2012-01-26 / Front Page

Tiger teams stay in GHSA as split fails to materialize

By KIP BURKE
news editor

What seemed like a revolution to take small public schools out of the Georgia High School Association’s sports program has largely fallen apart, at least as far as Washington- Wilkes is concerned.

At Monday night’s regular meeting of the Wilkes County Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Rosemary W. Caddell reported that Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Robby Robinson and Principal Steve Echols attended several meetings with other schools to discuss the possibility of forming a new organization to bring more equality between the sports teams of smaller public and private schools, but the effort ultimately failed.

“All the things they were trying to do just fell flat,” she said, “and the Georgia Independent High School Association failed to get a vote to start, so we will continue to stay under the Georgia High School Association, and we are in AA, as we were when this process began.”

There are fewer private schools in AA to play against in football, she said. “So we’re back in with Oglethorpe, Greene, Madison, Rabun, and Union.”

She applauded the diligence that Echols and Robinson showed in trying to give the school an option that would allow the possibility of winning a championship.

There was good news on the highschool sports front, however. For the first time, Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive High School is fielding a soccer team. “Soccer practice began today,” Caddell said. “Coach Robinson has been able to get together a soccer team, and is putting a schedule together. Some 24 kids came out to the first practice today, and we’re very pleased with that. It will be a co-ed team right now, and we hope we can build it so we can have a boys and a girls team in the future.”

The team will be coached by Jac Dorminy with help from experienced community soccer coaches, Echols said.

The meeting, with board members Chairman Ricky Callaway, Vice Chairman Andrew Jackson, and members Steve Albertson, Dorothy Jordan, and Dann Standard opened with the announcement that Washington Wilkes Primary, Elementary, and Middle Schools all earned Distinguished School status from the state of Georgia. “There are systems that would love to have one school that achieved this, and we’ve got three,” Caddell said.

Additionally, Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive High School earned the Bronze Award from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for the number of students meeting and exceeding standards.

The board tended to several items of business. The members voted to amend the school calendar to include an early release on the last day of school, and accepted the second option for the 2012-2013 school calendar. They gave final approval to two school policies dealing with infectious diseases, and voted unanimously to re-appoint Andrew Jackson as board vice-chairman.

Callaway took the opportunity at the end of the meeting to express his appreciation to the board for its wisdom in keeping expenditures low on the new high school complex. “The board had the foresight to base expenditures for the new school on the lowest expected revenue from the school SPLOST,” he said. “Boards elsewhere are not so blessed, and nobody was wise enough to foresee the economy going so bad. Thank you all for being a great board, one that considered only what was best for the kids, and not any personal agendas.”

The new school complex is being paid for entirely by the school SPLOST, which comes up for another vote in March.

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