PICKENS, Ga. — The Pickens County Board of Education recognized several of Pickens County’s schools and sports teams during their latest meeting. The recognitions included GAC accreditations, and Mountain League Region Champion titles.
Destiny Shope, Director of Public Involvement and Community Involvement, began by recognizing the Pickens County School District as a whole, “All schools in Pickens County were accredited with quality, and that means the district is also accredited with quality.” The accreditation comes from the Georgia Accrediting Commission. “The accrediting process prompts local schools and school districts to provide better and safer physical facilities and to improve the qualifications of staff members, teaching conditions, and curriculum,” Shope explained.
Mrs. Marla Callahan, Principal of Harmony Elementary; Mrs. Jennifer Halko, Principal of Hill City Elementary; Mrs. Stephanie Hall, Principal of Tate Elementary; Mr. Corey Thompson, Principal of Jasper Middle; Dr. Chad Flatt, Principal of Pickens Junior High; and Mr. Tony Young, Superintendent of the Pickens County School District each received their school’s certificate of accreditation at the meeting. Pickens High Principal Chris Wallace was unable to attend.
Janet Goodman, Director of Federal Programs, then recognized Hill City Elementary for their Title I designation, “Their school continues to get statewide and national recognition for the good work they’re doing.” That work, Goodman says, includes supplemental literacy support programs like iRead, Star Reading, and Leveled Readers to “make sure that every child is ready to move on to the next grade level with their reading ability.” Goodman then mentioned that Prinicipal Halko has also “been asked to present in a Teams meeting … where she is going to present to the state and talk about all the innovations at Hill City and to tell them why she believes that what they’re doing is the best work that they can do.” Hill City was further recognized for their 2021 National ESEA designation. Only two schools in the state of Georgia were chosen to receive this award, Goodman says.
Pickens Junior High:
Athletic Director Kanyon Petti spoke briefly before the recognitions of the PHJS softball team and 8th grade football team: “I walked into the best group of coaches and kids that I could ever have imagined. These teams are truly doing phenomenal things, and I really feel like I don’t have to do a lot, because the coaches and the kids are doing such a great job.”
“What I’m here to recognize is the accomplishments of two of our fall sports teams … tonight we’re here to recognize the Mountain League Region Champion softball team, and then our eighth grade … Mountain League Super Bowl Champion football team,” she continued, “I think it’s important to really say that neither team has a Cinderella story, because both of them have dominated for years … but it doesn’t really take away the countless hours that they put in to get to this point.”
Coach Williams spoke for Principal Wallace at the meeting to recognize Pickens High School Volleyball and Cross Country teams, “First we have our volleyball team, and we’re very proud of their accomplishments this year … It’s been 17 years since we have had any major success … in our volleyball program.” The PHS Volleyball team placed fourth in the region, and then went on to play in the Elite 8. Williams continued, “These ladies played their hearts out. They represented Pickens High School and Pickens County school system very well.”
Williams then recognized the PHS Girl’s Cross Country team saying, “These young ladies, again, worked very hard and were … still fairly young and looking forward to great things coming in the future, but again placed fourth in the region … and then was able to go to the state tournament in Carrollton … and end up placing ninth in the state.”
He followed with the PHS Boy’s Cross Country team, “They won their fourth straight region championship and seventh region championship in the last nine years … all these students that we brought before you tonight are some of the best that Pickens High School has to offer … and I’m very thankful to be associated with them as their athletic director and work with these coaches.”
After recognitions, the board addressed several other action items, including approval to name a PHS court after Coach Cowart.