Archive for May 2011
By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
While some graduates of the class of 2011 have no clue what their future may hold, others have a well thought out plan as to what they want their lives to bring. Some students will go to a university and get degrees before entering the workforce, others will go straight into the workforce and there are a few proud students who will enter the military to serve their country.
Eric Cortez and Jonathan Meister are two of those brave students who will spend the next several years of their life serving their country as Marines. Jonathan is the son of Brad and Jeannie Meister; he has a sister named Jessica. Eric is the son of Nancy Torralbas and Rony Cortez; he has a brother, Casey Wiggins, and a sister, Aylin Torralbas. Both boys are 18 years old and will be graduating from Madison County High School on June 3.
Jonathan has already begun his Marines career. He has already taken and passed his ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) and has begun his training. He does workouts at the YMCA in Valdosta several times a week to prepare for basic training. Jonathan also meets with his recruiter and other future Marines from surrounding counties to do IST (Initial Strength Test) Training.
Eric has laid out his future plans to join the Marines and hopes to be able to enlist at the end of this month or early June. He still has to pass his ASVAB test but has also begun his training to prepare for basic training. Eric has spent the last several months preparing his self to become a Marine.
Both boys will have to go through basic training camp before being able to serve fulltime in the Marines. Jonathan leaves for basic training on August 8. Eric hopes to leave for basic training in November at the latest. Basic training is a 13-week program that will test the boy’s physical and mental strength. They will be taught how to handle official military situations. They will also be trained to become stronger, faster and how to become better Marines.
While in basic training, they will have little contact with the outside world. They will be able to write letters, but phone calls will be few and far between. When asked what they will miss most, both boys said their friends and their family. Eric told this reporter, “I’ll definitely miss my family, my friends and my dog.”
When asked what made him decide to join the Marines, Jonathan stated, “I always wanted to be in the military. I want to help my country and travel the world. You never know what the next day will bring, but you know it is always going to be something new and exciting.”
Eric’s response to that question was, “I have always wanted to serve. I just want to be a part of something bigger than myself. I want to know that I served my country well and that I did it with pride and honor.”
At first, the boys planned to join the Air Force together on the buddy system. However, due to Jonathan’s eyesight he was unable to serve for the Air Force. So Jonathan and Eric then decided to join the Marines. The fact that Jonathan passed the ASVAB test before Eric also meant that he would qualify to join the Marines before Eric, so they were unable to join together.
“We are just two small town kids trying to make a difference by going into the service. We are just trying to make our friends, family and community proud,” said Eric.
Slowly walking to the podium at the front of the room, deep breath, those first words coming easily and confidently, wowing the audience…this is the feeling of excellence. Ask anyone who attended the 2011 4-H Tropicana Public Speaking Contest and they will tell you excellence is what they witnessed that day.
The 4-H Tropicana speech contest is an opportunity for youth to gain valuable public speaking skills. This annual contest is a school enrichment project offered through the UF/Madison County Extension 4-H Youth Development program. As with all 4-H programs, there are specific lifeskills targeted in this project including: building self-esteem, communication, planning, organization, and critical thinking. The project is designed to assist teachers in helping their students achieve the required benchmarks in FCAT and other standardized testing. Without the help of our wonderful teachers we would not be able to have such a successful program. Thank you to all of the curriculum coordinators and teachers that are involved in helping these students develop their speeches; you are our driving force.
Dolly Ballard, Heather Futch, and Pat Lightcap performed the difficult task of judging the speeches of these inspiring students. Before the awards ceremony, the judges congratulated each of the competitors on a job well done and gave them general tips on improving their public speaking skills. Each of the judges encouraged the students to continue developing their speaking skills while reminding them how important this lifeskill will be to them as an adult.
In the fourth grade division: 1st Place- Ashonee Anthony “My First Day at Greenville Elementary School” from Greenville Elementary; 2nd Place- Journey Aust “Kids Can Make A Difference” from Pinetta Elementary; 3rd Place- Claire Maultsby “My Sister and Her Cancer” from Madison Academy; Honorable Mention went to Chyna Frazier “My Family and Me” from Madison County Central School.
In the fifth grade division: 1st Place- Hannah Zimmerly “Childhood Obesity” from Madison Academy; 2nd Place- Ahmod Powell “My Life as a Farmer” from Greenville Elementary; 3rd Place- Callie Henderson “The Fur Coat Animal” from Lee Elementary; Honorable Mention went to Denetra Lee “The Steps for Becoming an Actress” from Madison County Central School.
In the 6th grade division: 1st Place- Tyler Burnett “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” from Madison County Central School; 2nd Place- Summer Langell “In the Blink of an Eye” from Madison Academy; 3rd Place- Kaitlyn Kinsey “My Brother Levi” from New Testament Christian Academy; Honorable Mention went to Tru’vell McNealy from LATMA.
Congratulations to each of our winners at the classroom, school, and county levels!
By: Becky V. Bennett
4-H Youth Development Agent
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity—Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A.&M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating.
Lisa Barden, Marie Guest and Kim Halfhill receive NFCC’s “Above and Beyond Award”
North Florida Community College employees gathered in the courtyard of the NFCC Walter L. Bishop Administration Building April 26 for the NFCC Courtyard Party. The gathering honors all NFCC employees for their contributions to the college, recognizes NFCC’s Above and Beyond award recipients and honors employees for years of service to NFCC.
Three NFCC employees were selected to receive NFCC’s Above and Beyond Award for 2010-2011 – Lisa Barden of Madison County, Marie Guest of Lake Park, Ga., and Kim Halfhill of Madison. Barden is an art instructor at NFCC. She also coordinates the NFCC Hardee Center for the Arts and is advisor to the NFCC Art Club.
Guest is a business and digital media instructor at NFCC, serves as Department Chair of Social Science, Business, Education, and Computer Science for the college, and is an advisor to the NFCC Business Club.
Kim Halfhill is Director of Student Services at NFCC and is advisor to NFCC’s Student Government Association (SGA). The Above and Beyond awards are given each year to NFCC employees, staff and faculty members, who go above the call of their regular jobs to assist students, to assist their colleagues or to benefit the college.
Fifteen employees received service awards from NFCC recognizing years of service ranging from five years to 25 years. They are:
25 Years: Doug Brown (Madison County); Margie Phillips (Madison County); and Kathy Smith (Madison County).
20 Years: Cissy Adleburg (Madison County); Cindy Gaylard (Madison County); and Karen Surles (Madison County).
10 Years: Betty Starling (Madison County) and Annette Thornton (Madison County).
Five Years: Denise Bell (Suwannee County); Tammy Horne (Madison County); Skip James (Madison County); Phillip Taylor (Madison County); Susan Taylor (Jefferson County); Wesley Thompson (Madison County); and Margaret Wilkerson (Madison County).
Thirteen employees received special recognition for professional achievement. The awards were given in honor of employees completing degrees, publishing works, and serving on state and national boards among other things. Those honored include Jefferson County residents Bonnie Littlefield and Susan Taylor; Lake City, resident Efrain Bonilla; and Madison County residents, Debbie Bass, Vickie Bossé, Doug Brown, Amy Ellison, Kathy Fields, Skip James, Rose Knox, Tara Orlowski, Julie Townsend and Julie Walden.
Retiring foreign languages instructor Rosie Leparulo was also honored during the ceremony. Leparulo, a resident of Tallahassee, began teaching at NFCC in 1987 and built a very impressive career that spans more than two decades.
For more information contact College Advancement at (850) 973-1653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
In the park, now commonly known as Four Freedoms Park, an old-timer looks out and surveys visitors to the serene park, as well as traffic along the highway. He is an old Confederate solder, nicknamed by many “the General.”
The monument itself has a rich and storied history, being the first monument ever put in the park that bore the name Confederate Memorial Park,
Memorial Day has deep roots in Confederate Memorial Day. In 1866, southern states began celebrating their own memorial days, with dates ranging from April 26 to the middle of June. By 1916, the birthday of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America, became a holiday in 10 southern states.
The earliest observances of Confederate Memorial Day were somber as veterans and their families marked the occasion and remembered those who had fallen. The War Between the States was the costliest in history as far as American lives were concerned. But who can put a cost on a human life?
In 1868, flowers were placed on the graves of both Confederate and Union dead at Arlington National Cemetery.
According to the web site www.usmemorialday.org: “Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890, it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.”
The General will be looking down from his perch on Monday, May 30, as Memorial Day is observed at the Four Freedoms Gazebo in the park in Madison. George Willis, a World War II veteran, will be the speaker. The observance will begin at 11 a.m.
By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
“Did you ever wonder about the life of a tree; if trees could see; what would it be? The passage of time, our history! A unique tree we especially chose, an oak tree so named for Carolyn Rowe. Now first we had to determine its age, a tree so humongous – how could we gauge? To the computer we went to Google a site, and lo and behold it gave an answer so right. Measure circumference in centimeters 1.5 meters from the ground, circumference we remember is the distance around. With meter sticks and string we headed to that tree, and measured and re-measured not once, twice, but times three. From there we divided that number by 2.5 and discovered the age of that tree – sakes alive! 602 centimeters the circumference of that oak, so 241 years was the age…that’s no joke!” Willa Branham wrote this poem for the Arbor Day project at Madison Academy.
In honor of Arbor Day, the students and staff at Madison Academy decided to determine the age of the oak tree in the front of their school. Arbor Day is nationally celebrated holiday where people are encouraged to plant or care for trees and other plants. The oak in front of the Academy has been dedicated to the past Head-of-School, Mrs. Carolyn Rowe.
The students were taught how to calculate the age of a tree. There were a lot of measurements and calculations that had to be figured out before the students could come up with an exact number. The tree in front of Madison Academy, after many calculations, was found to be around 241 years old.
After determining the trees age, the students researched the history of Florida and some of the historic events that that tree has stood tall during.
In honor of Arbor Day, the students were also asked about their favorite seasons, encouraged to write tree-honoring poems and to draw pictures of trees. Some of the classes also did a project on the life processes of a tree, from the time it is planted, until it is full grown.
To see a video put together by the Madison Academy on the history of Florida and the Carolyn Rowe tree visit www.greenepublishing.com.
New Macedonia Baptist Church will present a “Memorial Day” evening service beginning at 6:00 p.m. May 29th, the focus will be on a program started by Michael G. Reagan, Portrait Artist, former Marine from Edmonds Washington, The Fallen Heroes Project provides the resources to produce and distribute “free of charge” hand drawn portraits to the families of all soliders killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The portraits are intended to show the love and respect to all of the FALLEN HEROES in this war. Local volunters from Tallahassee will be presenting a two part Memorial Day/Fallen Heroes Project Presentation on Sunday Evening May 29, 2011 starting at 6:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend. The church is located on US Highway 221, about 3 miles South of exit 241 off of I-10, the church will be located on the right side of 221.
Due to Monday being Memorial Day and a holiday for Madison County Schools, the School Board’s Town Hall meeting scheduled for May 30 in Pinetta has been changed to June 13 at 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. in the Pinetta Elementary School Cafeteria.
By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Madison County School Superintendent Lou Miller has announced that the Madison County School Board will host town hall meetings in four communities to discuss upcoming budget reductions.
Each meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and end at 6:30 p.m. All meetings will be held in school cafeterias.
The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 31, at Greenville Elementary School.
On Wednesday, June 1, a town hall meeting will be held at Madison County Central School. This meeting will be for parents at the Central School, Excel School and Madison County High School.
The next town hall meeting will be on Monday, June 6, at Lee Elementary School.
The School Board’s Town Hall meeting scheduled for May 30 in Pinetta has been changed to Monday, June 13 from 5- 6:30 p.m. in the Pinetta Elementary School Cafeteria.
The meetings will be open School Board meetings and are designed to give citizens a chance to offer suggestions and input to the board members about budget cuts.
Everyone is invited to come and offer their support during this difficult budget season.