December 7, 2021

December at HCES Typifies First Semester

(Franklin, GA) — The teachers at Heard County Elementary School were given the motto of “Teach, Love, Inspire” at the start of the 2018-19 school year. The goal of the motto was to refocus the entire school community.

“It is so easy to lose what is truly important under the pressure of standardized test scores,” claims Paul Mixon, principal at Heard County Elementary School. “We wanted to make sure we were focused on the whole child and giving our students a vision of what their future could look like.”

The month of December at Heard County Elementary School typifies this new focus.

As part of the renewed focus on providing students new opportunities, HCES created a competitive robotics team under the leadership of Kelly Atkins, a fourth grade teacher.

The team competed in the Lego Robotics League, which introduces young people ages 9 to 14 to the fun and excitement of science and technology while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.

Team members include Kole Baldwin, Makyn Childers, Blalock Eskew, Bradford Hadley, Antonio Heath, Hunter Huey, Lincoln Hunter, Austin McEntyre, Logan Parmer, and Kaleb Skinner.

The 2018-2019 Heard County Elementary School Robotics Team (Photo: HCES)

During the regional competition on December 1, the HCES team placed in the top handful of teams (out of seventeen total teams) and advanced to the Columbus State University super-regional.

“Our young men represented Heard County so well…on the judges sheets were numerous comments about how well they worked together and how respectful they were,” stated Atkins. “They received perfect scores in the category of “Gracious Professionalism,” which is a very big deal in their first ever program.”

During the week of December 3-7, the HCES Parent /Teacher Organization operated a Santa Shop where students could buy presents for family members and friends. The entire operation was manned by PTO volunteers and the proceeds will be used by the Heard County Elementary School PTO to support the mission of the school.

“While we raised a significant amount,” said PTO president Sarah Crofts. “We were able to provide students with presents for loved ones and even included gift wrapping.”

Heard County Elementary School participated in their first technology competition in recent memory on December 14. Nine HCES teams/individuals won their competition and therefore earned a spot to the regional competition in Newnan on January 18.

HCES winners include Allie Brown (3rd/4th Grade Animation), Makyn Childers (5th/6th Grade Animation), Ben Pike and Mack Googe (5th/6th Grade Digital Game Design), Madi Curbow and Lilla Janney (3rd/4th Grade Graphic Design), Charles Mixon and John Pierre Mixon (3rd/4th Grade Video Production), Anson Ahlstrom and Joshua Janney (3rd/4th Grade Multimedia Applications), Gabriel O’Reilly and Christian Gentry (3rd/4th Grade Robotics), Lexa Ogles (3rd/4th Grade Internet Applications), and Jay Barnes and Brett Prichard (5th/6th Grade Device Modification).

The fine arts have not been left out at Heard County Elementary School, with the creation of a drama program and an expansion of the existing music program. Both occurred due to faculty members who donated their time to create these opportunities.

The brainchild of Karissa Chamblin, a fifth grade teacher, the drama club presented their first performance, “Christmas at the O.K. Corral,” on December 6.

The musical incorporated more than forty students who either performed, worked on set design, or helped with set up and logistics. Art teacher Debbie Cole helped with set design and reading teacher Karen Pollard assisted Mrs. Chamblin.

A kindergarten through second grade choral concert preceded the play, and third through fifth graders performed a Christmas concert following the play. These concerts were led by new music teacher Tyson Askew.

“There is no doubt that Mr. Askew has ignited a love of music in our students,” says Mixon. “There is a renewed excitement in music among our students and we are looking forward to even greater growth in our system’s music program in years to come.”

Additionally, Heard County Elementary School announced its 2018-19 Academic Bowl Team in December.

Sponsored by fourth grade teacher Sherry Phillips and HEP teacher Loretta Shaw, the team includes Ethan Brumbeloe, Clayton Collier, Mack Googe, Abby Hampson, Cason Holtzclaw, Molly Moreland, Pope Phillips, Ben Pike, and Ben Schory. The team will begin competition on January 10 at Moreland Elementary School in Coweta County.

On February 28, HCES will host the finals, which will include sixteen teams from elementary schools across the West Georgia area.

The spirit of the season shined bright at Heard County Elementary School in December, as the community, the faculty, and the students were willing to put others first.

On December 16, Lavonia Garrett, Angie Mock, and Johnny Mock drove a truck loaded with toys, school supplies, and personal items down to Florida and donated them to the Port Saint Joe School System that was hit hard by Hurricane Michael. The toys and supplies were donated by students and faculty, and provided much needed relief and Christmas joy to the devastated area.

Additionally, HCES participated in the Shop-with-a-Cop event that was held on December 14. At this event, K-12 special needs students from Heard County were given the opportunity to spend $150 per student at the Target in Carrollton, while being escorted by a law enforcement officer.

This event would not have been possible without the following sponsors: Adams Clearing and Grading, Town of Centralhatchee, Mike and Barbie Crockett, Centralhatchee Pkwy Baptist Church, Rite-Made Fabrication, Mud Creek Graphics, Brandon and Alison Dearth, Joel Upchurch, REMAX, Hometown Pizza, Callaway Family, Que Shack, Coweta-Fayette EMC, Mattingly Restaurant Management, Carrollton Police Department, Heard County Police Department, Heard County Sheriff Department, Franklin Police Department, and the Georgia State Patrol.

Heard County Elementary School ended the month of December with a family style Christmas luncheon on December 18. The gym was filled with tables and chairs and adorned with holiday decorations.

Cafeteria manager Livia Segraves and the cafeteria staff prepared and served over 1,100 meals that included ham, dressing and gravy, green beans, corn,  cranberry sauce, yeast roll, and a peach cobbler for dessert.

Throw in a professional Pogo jumping show, a holiday dance, a visit from Santa Claus, and a Polar Express Day, and the month of December typified the exciting culture being created at Heard County Elementary School.

For additional information and photos from HCES visit Heard County Elementary School on Facebook.

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