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Daily Archives: July 20, 2012

State revises BCMS grade, now an A

Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson found out July 20 that Baker County Middle School did not receive a B-grade as reported by the Florida Department of Education earlier this month; it got an "A" for the sixth consecutive year.

She said a review by the state of school grade data showed that 40 districts in Florida had schools that received the wrong grade.

"We're really excited about that," she said some 10 minutes after receiving a call from a state education official.

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Junior camp exposes youths to Wildcat football

Kelly Williams runs a drill with junior campers.On one corner of the BCHS football practice field, Assistant Coach Kelly Williams demonstrated proper blocking techniques to a group of middle schoolers. On another, younger kids ran pass routes and on still another, future Wildcats were dodging and weaving through running drills. In all, 175 kids were learning the fundamentals and skills at the Baker County junior football camp.

“I feel that our junior camp is going very well this week,” said Coach Ryan Sulkowski. “It really is great to see so many kids show up ready to work.”

The middle schoolers gathered around the water coolers, relaxing from the morning work but perked right up when new BCMS head coach Rock Rhoden rounded the corner. Rhoden joked with his players for a few moments before heading into the gym to supervise workouts.

Sulkowski was impressed with the middle school turnout and having Rhoden at the helm.

“We have had a 98 percent attendance rate for summer workouts at the middle school and those kids are really working hard. To watch them get after it at such a young age really is impressive to see, but also makes me look toward the future and where this program can be in a few years,” the Wildcats coach said.

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More than just man’s best friend

Cookie pulls Crystal Crosby.Cookie may not have the horsepower of her equine neighbors, but she can certainly imitate them.

With help from Crystal Crosby, Cookie’s amateur trainer and owner, the Australian Shepherd has learned to pull a buggy-like contraption with two wheels, a seat and reins.

“She’s really an intelligent dog,” said Ms. Crosby, 17, who first met Cookie at 8 weeks old.

Back in 2007, her father, Wayne Crosby, brought the puppy back from an Amish farm in Ohio as a birthday present for his daughter. He was struck by how well the breed followed commands and herded cattle on the farm.

“That’s what sold me on them, really,” said Mr. Crosby, who moved his family here from Jacksonville in 1999.

Even in the nearly 100-degree heat, Cookie had no problem getting strapped into a harness and towing Ms. Crosby up and down their gravel drive known as Penelope Lane south of Macclenny to show-off her skills on July 9.

The buggy and the harness that Cookie uses to pull it weigh about 30 pounds. They’re made by a Perry, GA-based company, Chalo Sulkey. The company’s motto: “Because dogs love to pull.”

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‘Snazzy’ celebration for teachers of the year

Pretty snazzy.

That’s the best way to describe my trip to the annual Teacher of the Year celebration at the Universal Hard Rock Café this past weekend.

I was there to celebrate with my wife Kelley, Baker County’s District Teacher of the Year. It was quite a soiree.

The venue was amazing. Macy’s puts over $100,000 into the three-day celebration hosted by Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville and Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson.

Macy’s makes no bones about why they throw their corporate support behind the event. The president of Macy’s said that out of 180,000 public school teachers in Florida, the ones being honored at the gala were judged to be the top 68 in the state.

Pretty heady stuff.

Kelley made me wear a tuxedo for the event and I worried that I might be overdressed. I should have listened to her. I fit right in with the event’s tone.

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