Wilson leaving to lead Floyd County schools

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County School System will hold a called meeting Thursday at 7 a.m. to announce it has begun the search for a new School Superintendent.

Dr. Jeff Wilson, who has been the system’s top administrator the last seven years, is leaving to become superintendent of Floyd County schools. Wilson said today that he won’t know when his final day in White County will be until tomorrow’s meeting. He is expected to assume his new duties on July 1.

“I really love the teachers, administrators and students in White County,” he said. “They are doing some amazing things here and I am going to miss them.”

But Wilson, who was in Floyd County Tuesday to introduce himself to teachers, principals and administrators, said he is also excited about the challenge of working in the Floyd County School System.

Floyd County School Board Vice Chairman Tony Daniel told the Rome News Tribune after speaking to the 30-plus candidates of varied experience who applied.  “We definitely had the system in our hearts.”

Wilson said he was drawn to Floyd County through its reputation for having a dedicated and student-focused staff.

“It’s a good system with potential to be great,” he said.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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White County High School, Ninth Grade Academy named to list of Georgia’s Highest Performing Schools

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — White County schools continue to receive recognition for academic excellence.

Last month, Tesnatee Gap Elementary School and Mount Yonah Elementary School were named to the list of Title 1 Highest Performing Schools in Georgia.

When state School Superintendent Richard Woods named the Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools for 2018 this month, White County High School (WCHS) and the Ninth Grade Academy (NGA) were recognized in three categories: AP Challenge Schools, AP STEM (science technology engineering mathematics) Schools and AP STEM Achievement Schools.

AP Challenge Schools are schools with enrollments of 900 or fewer students and students testing in four of the core areas (English, math, science, and social studies).

AP STEM Schools are schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science A).

AP STEM Achievement Schools are schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses and at least 40 percent of exam scores on AP math and science exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

White County School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson said, “I am so proud of the work that Mr. (John) Osborne, Mrs. (Mary Ann) Collier and staff at NGA/WCHS are doing to help our students achieve at the highest level. This is a testament of the increased rigor we have seen at every level of our school system.”

AP exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. AP courses are one of several ways Georgia students can access college-level learning at the high-school level. Students who receive a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP exam may receive college credit.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach.If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Ransomware, sportsmanship were the hot topics at Tuesday’s school board meeting

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — The White County Board of Education devoted much of its time during Tuesday’s meeting to a discussion of the ransomware attack that impacted the school system server two weeks ago and sportsmanship.

The cyber attack was not as devastating as the one that was launched against the city of Atlanta.

School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson said four files containing 11 employee social security numbers were accessed but nothing was downloaded. “I encourage everyone to freeze their credit,” Wilson said. “Its worth the $3 it costs to protect yourself.”

The school system’s total financial loss was the $5,000 deductible paid to the insurance company. Wilson said new procedures are being put into place to protect against future attacks.

The sportsmanship discussion centered on fan behavior. Wilson said there had been several incidents of poor sportsmanship at White County High School games this year, mainly involving parents.

“We are definitely going to start pushing our parents hard,” he said. “We want to be a model for our kids. We all get upset when a kid gets a technical foul on the court while that same kid’s parents may be up in the stands screaming and hollering.”

Wilson said there had been some incidents where fans verbally abused coaches as well. “We’re not going to put up with them being ugly to our coaches either. This season, we’ve had some parents chew on them pretty hard, and we’re not going to have that anymore,” the superintendent explained.

Wilson said the school system has new sportsmanship guidelines that fans will be required to follow. The guidelines will be discussed during weekly meetings with athletes and parents and will be posted publicly at different sports venues.

Several pay-as-you-go items were also discussed and are expected to be voted on at Thursday’s school board meeting, including extra surveillance cameras for schools ($20,000), a viewing station ($3,000), global positioning system (GPS) for buses ($18,154) and a tarp for the White County High School baseball field ($6,000).

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Ransom worm virus hits White County school system

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School Supt. Dr. Jeff Wilson

CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson said the system’s computer program was attacked by the ransom worm virus Monday.

The school system’s IT staff believes the attack could have originated somewhere in eastern Europe.

“Our tech guys reported something strange was going on Monday morning,” Wilson said. “Their quick work avoided what could have been a major crisis. Only two or three of our software programs were affected. The good news is that no student or staff data was compromised. They did not go after financial data or social security numbers.”

Wilson said the system has a very good firewall but added that this is the same virus that got into the NASA and CIA systems: “So, they are very good at this.”

Wilson added, “Typically, you would have to be in our system to break into our system.”  The attack, he speculated, could have been facilitated by a student or teacher who needed to access information from home, allowing the hackers to open up an outside window into the system.

As of Wednesday, the system’s IT Department was working to correct the problem.

“We’re still investigating ways to prevent this kind of attack. We’re working with Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s (GEMA) forensic people. They are extremely interested in this kind of attack,” Wilson said. “They told us there were several other systems in Georgia that have been hit.”

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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White, Lumpkin, Dawson schools closed Monday

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Fetch Your News understands the serious impact that extreme weather can have on our readers. That is why our reporters work around the clock to bring you the most up-to-date information on school closings, road closings, power outages and the availability of emergency shelters.

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. –- The National Weather Service in Peachtree City has issued a winter weather advisory that will go into effect from 1 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday.

* WHAT — Light freezing rain expected. Total ice accumulations of around one-tenth of an inch or less are expected.

* WHEN AND WHERE – The first advisory will go into effect for far northwest Georgia at 1 AM until 11 AM. The second advisory will go into effect for north-central Georgia at 5 AM until 12 AM. The third advisory will go into effect at 6 AM until 1 PM for northeast Georgia.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The ice will result in difficult travel conditions, including during the morning commute on Monday. Total ice accumulations of one-tenth of an inch or less are expected.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS — Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads. Slow down and use caution while driving.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS

White County School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson announced today that schools will be closed Monday, Jan. 8, for students and staff due to the Winter Weather Advisory and threat of freezing rain. School will be closed for students and staff.

Lumpkin County schools will be closed Monday, Jan. 8, due to the threat of icy conditions. However, 12-month employees should report if it is safe to do so.

Dawson County schools will also be closed.

Watch for FYN updates throughout the day.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Teacher Fired After Sexual Assault Allegation

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Leonard Jones

CLEVELAND, Ga. – In a called meeting Tuesday morning, the White County Board of Education officially terminated Leonard Jones, the White County Middle School teacher arrested last week for allegedly having inappropriate contact with a student at the school.

Jones, 54, has been charged with three counts of aggravated child molestation, three counts of sodomy, three counts of sexual assault and three counts of reckless conduct.

Jones was arrested and placed on leave without pay after the White County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint from a parent. Dr. Jeff Wilson, Superintendent of White County Schools, said at the time Jones would never be back in a White County School.

The board went into executive session Tuesday to discuss the issue then emerged and voted unanimously, with Commissioner Charlie Bryson absent, to terminate Jones.

In other action, the Board approved the appointments of Ann Brevard as Special Ed Teacher at White County Middle School and parapros Debbie Pruitt, Shelli Leslie and Tammy Fletter.

The Board also approved a pay as you go request (PAYG) request for renovations in the White County Middle School Special Education and Sensory Room and appointed Ann Brevard as Special Education teacher at the school.

 

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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County Officials Attend Sunday Briefing on Irma; Supt. Announces Schools Will Close Monday

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – A tropical storm watch is in effect for most of north Georgia, including White County for the next 48 hours.

The track of the storm shifted farther west Saturday evening but a noon briefing Sunday at the White County Emergency Operation Center indicated that the county is still very much under the gun and could receive up to seven inches of rain, sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and gusts up to 70 mph when tropical storm conditions begin arriving early Monday morning.

White County School Superintendent Jeff Wilson attended the meeting Sunday and, following a discussion with school superintendents from surrounding counties, announced that all White County public schools will be closed on Monday. A decision about Tuesday closing will be made early Monday morning.

Other area school closings include Lumpkin County, Habersham County, the University of North Georgia, Truett McConnell University and Piedmont College.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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White County Teacher Charged With Sexual Assault

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – Leonard Amos Jones, a teacher at White County Middle School, was arrested Monday after allegedly having inappropriate contact with a student. Jones, 54, faces multiple criminal charges including three counts of aggravated child molestation, three counts of sodomy, three counts of sexual assault and three counts of reckless conduct.

White County Chief Deputy Bob Ingram said Wednesday that Jones was arrested after a parent reported that there had been inappropriate sexual contact between a teacher and student at the school. According to Ingram, Jones does not have an attorney yet and has not had a first hearing in Magistrate Court. He remains confined in White County Detention Center. No bond has been set.

Dr. Jeff Wilson, Superintendent of White County Schools, said Wednesday that Jones is on leave without pay. “What I can say is that he will never be back in a White County School. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement. There is a legal process we have to go through before we can terminate him and we don’t want to do anything that could in any way jeopardize the investigation.”

Wilson said he has not spoken to Jones since his arrest but that he would encourage him to cooperate with law enforcement “and not put our kids through another devastating situation if there are other victims.”

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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