The Polk County Board of Education were all smiles last week when students who have shown off great talent and hard work to prove themselves to be champions at the highest level across the state.
Students from Cedartown Middle and High, and Rockmart Middle and High schools packed out the board meeting room on May 7 for the evening session to stand and be recognized by their peers, faculty and staff, and especially their parents.
Among those were several members of the SkillsUSA team, the Rockmart High School boys tennis team and an honor for Yellow Jacket wrestler Griffin Pace.
Pace was the 2019 Class AA state champion for the 182-pound weight division for the season and set a new Rockmart High record for 200 wins during his career in wrestling.
The board also honored members of the Rockmart High School state champion tennis team, who won out on their home courts for the first tennis title in school history of Early County. Their win came just in time for the team to be honored, alongside coaches Barry Owen and Kent Mathis.
See more in this week's sports section on the title win for 2019.
The May 7 board session also gave opportunity to recognize honors on the academic level, and those SkillsUSA teams and individuals heading onward to national competition after big wins of their own.
First, the board got to honor Cedartown High sophomore Evan Holder as this year's Governor's Honor Program participant for the district. He'll be headed off during the summer break to concentrate on gaining even greater skills in Music, specifically a focus on percussion.
SkillsUSA students honored included first place winners Josh Cole and Wesley Culberson for Additive Manufacturing — better known as 3D Printing. Individually, Emmanuel Cornejo received honors for a first place in carpentry and Harmony Shaw took a first place state title for cosmetology.
The group of Kaitlyn Crawford, Lesly Santana, and Laura Seabolt were honored for their state title in Crime Scene Investigations. Also, the team of
Abigail Bryant, Martin Arguello, and Emily Bentley were honored for a first place in the Criminal Justice Quiz category.
Mackenzie Edwards was twice honored for a first place in Career Pathways and in Job Skill Demonstration Open and Georgia Skills USA Brochure Design.
She was joined by Seth Wright, Olivia Cleveland, McKenzie Butler and Alyssa Parham for a first place in Job Skill Demonstration Open and Georgia Skills USA Brochure Design.
Superintendent Laurie Atkins individually praised all those who were honored on the night and the educators who helped them achieve first place finishes and state titles in their respective categories. It was also of note that during the May work session that she also thanked educators for their hard work inside and out of the classroom during National Educator's Week.
Pace is currently working toward a second state title as the Rockmart High baseball team continues their journey this week through the playoffs as they host the Final Four at home on Tuesday after press time, with an if-necessary third game on Wednesday, May 15. Find more in the Sports section this week on how the tennis team is doing.
The boys tennis team wrapped up their season with the honors at the Central Office.