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Perry, Stewart-Stanley to split county admin duties
  • Updated

Two top-level directors will fulfill the duties of county administrator, the Board of Commissioners announced during Tuesday’s meeting.

The BOC also voted unanimously to give the two directors supplemental pay while performing the duties.

County Administrator Sharon Subadan resigned last month, which created the opening.

Frederick Perry, deputy county administrator, and Tiffany Stewart-Stanley, assistant county administrator, will share the day-to-day duties.

Both will receive an extra $1,538.46 a month or $769.23 per pay period.

In August, the BOC voted in favor of a restructuring plan by Subadan to go from 25 department and agency directors reporting directly to her to 11 direct reports.

Both Perry and Stewart-Stanley were part of the restructuring effort and received big pay raises.

The county handed out nearly $200,000 in raises to eight employees last year as part of the restructuring effort by Subadan.

Both Perry and Stewart-Stanley make $140,000 each.

Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones called it a “budget neutral” move since Subadan is no longer employed by the county.

However, in her resignation letter, Subadan requested that the county pay her for six months, citing a clause in her contract.

A county spokesperson didn’t respond immediately to a message from the Sentinel seeking the status of Subadan’s request.

In other action taken by the BOC on Tuesday:

• LaTonya Ammons was hired as the county’s new procurement director. She comes from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and replaces Dawn Evers.

• Tarenia Carthan was elected vice-chair of the BOC for the 2023-24 terms, pending her re-election as a commissioner. She will fill the position currently held by District 2 Commissioner Kelly Robinson, who will serve his last term as vice-chair this year.


Local
Yolanda Pate hoping to inspire ‘next generation’ of engineers
  • Updated

Even after returning to Douglasville a couple days later, Yolanda Pate was still getting over the excitement of participating in the Rose Parade.

Pate was one of four Honda women leaders aboard Honda’s ‘Believe and Achieve!’ Rose Parade float on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, Calif.

It was part of Honda’s effort to celebrate STEAM education and honor the corporation’s leaders.

“I’m still reeling from that experience,” Pate said. “I’ve been pinching myself to see if it was real. There was so much energy and excitement.”

Pate left on Dec. 30 and had a chance to review the float a day before New Year’s Day parade.

For Pate, it was a chance of a lifetime to participate in one of the nation’s most prestigious parades.

“It was more than what I expected,” Pate said. “It was such a big deal the way the community supports it. It was a much bigger deal than I thought.”

It was the second time that Pate has been chosen by Honda to represent its STEAM education efforts.

She presented an award at halftime of an Alabama Crimson Tide football game this fall.

Pate is serving as a role model for the next generation of individuals who choose to go to work in the automotive industry.

Despite women making up nearly half of the country’s workforce, only 27% of them work in STEM fields, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Pate would like to change those statistics.

The Ohio native has worked for Honda for 25 years, and has worked at the Lincoln, Ala., plant since 2011. She has lived in Douglas County since 2011, and makes the hour and 15 minute commute to work.

“The time driving back from work gives me an opportunity to decompress,” she said. “I pop in an audio book. It is really not that big of a commute.”

While in high school, Pate wasn’t sure what she was going to do. Her mother was a social worker, and Pate didn’t know much about the engineering field.

It wasn’t until she met an African-American female engineer during an internship while attending Ohio University that she became interested in the field.

“I was always good a math and science, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with it,” Pate said. “I’m hoping to open the awareness for others in the field. I want to inspire young girls and the next generation.”


Local
This is Douglas: Holly Springs fourth-grader publishes 'The Missing Letter'
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For most educators, students who embrace reading and writing from early-on is something they welcome. Douglasville fourth-grader Zuri English is just that type of student, but beyond that, she doesn’t just read and write, she’s also published a book on Amazon.

The book titled “The Missing Letter” takes children on a whimsical journey of locating one letter of the alphabet that suddenly went missing.

“Letter C has gone missing and all her letter friends are searching frantically to find her. In a colorful game of hide ‘n seek, the letter friends make many amazing discoveries. Learn new sounds, words, and letters as we search for Letter C!” according to the book’s description on Amazon.com.

Zuri originally wrote the story “The Missing Letter” while in kindergarten at Holly Springs Elementary School in the spring of 2018. Her teacher at the time submitted the story to a writing competition.

Zuri subsequently won First Place for the DCSS Young Georgia Authors — Kindergarten and Second Place for the Metro RESA Young Georgia Author Award.

With some help from parents Tyrico and N’Jere, they paired the story with illustrations and were able to have the book published. The illustrations were created by Whimsical Designs by CJ. The book was published by Scribe Tribe Publishing.

The book uses colorful scenes and cartoon-like characters to encourage students to practice sight words, color words and beginning reading skills. The Missing Letter, was officially released in 2021.

According to Zuri’s bio information posted at amazon.com.

“Zuri is a talented 9-year-old author who resides in Georgia. Her writing goal is to translate her creative ideas and imagery into stories that all kids will enjoy reading as much as she does! She began reading at an early age and quickly developed a love for writing her own stories. She was inspired to write the award-winning story, “The Missing Letter” when she was only a kindergartener! When Zuri isn’t writing, she enjoys gymnastics, drawing, painting, and lots and lots of reading!”

Tyrico and N’Jere, who responded by email, said the school has always celebrated the educational achievements of their students.

“The principal, staff, teachers and students were very excited and supportive. Many of the teachers remember when she wrote the story and won the award and were just as excited to see the book come to fruition.”

Minda Trexler, principal at Holly Springs Elementary, also responded by email to a request for comment.

“Kerry Harbin, our media specialist, notified the staff of Zuri’s amazing accomplishment and it came as no surprise,” Trexler said. “It’s our intention to spotlight Zuri’s work in January, by having her read to students, much like we do with other authors who visit our media center. Of course, as her very proud principal, I immediately asked Zuri if she would autograph my copy when it came in from Amazon!”

“Zuri loves reading, writing and drawing and hopes to one day become an artist. She hopes that everyone enjoys reading the story as much as she enjoyed writing it!” said Tyrico and N’Jere.

Zuri’s Facebook page is ZLoves2Write.


Local
State expanding personal finance education for high school students
  • Updated

Students will soon get to learn more about managing their personal finances because of revisions to economics courses.

The state Board of Education approved the revisions to high school economics courses that expand into the personal finance portion of the curriculum.

“Personal finance is an important area of study that helps provide students with the knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively,” said Mandy Johnson, executive director of College and Career Programs for the Douglas County School System.

The courses will call for students to learn more about managing budgets, building credit, protecting against identity theft and understanding tax forms, student loan applications and pay stubs.

Douglas County Schools Superintendent Trent North said the school board had been discussing ways to incorporate personal finance concepts in the students’ curriculum.

“Board members recognize the value of financial literacy in today’s world,” North said. “Now we are all excited to see these changes successfully implemented in our economics curriculum. With these changes, our students will have the opportunity to impact their communities and financial futures.”

State School Superintendent Richard Woods, who proposed the changes, agreed.

“I strongly believe education is about preparing students for life,” Woods said. “This revised course will ensure that every Georgia high school student will learn essential life skills like managing a budget, filing taxes, and using credit responsibly, while also gaining an understanding and appreciation of free market principles.’

A committee of content-area teachers and finance industry experts helped developed the courses. They also received public comment to get input from teachers, parents and students.

The curriculum changes will take effect during the 2022-23 school year.

Johnson said the new revisions will represent about 51% of the economics course.

“The newly approved revisions will give Douglas County students a better foundation for financial decisions after high school,” Johnson said. “These financial decisions are significant and prepare them for a lifetime of economic well-being.”

Capitol Beat News Service contributed to this article.


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