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August 7, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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August 7, 2019
 

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August 7, 2019 Page 5C iRL orter e By Calista Anne Koch Annalynn McTyre Waddy, a promising young harpist origi- nally from Macon, is a 12-year- old homeschooler. She began to concentrate on the harp at the age of seven, after more than four years of previous study on the piano. She has been a mem- ber of Ingleside Baptist Student Sessions Orchestra for two years and Macon Youth Orchestra this year. For several years, she has been one of the youngest mem- bers of the Middle Georgia Harp Ensemble, under the direction of her mother, Calista Anne Koch. Two weeks after relocating to Monroe County, Annalynn Waddy premiered her original composition on the national stage. The American Harp Soci- ety presented it's 13th Summer Institute in Winston-Salem, NC. There, harpists from all over the United States came together to learn from workshops, compete in competitions and hear con- certs by amazing artists. An- nalynn's composition caught the eyes and ears of the harp world and was performed in front of the entire gathering. Performing her own composition, this young composer wowed the audience. As a member of the Middle Georgia Harp Ensemble, An- nalynn has had the honor of : performing in the ensemble for concerts including a Mercer University Faculty Recital, the Georgia Chapter's 2018 Harp Odyssey in Atlanta, and during a concert at the 2016 American Harp Society's National Conven- tion; there, she was also selected as one of the youngest performers to participate as part of the Youth Harp Ensemble for the same convention's dosing concert. One of the directors of the Youth Harp Ensemble composed two of the pieces the ensemble performed, which fascinated Annalynn. A few months later, Annalynn was inspired by the sea creatures she witnessed and imagined while on a family cruise. She came home and began putting on manuscript paper what came to her as she plucked out a melody. The first composi- tion, "Creatures of the Deep: A Song of the Ocean" was complet- ed and submitted within a matter of months and she was honored to be named one of the American Harp Society's Featured Compos- ers for the 2017 Summer Institute for the first bi-annual Young Composers Project. The 2017 Summer Institute, held at St. Olaf College in Min- nesota gave Annalynn the chance to be mentored by composers such as Libby Larsen, perform in a master dass, get feedback on her composition, and per- form her first movement for all assembled at the Institute. That amazing experience motivated Annalynn her to continue composing and working towards her goal of writ- ing a three movement work. She completed the second movement a year later and concluded the entire three movement work this past fall. The Institute announced the Featured Composers and Annalynn went again as one of the eight featured composers this year. The American Harp Society, Waddy Inc. Young Composers Project is a biennial national educational program for harpists ages 25 and under. This project provides an opportunity for young harpists to broaden their relationship with their instrument by compos- ing an original harp score and performing their composition at the 13th Summer Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston- Salem, North Carolina. There, they were mentored by compos- ers Dan Locklair and Alyssa Reit and not only performed their pieces for all in attendance, but had their pieces performed in a masterclass and got one-on-one feedback from seasoned compos- ers. Growing up around other musicians, Annalynn has had the opportunity to consult and experience professional and student composers and glean from their experiences and knowledge. "Creatures of the Deep;' is a three movement work and is Annalynn's first completed, full-length composition for harp. The first movement, '~ Song of the Ocean" was written about a pod of whales in the warm waters of the Caribbean and included special effects that mimicked the sounds whales produce. When she decided to write the second movement, "Encounter In The Abyss" she already knew that she wished to continue the theme from the first movement, but altered it to sound how she imag- ined a sperm whale sounding in the deep abyssal plains. The third movement, ' rctic Splendor;' was composed with another variation of the whales' theme, but was intended to reflect beluga whales gleefully playing near the calving glaciers. All three movements have a connected theme, but all are vastly different. F Vulcan Materials Com- pany's Macon Quarry was recognized during the 2019 Vulcan Materials Company's Macon Quarry was recognized during the 2019 Georgia Construc- tion Aggregate Association (GCAA) Midyear Meeting with the Eagle Award for Community Involvement - Silver Award. 2019 Eagle Award winners were rec- ognized by Scott Dickson, Hanson Aggregates, GCAA President in June. The Eagle Award pro- gram is designed to ac- knowledge the efforts of individual quarry loca- tions. It is not a company- wide program but focuses on the activities of an individual location. The Community Involvement Award looks at the activi- ties of an individual quarry location that demonstrates a comprehensive approach to community involvement and environmental sustain- ability. Congratulations to Barry Lawson, Plant Manager and the 40 employees who call the Macon Quarry home! Pictured, left to right, Georgia Con- struction Aggregate Association President Scott Dickson and Travis Holman, Vulcan Materi- als Com- pany Area Operations Manager. ! ! By Diane GlideweU news@mymcr.nef Summer projects to renovate and improve school facilities are going well, according to Monroe County Schools Maintenance and Facilities Director Roger Onstott. He updated the Board of Edu- cation on this summer's work, including renovations at Mary Persons, resurfacing of the track, new lanes and parking at Monroe County Middle School and com- pletion of the Agriculture Science Center, at its July 9 meeting. The renovations at Mary Persons, particularly at the front entrance, were an opportunity for aesthetic improvements that should be noticed by everyone who enters the building. Onstott said the Mary Persons bulldog logo has been placed on the epoxy floor finish. There have been some changes in color and new LED lighting added. Multi-levels of finish give the floor a swirl effect that reflects a lot of light, and the new lighting amplifies it. Down the hall, the tech lab has new lights, painting and flooring. The old carpet is gone. "It's like walking into a hospital,' said Onstott. "We hope to generate excitement." Most of the work on re-doing the Mary Persons track is finished. It still needs striping and a few finishing touches but should be ready for use by the end of August, according to Onstott. Work at the Monroe County Middle School campus is pro- gressing. The goal is to make traffic coming and going from the school smoother and help ease the congestion that adding the 6th grade to the Banks Stephens cam- pus created at the beginning of the last school year. New lanes and parking areas have been graded all around the school. There will be parking in the back for buses, teachers and athletic events. Onstott showed board members pictures of the work. Onstott said it is taking a little longer than expected to finish up everything at the new agriculture science building near the Banks Stephens campus. The barn, con- crete, gated pens and metal siding are being finished. Last on the list are finishing the back rooms and fencing in some of the surround- ing area for pasturing animals. In other Monroe County Schools news: Board member Stuart Pippin said it is time to look at creating a better experience for visitors to come to Mary Persons football field by renovating the visitors' stands and bathrooms. "We need a timeline for renova- tions ' said Pippin. Superintendent Dr. Mike Hick- man said that the total cost of re-doing the visitors side of the field is out of reach for the school system right now, but there are some enhancements that Monroe County Schools can do. However, most of the work will have to wait until the next ESPLOST is passe& He said plans for the current $23 million ESPLOST changed drasti- cally when the school system had to close the Middle School Wil- liam Hubbard campus unexpect- edly just before school started in August 2018. Hickman said that tax collections have been good on the ESPLOST, but it is limited to $23 million and must stop col- lection if it reaches that amount before five years. About $7 million is commit- ted to work at the Middle School Banks Stephens campus, and the school system has to make sure it has funds for other essential items like replacement school buses. He said it is unlikely Monroe County Schools will be able to provide better visitors stands at the football field any time soon because a lot of grading is needed. However, renovating the visitors' restrooms is feasible. "I don't see the stadium lasting 20-30 years like the buildings" said Pippin. "I just think it's time [for a plan.]" Hickman said the Mary Persons Bulldogs moved from their old field house in 2001, and some more work was done on the ath- letic complex in about 2003. On- stott said it will cost over $500,000 just to upgrade the lighting at the baseball and football fields; he said new poles are needed for some of the lights. He explained that the state's five-year facility plan is for buildings and doesn't include fields and other investments that are for extracurricular activities. "We only have so much money," said Hickman. We want the very best for our kids, but there's a price. We have to be good stew- ards" Hickman told the board on July 9 that he had just received a new contract from the Monroe County manager for picking up trash from the schools. The board approved a contract with the county for trash retrieval on June 11, but county commission- ers subsequently rejected that contract even though the county sent the contract to the Board of Education. The new contract between the county and the school system for trash retrieval was supposed to start July 1. The county agreed to pull trash containers at the schools and not to charge the school system tipping fees. It was a three- year agreement, with the school system to pay $16,500 the first year, $17,000 the second year and $17,500 the third year. "This is a deal" said Assistant Superintendent Jackson Daniel as he recommended the board approve the contract, which it did unanimously. Hickman said he was not ready to present the new contract to the board on July 9. "We know there's some new fig- ures, but we need to look at what else is in there;' he said. Daniel said the county will continue to pick up trash from the schools under the old contract until a new agreement is signed, and the school system will pay the county retroactively under the new contract. There won't be a gap in service. Board member Eva Bilderback asked whether the contract the board approved in June had originated with the county and was told it had. However, Hick- man said the first contact came to the school system several months before it was signed. The school system delayed signing the con- tract as it tried to align it with its fiscal year, which runs from July through June. The county's fiscal year follows the calendar year. When commissioners discussed the returned contract, County Manager Jim Hedges told them they should adjust the rates. When Hickman told the board he would discuss the new con- tract with school board attorney Ben Vaughn, Bilderback asked if there would be a conflict of inter- est since Vaughn is now also the county's attomey. Hickman said Vaughn is "bound by good faith" to help find a fair solution for the school system. "We want to look at other op- tions" said Daniel. School board member Greg Head said the school board needs to make sure the contract includes wording that it will continue during negotiations so that the schools are never without trash removal. Monroe County Schools Tech- nology Director Valerie Mercer told the board on July 9 that the school system's website will have a "cleaner, sleeker look" for the new school year. She said she expected to get feedback on the new look in the next week. "We will try to make it as sleek as possible" she said. "It looks like some of the other school system sites you may have seen? Mercer said she will try to keep things in the same places on the website to make them easier for users to find, but everything that was on the old website will not be moved to the new one. She said the school system will work with parents to help them learn to use the new site. She said she will give board members Chromebooks at their November meeting to famil- iarize them with the new website. Mercer said the new website is suited to use on iPads and cell phones. The webmaster at indi- vidual schools will add their own content. Personnd actions approved by the board on July 9 included hir- ing Delaney Doolittle as a teacher at Mary Persons and hiring substitute teachers April Garner, Katie Hardesty, Sylvia Hatcher and Debra Timpson. The board accepted the resig- nations of two mechanics in the transportation department, Cody Jones and Don Spears. Fonda An- derson was hired as a bus driver trainee.