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1-21-05 Social Studies Fair at Lost Mountain Middle School (Kennesaw)

…….Betty, Gayle Christopher (who Jennifer also enlisted) and I journeyed to Kennesaw to “judge”.   ……… there were rows and rows of exhibits of Social Studies projects on which students had spent countless hours of time in preparation.

Subjects ranged from The Crusades and Medieval Times, Forced Birth Control by Some Nations, to Aboriginal Art in Australia.  The overall winner was a sixth grader who did a project on the impact socio-economic factors had on  music in the second half of the 20th century.  These were not your typical projects but represented many talented and dedicated students.

AVOC

 

January 17, 2005

 

Social Studies Fair at Lost Mountain Middle School (Kennesaw)  

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

Over the years, I have been asked to do many things especially ceremonial as Chairman of the Oconee County Commission.  I always enjoyed occasions and pictures of children and students, whether it was 4-H, English Students, Athletic Achievement and many more.  

 

Some of those experiences and youngsters are ones that I remember best.  I was recently telling that to a friend who had a daughter that participated in many 4-H recognition pictures.  She stands out in my mind as a determined person of achievement.

 

During the Fall, my daughter, Jennifer Dawson, asked me to “judge” in a Social Studies Fair at her school in Kennesaw.  Of course, I said yes immediately to Jennifer.  I sent in my resume and other information.  I learned that they needed about 30 judges for over 100 projects or exhibits by 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Lost Mountain Middle School  where my daughter, Jennifer, is in her fifth year of teaching and now teaches 6th Grade Social Studies.

 

In following Jennifer’s grading and other teacher activities, I knew she was a creative teacher who could inspire students and spend time helping them.  From Christmas cards, gifts and other occasions of recognition, I knew she loved the students and many really loved her.

 

My agreeing to serve as a judge was just an automatic response to a daughter’s request.  As the time drew nigh, I wasn’t so sure what I would be doing.   My feeling was also complicated with some upper respiratory congestion.  In some ways, it reminded me of the anxiety one felt before a trial in my law practice or presiding over a contentious meeting as County Commission Chair.  

 

On Monday, January 10, 2005, Betty, Gayle Christopher (who Jennifer also enlisted) and I journeyed to Kennesaw to “judge”.   When we arrived, we went to the Media Center where there were rows and rows of exhibits of Social Studies projects on which students had spent countless hours of time in preparation.

 

Subjects ranged from The Crusades and Medieval Times, Forced Birth Control by Some Nations, to Aboriginal Art in Australia.  The overall winner was a sixth grader who did a project on the impact socio-economic factors had on  music in the second half of the 20th century.  These were not your typical projects but represented many talented and dedicated students.

 

The local Cobb County Fair would choose 22 or so students to go on to a regional contest on February 26 at Berry College and then possibly to State in March.

 

We judges were paired with someone we did not know and with students which we did not know.  We judged their Purpose and Conclusion Statements and the bibliography.   The exhibit itself counted heavily in the evaluation.  Creativity, neatness, research, grammar, spelling were among the factors considered.  In addition, we would spend a few minutes interviewing the student about the project to insure that it was the student’s project and not that of a parent.

 

From the first, it was obvious that it would be a tough job.  The talents and efforts of the students made them all winners in my book.

 

We met many of the students and Jennifer’s Principal and fellow teachers.  They provided a great meal for us (from a Relay for Life Fundraiser) while the scores were being tabulated. 

 

We then gathered in the auditorium for a speech by Superior Court Judge Bodiford that was inspirational for the students.

 

 22 Regional Candidates

 

Then the 22 “winners” and special awards were announced and the named students went to the stage.  Much emotion, happiness and sadness, was present in that auditorium. 

 

Wendell, Gayle, Betty & Jennifer 1-10-05

 

We then went back to the exhibits so parents and other students could review the projects.  We had our camera and took pictures of some of the students and their exhibits.  Many parents were taking pictures.  Smiles and hugs were very common.

 

We really enjoyed the experience and I am glad I went.  Jennifer was really happy and her mother and I were really proud of her.   We also have a greater appreciation of many of the teachers and students who had only been names we heard before the Fair.

 

The students at the Lost Mountain Middle School Social Studies Fair give us encouragement about our future as a community and nation.  While we hear and read much negative stories about youth, most are smart, dedicated and conscientious.   They will make many valuable contributions to society in the decades to come.

 

   

 

    

AVOC congratulates all of the student and teacher participants in the 2005 Social Studies Fair at Lost Mountain Middle School.   You did a terrific job and made a lot of folks proud!

 

For An AJC Article on LMMS, Student Support for Leukemia Patient, Mark Ellers, SEE:

 

http://www.ajc.com/print/content/epaper/editions/thursday/cobb_145e5d2fe24b62010082.html


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