LUMPKIN CO., GA
Several students at Lumpkin County High School held a peaceful walk-in on Wednesday, to show their support for the LCHS principal, Billy Kirk.
The Lumpkin County Board of Education announced to employees on Monday, March 11, that Kirk had resigned without revealing the cause of his resignation. Once this news went public, LCHS students, parents, and staff began sending emails, letters, and phone calls to the Board of Education advocating for Kirk to be reinstated. Other Lumpkin County residents have even begun a petition titled, “Prevent Principal Billy Kirk From Leaving,” which has collected almost 400 signatures in the few hours since it has gone live.
Students at LCHS decided to hold a peaceful walk-out to show their support for Kirk. LCHS officials required that students host a walk-in, held in the LCHS gym, for the safety of the students. According to LCSS Chief Financial Officer, Shannon Christian, “We are allowing the students to hold a peaceful protest in the gym, but it is the desire of the principal for no press to be in attendance.” Although all press was denied access to the event, Fetch Your News was able to obtain a video and images of the event.
There were a number of students who spoke out, in support of Kirk, and the crowd erupted when one orator stated, “There are a lot of people at this school who look up to Mr. Kirk as a father figure.”
Lumpkin County Sheriff, Stacy Jarrard, stationed himself outside the LCHS entrance to further ensure the safety of any student that may have decided against going to the gym. Jarrard also told the press, “Let it go on the record that it is not the decision of LCSO to deny media access to this event.”
LUMPKIN CO., GA
Lumpkin County High School students are planning a walk-out at 12:30pm on Wednesday, March 13, to protest the resignation of the LCHS principal, Billy Kirk, according to the #weneedbilly social media page.
It was announced on Monday, March 11 that Kirk had resigned. School officials are remaining quiet in regards to the reason for Kirk’s resignation. Angry students are planning to walk out of the school, in a peaceful protest against the Board of Education’s decision.
This is an ongoing story; please follow Fetch Your News for updated information.
When University of North Georgia (UNG) freshman Daniel Shearer first learned he was a semifinalist for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), he was reluctant to celebrate. The member of UNG’s Corps of Cadets was excited, but he wasn’t a finalist — until now. “I feel very fortunate to have won,” he said. “I honestly didn’t have high expectations, but I am glad.”
Shearer and three other UNG students were glad to learn March 1 that they were selected as CLS finalists. The scholarship program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. Its goal is to broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries.
Out of UNG’s eight semifinalists announced in January, the four finalists are:
- Shearer, who is pursuing a degree in East Asian studies with a concentration in Japanese studies and a minor in leadership, will be in Japan.
- Josh Shepherd, who is pursuing a degree in Chinese and a minor in Spanish, will be in China.
- Donnie “Jamar” Shumaker, who is pursuing a degree in East Asian studies with a concentration in Chinese and a minor in Chinese language and culture, will be in China.
- Rachel Wilson, who is pursuing a degree in finance and a minor in Chinese, will be in China.
Of the remaining semifinalists, all four were named alternates. They are:
- Daniel Barker, who is pursuing a degree in mathematics and a minor in Russian.
- Hannah Chisholm, who is pursuing a degree in communications with a concentration in multimedia journalism and a minor in Korean.
- Leah James, a member of the Corps of Cadets who is pursuing a degree in nursing and a minor in Arabic.
- Julia “Rhiannon” Smith, who is pursuing degrees in psychology and modern languages with a concentration in Russian.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, CLS is highly competitive, with acceptance rates of 10 percent, said Dr. Victoria Hightower, UNG’s assistant director of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. This makes UNG’s accomplishment of four finalists and four alternates significant.
“UNG’s four finalists and four alternates reflect our commitment to cultivating academically talented global leaders,” Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant vice president for research and engagement at UNG. “This also indicates UNG’s prowess in teaching critical languages.”
Hightower, associate professor of history, agreed.
“In addition to our students’ qualities of determination, perseverance, and persistence, this success also reflects the encouragement they receive from their mentors throughout the university,” she said.
The four finalists and four alternates also mark an increase in UNG students selected. Last year, three were selected as finalists, and two were alternates. UNG had one finalist and one semifinalist for both 2016-17 and 2015-16 academic years.
Lin said more students are encouraged to apply to scholarships such as CLS after hearing of previous winners.
“I predict we will see more applications and winners in the future because of a growing commitment to scholarships on both the part of our students, faculty and staff,” she said.
Shearer, a freshman from Suwanee, Georgia, plans to use the study abroad experience as a springboard for his future.
“I intend to commission through UNG, and as I am pursuing a degree in East Asian studies, I would love to have a duty station over there,” he said, adding the CLS program will give him an advantage. “Through this scholarship, I will have a greater fluency in Japanese through immersion in the culture that comes through living and working there.”
Students interested in learning more about nationally competitive scholarships should contact [email protected] for more information. Students wanting to learn about funding and programs to study abroad may visit the Center for Global Engagement website.
According to the University of North Georgia Athletics Department, the UNG men’s tennis team claimed a big Peach Belt Conference win Thursday, as they took out No. 13 Georgia College. The Conference was held at the UNG Tennis Complex, located at Yahoola Creek. The win bumped UNG 7-1 on the season, and 2-0 in league play.
During the doubles tournaments, the Nighthawks won the No. 3 and No. 2 spots. Singles was more challenging, as the Bobcats came out fighting, resulting in a 2-1 loss for UNG. The Nighthawks will travel to Orlando for a four-game road trip.
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