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Newton schools honor Board of Education members

From left to right, standing; NCSS Board of Education members Shakila Henderson-Baker, Jeff Meadors, Almond Turner, Eddie Johnson, Abigail Coggin and Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey (seated) are celebrating Georgia’s School Board Appreciation Week from Mar. 17 to 21. (Special photo)

From left to right, standing; NCSS Board of Education members Shakila Henderson-Baker, Jeff Meadors, Almond Turner, Eddie Johnson, Abigail Coggin and Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey (seated) are celebrating Georgia’s School Board Appreciation Week from Mar. 17 to 21. (Special photo)

COVINGTON – Along with other boards of education across the state this week, the Newton County School System is celebrating Georgia’s School Board Appreciation Week — a week meant to honor and recognize the contributions of local school boards.

School board members are considered constitutional officers of Georgia, which means they are responsible for setting education policies, providing buildings and equipment, employing school personnel, operating a transportation system and expending school funds.

Almond Turner is currently the longest-serving BOE member having served 17 years on the NCSS board, while Eddie Johnson has spent five years on the BOE. Chairwoman Shakila Henderson-Baker, Jeff Meadors and Abigail Coggin have all served three years as board members for NCSS.

“Citizens elect board members to represent the community’s voice on education matters and to set the vision for the school district,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “Our board spends countless hours fulfilling its responsibilities and working together to continually improve our education system. As the men and women citizens elect to represent them in education matters, local school boards represent a continuing commitment to local citizen control and decision-making in education.”

Students from various schools throughout the Newton system made hand-written letters for the BOE to thank them for their efforts. At the regular meeting on Tuesday night, Henderson-Baker read a few of the letters aloud.

One student’s letter to the board read, “I am 8 years old and I just want to say thank you for giving your time to us for our school, but I would like more time for recess.”

Another student was so thankful to the board that they thought the BOE should receive a $100,000 check — a check that they configured on their own with the construction paper and art supplies at hand.

A student from the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett wrote a letter which stated, “I appreciate that you accepted me into the school and you gave us winter break, even if you added three days to the end of the school year. I thank you for all the technology and good teachers. I thank you for everything you do for us, and you deserve a salary and a blue ribbon.”

This student remained steadfast to their last statement, giving the BOE a check for $100,000.64 and the aforementioned blue ribbon.

School Board Appreciation Week is sponsored by the Georgia School Boards Association, which ensures excellence in the governance of local school systems for all of Georgia’s 180 elected boards of education.