The Columbia County Board of Education recognized four school system employees and six Title I Distinguished Schools at its meeting Tuesday.
Media specialist Pamela Aban, speech pathologist Penny Hodges and fifth-grade teacher Dee Jenkins - all of South Columbia Elementary - and school system technology specialist Mary Beth Spivey were recognized for their participation in the 2007 Microsoft US Innovative Teachers Forum.
The group was one of 20 teams invited to the Microsoft Corporate Campus in Redmond, Wash., for the conference Thursday and Friday.
The invitation was based on the group's presentation at this year's National Educational Computing Conference in which the educators outlined the steps for starting a morning broadcast show that is created and presented by students.
"South Columbia was probably one of the first schools to begin student-initiated programs," Superintendent Charles Nagle said.
The board also recognized Belair, Grovetown, North Harlem, South Columbia and Westmont elementary schools and Grovetown Middle School as Title I Distinguished Schools.
"To be identified as a Title I Distinguished School, the school has to have made AYP (adequate yearly progress) for three consecutive years," Nagle said.
He also said that at least 35 percent of a school's students must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunches to qualify as a Title I school.
"To be a Title I Distinguished School three years in a row is tremendous," Nagle said.
"It's not an easy thing to do, and the bar has been raised for this next year."
Belair, Grovetown, South Columbia and Westmont have been Title I Distinguished Schools for five years.
North Harlem has earned the distinction for four years, and this is the third year that Grovetown Middle has received the honor.
"Y'all just proved that Title I students are just as smart as any students," board member Roxanne Whitaker said.
In other business, the board named Jerilyn Northcutt as the new assistant director of the human resources department. She will begin her duties Oct. 10.
Nagle also said teachers held 6,400 conferences with parents on the system's early release day Sept. 13.
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