GMC-Madison Signing marks level of educational ‘understanding’
By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor, Morgan County Citizen
Local leaders gathered together last week to commit themselves to the task of bringing a first-rate College and Career Academy (CCA) to Morgan County in order to “prepare lifelong learners for an ever-changing world” by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU.) The MOU is also a symbolic gesture to make Morgan County an even more desirable candidate for the $3 million Georgia College Career Academy Project grant for which the BOE is currently applying. Superintendent James Woodard said the grant is a “pivotal” part of establishing the CCA with the design and timeframe the BOE has planned. Even though the BOE has $4 million set aside in ELOST already for the CCA, a total of $7 million is needed to complete the project as proposed. The grant awards will be announced in early December of this year. The new CCA is anticipated to open in the Fall of 2017.
“I think it is going to benefit all our students here in our school system to get a good fresh start,” said Mayor Fred Perriman after signing the MOU. Andy Ainslie, chairman of the Morgan County Board of Commissioners, believes the CCA will be a vital tool in creating an educated workforce in the community. “It is going to prep kids for future opportunities in the job market, qualifying them to get these jobs that are coming into our community,”said Ainslie. Bob Hughes, president of the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce, signed the MOU, hoping the gesture would help secure a grant for the CCA. “We did this today to just show our support for the CCA. We are in the process of applying for a grant that will help pay for the expansion and this is a way we can demonstrate our community is behind this great effort,” said Hughes. According to a school board press release, “Upon signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) participants including Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC), Georgia Military College (GMC), Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, Morgan County Development Authority, City of Madison, Morgan County Board of Commissioners, and the Morgan County Charter School System signified their commitment to the design and implementation of Morgan County High School – A Georgia College and Career Academy (MCHS-CCA). The partnership will support the MCHS-CCA and resources necessary for its design, construction, equipping, implementation, evaluation, and improvement.”
“The CCA is going to be a fantastic opportunity for the students of Morgan County,” said Jennifer Butler, CTA director of Morgan County High School. “It is a chance to bring business, industry and the school system together along with the community together.” According to Butler, the GPTC is a “huge component” of making a CCA in Morgan County happen. “We are proud to be in a partnership with Morgan County Schools,” said Mariam Dittmann, vice president of academic affairs at GPTC. “The CCA concept is so important for how students need to learn today and we are looking forward to this project getting off the ground, so that we can continue to support the citizens of Morgan County.” The Madison Campus of the Georgia Military College (GMC) is also doing its part to make the CCA a reality. “I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the county and the students here. It is very forward thinking and it is really going help them achieve everything they want in their futures. It is really going to give them a leg up. I am all for it,” Leigh Aldhizer, director of the Madison GMC. According to Heather Fuller, Career Pathway Coordinator for Morgan County Schools, the establishment of a CCA has always been and must continue to be a joint effort between leaders of the community.
“It has been no secret that Morgan County High School is on a quest to become Morgan County High School – A Georgia College and Career Academy. Efforts made by key educational leaders, community leaders and advocates, as well as business and industry professionals were highlighted this week in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that confirms that all stakeholders will continue to work together for the benefit and success of students.”
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