerce and the City of Americus depend on educational excellence. Thanks for the work you do," said Westra.
Mr. Cullifer then presented Mrs. Nora Carter, the current Teacher of the Year for Sumter County Schools. Before the popular and exciting roll call and cheering of each school and department, Sumter County Board of Education Chair, Mrs. Edith Ann Green, approached the stage with other present board members, Mrs. Carolyn Whitehead, Vice-Chair of the Board and Mrs. Meda Krenson.
As the celebration neared the one-hour completion deadline set by Dr. Brooks, he shared his VISION FOR SUMTER COUNTY SCHOOLS, with the educators. "Indeed, today is 'A New Beginning' in Sumter County Schools. The excitement you have demonstrated and witnessed today is an indicator of the coming school year. I am here for you! I return phone calls and respond to email messages within 24 hours. If I can help any of you make this "A New Beginning" and our school district become one of the 'highest achieving rural school districts in Georgia,' please let me know," said Dr. Brooks.
Here with Dr. Brooks is Staley student, Ms. Olivia Johnson. Her vocal celebration of "The Star Spangled Banner" stirred board members, administrators, teachers and staff at the Welcome Back Celebration of 2011-2012.