Here’s another round of applause for individuals and organizations doing great things in the community.
Dr. Johnnie Marshall, Valdosta Early College Academy assistant principal, was surprised to the recipient of the Milken Educator Award Thursday morning. Called the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher magazine, Milken Educators are selected based on their achievements and for a promise of what they will accomplish. The honor comes with an unrestricted $25,000 prize, public recognition and membership in the National Milken Educator Network. While there will be up to 40 nominees for 2019-20, Marshall is the only winner from Georgia this year. According to a Milken Educator Awards press release, Marshall offers a helping hand of high technology coupled with gritty, down-to-earth sensibility. Marshall set up a 1:1 device initiative through Valdosta State University several years ago and helped get iPads and Macs into the hands of every VECA student. Teachers also attend Marshall’s professional learning sessions “Appy Hours” to stay up to date with the latest educational applications.
Valdosta High School senior Jylon Bennett was the recipient of the 2019 Greatest American Rivalry Student Athlete Award during the Winnersville pre-game show at Lowndes High School’s Martin Stadium. Bennett is a Georgia certificate of merit scholar and is ranked in the top 5 percent of his graduating class, school officials said. He is the treasurer of the VHS Beta Club and a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. Upon graduation, Bennett said he plans to attend college to pursue a degree in civil engineering. The Greatest American Rivalry series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation. The top senior student athlete from each school receives the Rivalry Scholar Student-Athlete Scholarship Award, school officials said.
First Presbyterian Church Valdosta downtown hosted the Flint River Presbytery southern cluster of churches to provide more than 10,000 meals through Rise Against Hunger, church representatives said. Participating churches included First Presbyterian Moultrie, Twin Lakes Presbyterian, West End Presbyterian, Trinity Presbyterian, Boston Presbyterian and First Presbyterian Valdosta. Overall, Flint River Presbytery provided more than 50,000 meals throughout its Presbytery in middle and southern Georgia, church representatives said. To learn more about Rise Against Hunger, visit www.riseagainsthunger.org, firstpresvaldosta.org, or www.facebook.com/FPCValdosta/