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Albany State University Presidential Investiture of Marion Ross Fedrick Set for September 6, 2019

ALBANY, Ga. – Marion Ross Fedrick will be officially installed as the 10th president of Albany State University (ASU) at the Presidential Investiture Ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, September 2019.  The Investiture Ceremony will be held at the Billy C. Black Building Auditorium on the ASU East Campus. The ceremony will include a formal procession and greetings from elected officials.

Steeped in history and tradition, a presidential investiture symbolizes the embrace of a new era for the institution and acknowledges the authority of a new leader as well as the official rights and responsibilities of the office.

Fedrick was appointed as the 10th president of Albany State University on August 14, 2018, by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. She was appointed after serving as both the Interim Executive Vice President and Interim President for the University since October 2017. Fedrick is an accomplished senior leader whose proven expertise spans over 30 years. Her professional background includes:  higher education administration, strategic planning, crisis management and strategic partnership management in both the private and public sectors.

Committed to the impact of academic development, Fedrick believes every student deserves access to an excellent and affordable education. She is a two-time graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Adult Education with a concentration in Organizational Development and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

As president of Albany State University, Fedrick continues to apply her diverse experiences and commitment to drive initiatives that ignite excellence. Under her leadership, the institution has undertaken several critical initiatives that include a redesign of the institution’s academic colleges, approval of the University System of Georgia’s (USG) first nexus degrees and the design and implementation of the university’s integrated student success model to include the creation of the Albany State University Summer Success Institute.

Formerly serving as the USG Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Fedrick has led strategic initiatives relating to effective university administration, leadership development and human resources planning.

Celebratory events for the investiture will be held Wednesday, September 4 – Saturday, September 7, 2019. For a full list of activities, please visit

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Back to school lettering

Back to school: what you need to know

Mr. Kenneth Dyer
Mr. Kenneth Dyer

August 1st is here and it is back to school time in Dougherty County!

This time each year is, perhaps, one of the most consequential times of the year for the future of our community and the well-being of all of our citizens.
Summer fun is over and it is time for serious learning, parenting and teaching. It is worth every minute of our collective time and every dime we spend.
The return on investment is immeasurable.

The Dougherty County School System (DCSS) has 22 schools and last year the total enrollment was 14,357, with a student teacher ratio of 17:1.
93 percent of the students are minority. Kenneth Dyer is Superintendent of Schools.

Dougherty County School Board member Milton “Junebug” Griffin, who has served on the Board for 19 years, says that not only is the system ready, but the,
“kids and parents seem more ready than he has ever seen before.” He says that he has been listening and watching throughout the summer and everything is looking
good for the year. “Our superintendent, Ken Dyer, is doing a super job all around, and as with every year, we are expecting good results. Our teachers, facilities

Mr. Milton Griffin
Mr. Milton Griffin

and cafeteria and other employees are getting a four percent salary increase and we are expecting more from them as well. We have good people in place and we are
getting better and better. I look forward to the new year for our school system.,” Griffin commented.

Some of the district priorities this year include :

  • WRAPAROUND SERVICES: Later this year, DCSS Family Resource and Support Center will open providing a one-stop-shop for parent and family,
    non-academic needs. Partners will be housed there that include Albany Area Primary Health Care, Phoebe Network of Trust, Family Literacy Connection,
    district Social Workers and Parent Center, etc. This is part of the district’s commitment to addressing the non-academic needs of students that often
    serve as barriers to learning.
  • FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The district is empowering its school and department leaders to work to develop authentic family and
    community engagement. That includes a push to include families in program development, improving two-way family communication between schools and
    parents, eliminating any language barriers that exist, and making processes family-friendly. The district is also focused on building advocacy among
    business partners in the community.
  • out an alternative to the Georgia Milestones Assessment System. They’re implementing the NAVVY Assessment system which, unlike the Georgia
    Milestones, is a formative assessment system that has been psycho metrically designed to validate reliability. Moreover, it provides teachers near-
    real-time feedback on student performance because the assessment essentially becomes the class unit test. Instead of one, high-stakes end-of-
    year assessment that can’t really be used to help improve student achievement, they’re moving towards an assessment system that fits on top
    of the existing test system without adding another test for students.

Academic priorities continue to focus on improving literacy at all levels, adding additional career pathways for students and building on existing

Dr. Phinazee
Dr. Phinazee

partnerships our higher-ed partners at Albany State University and Albany Technical College to provide more dual-enrollment opportunities that allow
students to earn degrees and technical certifications BEFORE they graduate high school.

Dr. Dean Phinazee, also a School Board member, states that he is, “looking forward to an exciting year. Teachers came back to their classrooms early
to get ready for the new term. Our facilities people and custodial staff have been working throughout the summer and our schools are looking good and
ready for students and parents. We are ready for smiling faces on kids, parents and teachers. I expect a good year.”

As a safety measure, all drivers should strictly observe speed limits in school zones and obey signaling by crossing guards.
Drivers should all be cautious of kids waiting for buses at bus stops and when following buses, be patient to ensure kids are not harmed.
Also, if you see something not right involving children, say something. Call 911!

For both parents and the community, there is a wealth of information on the school board’s website at

Parents can also download the DCSS smartphone app available at the Google App Store or IOS App Store.
The app will provide a great source of information and news
on your child’s school in particular and schools in general.
Parents can get news on
important events such as parent meetings, school closures, weather events, etc.

The Albany Southwest Georgian welcomes news from our schools, students and
their parents throughout the school year.
Have a blessed and successful year!

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Georgia’s Path2College Plan

College and University costs are skyrocketing.  People are getting crushed under the pressure of student loans. Georgia has provided a way for students to get a jump start on saving for the journey through higher education with The Path2College 529 Plan.

The Path2College 529 Plan, established in 2002, under the Georgia Student Finance Commission, is Georgia’s tax-advantaged college savings plan families can use to help pay for higher education expenses such as tuition, fees, certain room and board costs, books, supplies, equipment required for college enrollment, and K-12 tuition.  Families can invest in a Path2College 529 Plan for as little as $25.  Savings from the plan can be used at any accredited college in the United States and can also be used for students seeking a technical college certificate or diploma, four-year degree, or graduate degree.  It’s available to any citizen or taxpayer. Grandparents other family members and friends can help contribute.

There are a variety of low-cost investment portfolios to choose from including age-based, multi-fund, single-fund and guaranteed options. Funds can be used at most accredited colleges and universities in the United States and certain colleges abroad. Up to $10,000 annually can be used toward K-12 school tuition per student from all 529 plans.

Earnings are free from federal tax, and many states offer a state income tax deduction or tax credit for contributions. Withdrawals are tax-free at both the federal and state level when used for qualified education expenses.  State tax treatment of withdrawals for K-12 tuition expense is determined by the state where you file state income tax.

Path2College 529 Plan contributions are deductible for Georgia income tax purposes up to $4,000 per year, per beneficiary, for those filing a single return. Those limits double beginning January 1, 2020. Any earnings on those contributions in the Path2College 529 Plan are federal and Georgia income tax-deferred.

Withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses are federal and Georgia income tax-free. In addition, distributions from the Path2College 529 Plan for elementary and secondary school tuition are Georgia and federal income tax free up to a maximum of $10,000 a year per beneficiary.

The Path2College 529 Plan recently reached the $3 Billion savings milestone, and fees for families saving in the plan will be reduced. This reduction in fees is projected to save Path2College 529 Plan account owners approximately $300,000 annually.

As of March 31, 2019, the Path2College 529 Plan had more than 170,000 accounts and more than $890 million has been withdrawn to pay for education-related expenses. The Path2College 529 Plan was listed on Clark Howard’s Honor Roll, and it was rated in the “Top 10 Performing” by  For more information visit:

Source:  Georgia Student Finance Commission

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