Mobbs’ win makes 8 in a row for PCCCA welding program

The first ever grant given by the American Welding Society to a school in the state of Georgia took place right here in Polk County.

Officials from the organization stopped by the Board of Education meeting for June and handed over a check for a grant to help the Polk County College and Career Academy’s welding program.

“A great opportunity came up, and we were able to apply for a grant,” College and Career Academy CEO Katie Thomas said. “This helps welding programs across the country, which is sorely needed. It is a much needed skill in society.”

The check given over to the College and Career Academy and accepted by welding instructor Matt Hayden totaled up to just shy of $24,096. Hayden said the money will be used to furnish equipment and supplies for his students. Thomas added that it was the first grant the AWS awarded a school in the state.

Rene Engeron, the Chairman and Secretary for the Atlanta AWS section, along with the vice chair Tom Riegler, presented Hayden with a customary giant check.

“I’m just glad someone from the State of Georgia got this,” Engeron said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about Mr. Hayden here, so we look forward to working with them.”

The program also got to celebrate another success during the school board’s June session.

Junior Tucker Mobbs was presented with a state championship ring for his win in SkillsUSA competition in May. Mobbs, brother to a past state champion as well, won this year for sheet metal fabrication.

“He’s one that you meet in the hallway with a smile and something witty to say,” Thomas said.

She added that Mobbs’ win gave Hayden 8 state champion years in a row for Cedartown High School and now the Polk County College and Career Academy, and his 19th state champion throughout his career.

Hayden and other teachers at the PCCCA will have financial help in making sure to keep local teens on a state champion level after additional grant funds were approved.

Federal and state money to the tune of $320,000 was approved for the coming year for programs throughout the school system, but many of them at the PCCCA. They voted unanimously to move ahead with accepting money for several areas, including funds for the district’s Career, Technical and Agriculture education programs under the College and Career Academy, like money for apprenticeship programs and an extended year for agriculture education.

New funds were also made available this year thanks to the district’s inclusion as just one of two in the state to receive funds from the Young Farmers program. The money will pay for an instructor to teach both students and adults about agriculture practices and more.

Adding to donation efforts were also officials from Floyd Medical Center.

When students return to school in the late summer, they’ll also have one more addition on campuses to help out from Floyd Medical Center.

Each school received two medical bags for use in emergency situations full of supplies from the hospital.

Officials donated 24 bags in total after a request was made from an area school for medical supplies, which prompted Floyd Medical Center to instead make it a priority to have medical emergency bags in each area school.

“We want to leverage everything we have as a hospital and community resource to help our youth in any way we can,” FMC’s Chris Butler said when he presented the bags.

He added the bags have “anything you need to take care of someone quickly” and aren’t for use by the school nurses which Floyd Medical Center oversees for the Polk School District.

Instead, the intentions of hospital officials are to keep the bags in strategic locations and for safety committees within the schools decide where they might best be stored and kept handy in case of emergency.

Butler was joined in his presentation by Kenna Baker and Jamie Youngblood.